I don’t know what it is, but I love this crazy saying, hashtag thingy, whatever.
The Struggle Is Real.
Maybe it is because when people use the hashtag, it is usually in conjunction with something silly, like #FirstWorldProblems, #TheStruggleIsReal, I just ate three boxes of Girl Scout cookies for lunch, type of thing. The other day a Canadian Instagram friend posted a picture of some concoction called Cookie Butter and this caption “…finally seeing this on the store shelves in Canada and knowing how my USA friends are addicted, the only responsible thing was to try it out. #cookiebutter #thestruggleisreal #rightbeforebathingsuitseason #addicted.”
So, of course what did I do after seeing her post? I first clicked on #TheStruggleIsReal to see what other funny things were attached to that hashtag on Instagram. I wasn’t disappointed. There were tons of memes with sayings like, “this kale salad tastes like I’d rather be fat,” and “my energy level on any given day is equal to that of a sloth on Ambien” overlaid on a picture of a sloth, of course. Second, I looked up Cookie Butter. What the heck is that? I assumed it was ground up cookies mixed with peanut butter or another nut butter. I don’t know why I thought that… maybe I thought mixing cookies with nuts would make it somewhat “healthy.” Ha, joke’s on me. What it really is, is ground up cookies mixed with a fat to make it spreadable, like butter. What the what? Since when are we thinking up new ways to make bad things worse for us? My guess is, if I try this stuff it will not be a keeper for me. If I am going to splurge on that kind of calorie and sugar bomb, I prefer a good old chocolate chip cookie, unpulverized. I actually use a really great recipe these days with ground up oats, unrefined coconut sugar, fresh from the farm, eggs, whole grain flour, coconut oil, and bittersweet chocolate that is really quite tasty, and the cookies do have a few redeeming qualities, along with the fact that they taste scrumptious. Of course I am not fooling myself, they are still cookies, or biscuits as some might call them.
Please don’t comment on my obsession with cookies. 😉
And then I started to think about the phrase: The Struggle Is Real. I do find it refreshing when social media can take something that could be considered quite serious, and reduce it to comic relief. Boy do we need some comic relief most days. We need reasons to smile, chuckle, laugh even. For me it doesn’t come as naturally anymore. As betrayed spouses, the struggle IS fucking real. Even for those of us who are at a point where we don’t burst into tears all day anymore, where we don’t question any more whether we actually want to live this life, not to mention whether we want to live it with the person who betrayed us, we still struggle with our reality being obliterated, our dreams being smashed into a million pieces, and our hopes, our hopes for our own lives, for our children’s lives, being stolen from us. We have to learn to rewrite that story. It’s not so easy to want to rewrite a story you actually loved. As a matter of fact, for me, it was heartbreaking realizing I had to acknowledge and accept what my husband had done and what he is, as part of MY story. I don’t want it. I want to reject it. But even if I reject him, the story is still there and it is still real. I cannot change the past. Things will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good. We just now have to figure out how to make something that seems so bad, into something that works for us. It’s not fair and it’s not fun, but we can do it. The struggle is real, the path is less certain now, but life’s simple rewards still remain in tact. And, with that ever-present disclaimer of-stay or go-the power to embrace life remains in our hands alone.
As I struggle through, I decided to remind myself of just a few of the things I am so grateful for today… because spring is nearly here in this part of the world, and the changing of seasons is a great time to reflect on what is before us.
Always and forever grateful for my macro lens.
Daughter of heaven and earth, coy Spring,
With sudden passion languishing,
Teaching barren moors to smile,
Painting pictures mile on mile,
Holds a cup of cowslip wreaths
Whence a smokeless incense breathes.
– by Ralph Waldo Emerson