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Stepping Up

Before I left for classes this morning (I'm in the library now) I went over to Goodreads to check messages and see what was happening.

There's one person over there I had a little chat with yesterday and I went to her profile page today just to see what books she's reading. I was just planning to spend maybe 2 or 3 minutes there and then log-off and head to campus. Well, I scrolled down a little to where she had posted some of her favorite quotes and read the one I'm going to share with all of you today. Before I even got to the end of the quote, I started getting a lump in my throat. Then I started getting that feeling you always have right before you start crying (you know that feeling I'm talking about, right?). Then I got to the end and just lost it. I started bawling. Not out-of-control bawling, but really crying hard. 

After I got it together, I put just a little comment after the quote saying how I felt like it really spoke to me big-time. It was like somebody put into words something that gave me a boost and courage to "step up" when I face hard things in my life.

And I have been doing a lot of hard things lately. Things that haven't been easy for me. Like apologizing for things I've done wrong. Like quitting my job. Like starting college. Like trying to take some more steps toward adulthood. Like trying to be all I can to the man I love.

I have to keep remembering that I'm nineteen years old. Sometimes think I have myself all figured out. Yeah right.

Sometimes I think I have other people all figured out. Yeah right. 

Sometimes I think I have groups of people all figured out. Yeah right.

Sometimes I think I have the world all figured out. Yeah right.

Sometimes I put more stock in appearances and you would think silly things like how my hair looks really matter in the whole scheme of things. Or whether my clothes are "cool" enough and people are going to like me because of my outward appearance.

Then when I face the real things in life, the hard things, I realize all those outward things don't count for crap. I'm learning that the real things in life are usually hard. And it takes a lot of courage and support when those things happen. But the hard things can be done. It's just that sometimes I have to learn the hard things the hard way.

The quote is from a novel by Ben Monopoli called, The Painting of Porcupine City. I haven't read the book (yet) so I can't put the quote in context. Until I read the book, it's just going to have to suffice that it's a quote "in abstract" that means a lot to me right now. Anyway, I'll be rereading it throughout the day so maybe it will sink in this hard scull of mine:

"It's not about who you sleep with, or whether you know about sports or tools or have a pearl-wearing wife or whether commercials make you cry. [...] it's about whether you step up. When something hard comes along. A man steps up. He doesn't dodge it or run away from it or try to push it onto someone else. He steps up. Even if it isn't his responsibility. And that's why there are so many guys and so few men. Because stepping up is hard."
— Ben Monopoli (The Painting of Porcupine City: A Novel)

Thank you, Mr. Monopoli.
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