There are a lot of people I admire. Some for big things, some for seemingly small things. But of recent months and after recent events I’ve come to realise that it’s the quiet quality of just getting through that I admire most.
It’s not always the most vocal person who draws my attention, or the one who gains news coverage or public accolades for their tribulations and the way they have coped with it and managed to push through. Often it is the private struggles that you know of, but that are rarely talked of, that show how strong someone can be. And I admire the quiet way that people can just get through the day, the hour, sometimes just the next minute carrying their burden but never giving under the weight.
I admire Rosie Batty, for opening up a new conversation about family violence after her son was killed by his father, her former husband.
I admire Tara Moss, who challenges the culture of sexual violence prevalent in our society after her own experience of sexual violence.
I admire Nelson Mandela, who still preached for peace after suffering at the hands of others.
And I have endless admiration for some members of my own family. They have carried on through some difficult and life changing events. Never in the eyes of anyone but myself might they be considered heroes. But they are. They are the people I want to emulate; their quiet strength, the ability to just get themselves or their family out the other side of struggle.
Having been through struggles myself, I had thought I was strong. But when adversity strikes, you find ways to access more strength than you knew you had. And it is through the knowledge of these family members, the memory of those passed, and the unwavering support of those I am still lucky enough to have with me, that I am getting through these new struggles. I will bring my children out the other side of adversity, I will get through it myself. And I will get us all through the struggles that will result from our last six months.
One tries to emulate that which one admires. There have been many times when I’ve bent under the weight of my burdens, but I will not be broken. I will follow the footsteps of those I admire, I will quietly soldier on, stoically keep going. And I will take the other lesson I’ve learned from those I admire: don’t let hardship make you hard, being able to love, laugh and feel compassion through your struggles is a testament to your strength.
So thank you, to everyone who has come before, and laid the groundwork to show me, and all those that come after me, how to be someone who is strong enough to overcome adversity.