Thoughts on Scarcity

I grew up in scarcity, in a place that long suffered from a lack of resources or apparent resources, a place that was isolated and disconnected and a place that for generations people had to fight and work hard to live.

I come from generations of people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps day after day after day.

It doesn’t work for me.

One of the bravest things I’ve done is reckon with my upbringing and indeed my long heritage of “not enough”. It’s a pervasive and damaging way of thinking, and it doesn’t serve me. Seeing that, calling it what it is and coming to terms with it, then positioning myself to make a choice that I wouldn’t live that way, has been the biggest change I’ve made, the bold decision I’ve made and the hardest fight I’ve won.

Who knew a car wreck would change so much in my life?

But as I’ve had to deal with an invisible injury to my brain and as I’ve had to come to terms with what happened to me and accept what is, I’ve expanded that work to include accepting myself and believing that I am enough – a message that I certainly did not hear from my family. I’ve faced down the reality of how and why I come from the mentality that I do, and I’ve worked hard to put myself in a place to be able to choose differently, not because others had a choice, but because I wanted one.

Generations of scarcity don’t disappear overnight, and a new way of defining resilience doesn’t stick on the first attempt. Like so many other things, I’m having to practice, which I don’t usually like to do because I don’t like to do things I’m not naturally adept at. But working consistently and at the speed I am able has made for lasting and powerful change and a steady belief that I am enough.

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