It’s a word I honestly don’t think I ever had in my vocabulary. I never really considered the word before. I certainly never used it to describe myself or how I meet and overcome my challenges. Yet, here it is. Grit. After much introspection and searching for a word that would pull so many of my thoughts, feelings, experiences and characteristics together, I have finally come full circle to the word grit.
Grit is what you pulls you through. It’s a raw blend of passion and perseverance, of digging deep when you think there is nothing left in you to give or do. It’s swimming when you are sinking. It’s believing in yourself and your cause and never giving up.
I didn’t recognize it, but it’s been with me all along. When I lost my mother at the age 11 and fumbled through my adolescence and adulthood, when I was dealt a life-threatening illness at the age of 36 with three children under the age of 5, when my marriage fell apart at the age of 40. Heck, when I struggle through this Social Media course at age 48. Grit is what gets me through.
Life experiences aside, grit has also revealed to me some new-found skills and positive qualities that I never dreamed of embracing. In particular, with my involvement with the Cannington Haunted Trail and Maze, a community event that has grown in the past 9 years to become a professionally-operated haunt that is a signature event in the community, attracting over 1600 visitors and 120 volunteers each year, and growing. Through this event, I have become a leader, an ambassador for the community, an event coordinator, a volunteer coordinator, a fundraiser, a marketer, a builder, a painter and a passionate haunter. I have developed relations and collaborated with the municipality, the schools, local businesses and organizations, and community members. And best of all, I have been blessed to see the true benefits of this event in the community: the youth that are able to feel they are part of something, the collaborative efforts of others, and the funds we raise to donate to local organizations. I am passionate about this event and the people involved, and devote my time and efforts to keep it going, despite the challenges it faces. Because I have grit.
We all have dreams to pursue and goals to achieve. We are all faced with challenges and setbacks. And we can all overcome those challenges and find in ourselves the strength we didn’t know we had. Dig deep. Believe. Persevere. Find your grit.