Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Wobble, maybe – but I’m too scrappy to fall down.

No matter how hard life tries to knock me over or pin me, I refuse to “tap out” and give up.  Over the years, it has been this quality (along with being petite, I suppose) that has earned me the title of: Scrappy.  Having once told a portion of my life’s tale to a woman caught in the web of the storytelling, she sighed and said, “My, gosh!  What a scrapper.  You’re your own week of Oprah!”  Yeah.  I get that a lot.


Thing is, I’m tired of being Scrappy.  It gives the impression that I want to fight or I’m in search of a battle around every corner.  People think I’m like that cartoon puppy nipping at people’s ankles when they’re not expecting it.  Really, I’m not looking for trouble, but it has had a nasty habit of showing up.  Repeatedly.


My childhood years were spent walking through the minefields of some pretty scary adult landscapes.  All of the grown-ups around me, with the exception of my grandfather, had fallen and could not get up, due to a variety of chosen abuses – so I learned how to stand tall, look away and walk right past them.  It took a lot of strength for a tiny kid, but I was determined to not tumble with them.  My chosen ending to a repeated nursery rhyme became:  Not. Going. Down.  Ashes, or not.


In my teens, it was a lot harder to not get pushed over by what life kept presenting, despite between slightly taller and a lot wiser (teenagers know everything, you know).  But, I made a firm decision to position myself alongside others who were stronger than me, whether at school, in a pew or the home of my best friend.  I discovered that a level head was what kept a person walking evenly, in a forward direction – which was the path I’d chosen.  Early on, I knew I was ultimately the one in control, despite what was put in my way.  I was the one who could choose to walk into or around what was in front of me.  Given a choice between the titles Scrappy and Victim, I took the one that meant I’d survive.


As time rolled on, I really thought that the onslaught of rollercoaster-style dips, flips and sideshow entertainment would slow, but the powers-that-be have not seen fit to alter their blueprints for this crazy amusement park I call life.  I’m not really sure what the end prize is at the completion of it all, but there’d better be a pretty darn big Kewpie doll waiting.


I have often wondered if it was only by physical default that Scrappy became my destiny.  Think about it.  You don’t hear of too many 5’ 10” modelesque-type women described as scrappy.  No Xena, the scrappy Warrior Princess or swift and scrappy Diana the Huntress.  Yesiree, another half-a-foot and I might have had a better perspective than the one down here in the trenches. 


The other thing that might have played into the whole scrappy set-up was the fact that I was a tomboy with constantly scraped knees and “put ‘em up” cowardly lion bravado.  Trees and dirt were my two favorite places to be as a child.  I’m pretty sure I was the only little girl on my block (zip code/state/continent) who whittled chicken bones down into spears for her Barbie to play caveman in the backyard.  So, if the scrappy shoe fits and all that.


They (those cagy sages) say that “Life doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”  So, would I be correct in assuming that if you’re one of the well-heeled, highly-buffed, polished and manicured – life automatically understands that you can’t possibly carry a heavy load?  Certainly not with those fabulous nails and dainty shoes!  Instead, maybe life thinks to hand the heavy stuff off to the woman with the lower center of gravity and dishpan hands.  The one obviously built to carry the heavier load! 


Yeah, I’ve kept the title of Scrappy for a long, long time.  But, if nobody minds, I think I’d like to retire my championship Scrappy belt this year.


Oh, but don’t for one hot second believe that I’ve given up the fight, because that’s not it at all.  I look around and still see so much worth fighting for.  I just think I’d like to trade up for something with a better ring to it.  Something that doesn’t sound so much like a small puppy protecting its bone or its home from the bigger, bully dogs in the world.  Maybe its time for life to let me take on a title with more grace and dignity to it, something like… strong, independent or resilient.


I’m also going to go out and buy some rockin’ tall shoes to go with the new title, on the off chance that I can fool life into handing some of the more unsavory heavy lifting to someone else.

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