Brianna Foster | 2014 Blog Project: Week 1
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2014 Blog Project: Week 1

January 08, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Blog Project Week 1: Struggle

Last week when I pulled the word "Struggle" out of my jar of blog projects (from now on we'll just call it my JBP) we were anticipating a possible blizzard on its way with the potential of a foot of snow. The idea of people all over the North East struggling to get out from under the icy blanket was tempting, but somehow seemed too simple. I kept it in the back of my mind though in case I couldn't find a better expression of the concept.

But then this came to me:

I had been talking to a friend whose son has been struggling in school to learn to read.

So why did a child who is having a hard time with the letter "g" win over a widespread struggle for warmth and battling mother nature? For me, the child learning to read was symbolically a more powerful example of struggle than the snow.

As literate adults (at least I'm assuming literate....since you're reading this and all...), reading is something we've frequently taken for granted. Some of us may have overcome a challenge to learn to read but others may not have. It's something we do every day, frequently without even thinking. We don't stress. So how is that the best example then?

Because it's about what it represents. For the rest of us, we know a "g" is a "g". We know it goes between "f" and "h". We know it starts the words "gray" and "giant".  But this simple letter is a source of great struggle for this little boy. He looks at it and knows it's the letter he doesn't know, but day after day he tries and tries. It may not be a struggle for us, but it is for him. To me that's the best representation of struggle because we all have our own individual definitions of what is hard in our own lives and minds. Something that may be easy for one person can be a great source of anxiety in another.

It can be the letter "g" for a struggling 5 year old, it can be trying to stay on a piece of exercise equipment for more than 10 minutes for someone who hasn't worked out in years, it can be not picking up a drink at a social event for someone in recovery -- it can even be as simple as getting out of bed for someone battling depression.

We all have our own struggles, and to compare our struggles to another person's is not only unfair but pointless. The next time you find yourself being frustrated with someone for something you don't understand, something you feel they should just "get over" or "move on" from, just remember we all have our own letter "g" chilling out with the skeletons in our closets.


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