Fortitude (1)

Okay so I’m not a big fan of this word, not because I dislike it but because I don’t feel like I have an awful lot to say about it. So, I’m going to jokingly blame the word being in our list on pocketcanadian (because there is no way I added it given my simpleton vocabulary…) and give this a go anyway.

I think I’ve got a bit of a skewed idea of what it really means to deal with something with fortitude.¬† Rather than just being courage in pain or adversity, I add on the expectation of being unwavering…you can’t falter, you never doubt yourself, you don’t have days when it all feels way too much, or that you’re doing the wrong thing etc. Which probably explains why it’s not a word I use or associate with anything – because it’s just not realistic that anyone is every entirely unwavering… you can’t go through pain or adversity never getting upset or hurt, never doubting yourself or getting scared or wanting to give up. And doing those things doesn’t actually mean you aren’t courageous. But I still don’t really like it.

one: fortitude

okay, so here’s what’s what: i groaned this morning when i saw this was our first word.

for real. and out loud.

i then cursed pocketbrit, because what the eff* were we thinking, choosing such an old-timey sort of word in the first place?! and also, what the eff, randomizer, thanks for selecting such a lame-ass** word to start us off. and could we be more cliché?!

but i’ve had all day to think about it. and see, i’m good at thinking. overthinking, in particular. you will learn this about me, in fairly short order, i suspect.

and as much as i don’t identify with this word, along with so many of its cringe-worthy synonyms (courage, bravery, endurance), there were some i liked, and wanted to keep close to my heart. words like spirit. and grit. and also, strength.

because honestly, this trauma bullshit is bullshit.*** it really, really is. i hate so much about it: the fleetingness of my well-being. the dread i start to feel when i’ve had a few good days in a row. the impact it has on every relationship in my life, on my parenting, my marriage, my rest. how my brain sometimes turns on me, even in sleep, so i wake soaking and shaking and sobbing from horrifying dreams only to re-remember that they really happened. that i’m that girl, who grew up into this woman, whose brain locked away things that happened in the bedrooms and campers and living rooms and basements of our past(s)…

i don’t necessarily wear the badge bearing the word fortitude in that popular cursive way in which everyone writes these days (you know the font i mean, slathered on everything from baby announcements to coffee menus to marijuana dispensaries), but fuck,**** you know what, i’m still here. and i know it doesn’t count for much, but i haven’t tapped out yet. neither pocketbrit nor i have, even though sometimes we question our judgements on that decision…

so, cheers to you, fortitude. i think we’ve got a bit o’ you in us, because we’re still here.

* i am undecided about whether i will curse here…
** yeah so that didn’t last
*** truly, this is how i talk in real life so i suppose it’s good i get it out of the way in the first post?
****yup, i said it. no need to wait