We all experience them, right?
Something happens – maybe it’s something big, maybe it’s something small, but it’s a game changer that changes how you view the world, and oftentimes how you view yourself.
With each move that I’ve made over the past five hockey seasons, I’ve found myself facing personal challenges – challenges to learn a new language, a new culture, a new city, a new highway, a new way of making a temporary house a home, a new dynamic to how TJ and I will function based on his schedule, a new way to keep communication lines open with family and friends back home, and a new way to figure out just who I am and how I fit into our new location in the world.
Each of those little struggles are my greatest Defining Moments.
Over and over again, each time we move…I’m redefined.
I’m forced to improvise, I’m forced to adapt, I’m forced to be independent, I’m forced to be dependent, I’m forced to be resourceful, I’m forced to expect the unexpected, I’m forced to feel humility, and I’m forced to grow.
In getting lost in new cities, I find my real self.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
‘Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
‘I suppose you are Real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled. “The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said.
“That was a great many years ago; but
The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.
- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit