One day a while back I was having this confusing life moment, and I happen to come across a post that read “broken crayons still color.” I remember staring for the longest time, just reading it over and over again, aware of how it took on a new meaning with nearly each read. I paused long enough to copy the phrase onto a piece of paper and post it to my wall. Afterwards, I read it again a few more times and finally just stood there, shook my head, smiled, and said ‘Thank You.’
Almost everyone reading this can remember days of the big green and yellow box with the sharpener on the back. It gave us 64 crayons to choose from, but we’d get so upset if just one of them broke. Did it stop us, though? Nope. A broken crayon simply meant now we had two of that color, and we would continue to use both halves. Sometimes it was necessary to peel back the paper, sharpen the ends, and color from a side angle, but no matter what we were finishing that project. We had no idea back then, but that broken crayon was a metaphor for life.
The word “broken” is defined in many ways, and everyone will relate to it differently. I mean, what is “broken” anyway, right. Is it incomplete? Not whole, or in pieces? How about disrupted or disconnected; violated; bankrupt; changing directions: not functioning properly, etc.? Like I said, the meaning is personal and varies, which is why it’s best to receive a message as it is meant for you, rather than thru the dissection or dilution of others.
I can think of times in my life when I felt “broken” in one way or another. If I didn’t perform well in school I’d feel disconnected because I couldn’t grasp a particular subject. Some folks in my life might disagree with this statement because I can recall things they wish I’d forget, but history is not one of my fortes. I’m ok with that because although I may not earn prizes trying to recollect dates and events of the 1700’s, I can write a speech that would win an election, and work numbers well enough to balance the budget. Recognizing and honing in on my strengths has afforded me many opportunities I wouldn’t have experienced had I allowed my shortcomings to continue to make me feel less than.
I have felt “broken” as a parent, knowing others viewed my life as imperfect simply because being a single mom just wasn’t the normal way of doing things. I’m an adult now so to that I defiantly say ‘WTH!’ What exactly is perfect and normal anyway? I don’t care the circumstance; there are no guarantees in parenting. Considering my son was regularly on the Honor Roll, he had an active youth in competitive sports, he’s on target for graduating from a highly ranked university, and he’s an independent thinker, I paint a pretty picture for someone who colored outside the lines.
The day I read the post “broken crayons still color,” I was feeling discouraged because my life had broken path and I was forced to go a new direction. I’d gone thru many changes in recent years – becoming an empty nester, selling my house, and now getting laid off from a 20-year career, to name a few. Although I planned for this day, when the time came to take action I found myself concentrating on my endings, instead of the new beginnings they led into. Suddenly it became apparent to me that all of these changes gave me the opportunity to gather my experiences, refocus my attention, and come at life from a different angle to finish what I’d started. Sound familiar?
I hope this post finds its way to someone who could benefit from a little encouragement. No matter how many times or ways you may feel broken, never feel defeated. Take every part of your life as a learning experience and move forward to build a better you. A Mosaic is designed with tiny colorful fragments used to create a beautiful work of art. If you ask me, we’re all works of art in process.
© 2014 CSNelson, dontforgetthehalf