I think everyone in my family was a fighter of some sort. Unlike my father, God rest his soul, who was a Golden Glove Feather Weight champ back in his day, who was a "real" fighter.....we were each fighters in our own way.
My family members have faced hard times, every single one of them, in some form. Some more serious than others. Some had illness that took their lives. It wasn't that they gave up, they just knew it was time to let go, to walk away. Other family members walked away from bad crops, knowing no amount of water and care was going to coax out a good canning crop. They didn't give up on their gardens. Just was past the time of being able to fight mother nature's elements.
For me, it depended on the year it was, my age at the time, and my goals...... but it seems like I was always faced with some sort of battle. It took me 10 years to get my college degree. I didn't give up, I just had to walk away and regroup.
Well, lucky for me, I learned these lessons from growing up in the middle of war zones. Not like I saw at the movies with John Wayne but right under my nose, with my family.
It was the wars my family fought that had lessons for anyone willing to watch, listen and learn. My parents fighting and screaming, my grandparents, God love 'em, had their fits and fights too, as well as Aunts and Uncles. I don't think any kid could drop and roll under a bed as fast as I could. If a loud voice or the stomp of angry feet reached my ears, I ran to the nearest bedroom if trapped inside, hit the floor and rolled under a bed.
A lot of education was processed by my little brain over a decade as I listened to arguments simple as the amount of money spent to a person feeling ignored and undervalued. At first I might not have caught the concept of each argument but as I laid under many a bed avoiding conflict, I would flick dust bunnies with a puff of my breath then bounced them around with my fingers on the hardwoods wishing I had been outside, not trapped listening to things a 10 year old didn't need to hear. But I was lucky to have been caught unaware and trapped. A great lesson learned was that people who fought could still love each other. Well mostly, our family had it's share of divoce but also some who weathered the storms, stuck it out, walked away from the conflict for the moment but never gave up.
I fought with siblings, cousins, and parents but knew I still loved them. I teach my grandson now, it is okay to be angry with someone and still love them.
Over the years, watching my family evolve and growing into my own individual life, I learned that sometimes it's better to walk away sooner rather than later. It didn't mean I was giving up, I made a decision to do what was right for me at the time I made the decision.
This example can be used with something as simple as fishing. My Papaw built a cabin with a little outhouse on the side of a steep hill. It had no running water and the only heat was from a small wood burning stove in the middle of the one room cabin. It sat next to a great Ozark lake. I loved that place. It was a retreat that I used when I entered my teen years and needed to be alone to just think, no distractions. Papaw build a boat dock and had an old flat bottomed fishing boat tied up there year round.
Those of you who fish know, some days fish just don't bite. Many days, I stared silently at my bobber. After a few hours if that bobber wouldn't move, I knew it was time to walk away. I didn't really give up on ever fishing again, it just wasn't the right time.
The same goes for relationships, to my way of thinking anyway. If I walk away it does not mean I have given up loving that person. It doesn't mean I have given up on feeling loved, cared about or needed. It very simply means I go back to my roots and know that what I am seeking isn't where pain resides. If I keep going to the same place and only feel pain, it's time to walk away.
It was time. I left.