Updated: Jul 4, 2019
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
-Invictus, William Henley - referred to in Nelson Mandela's chronicles
I don't know about you but this excerpt just touches my soul every time I read it.
But this is not a political post, nor is it a quest for leadership. I am consumed by emotions today and true to my being I ponder on how others may perceive this periodic and intermittent emotional plunge.
Surely I am not the only one applying mindfulness and self reflection! #onewouldthink
Naturally I reflected on my own abilities, my strengths, weaknesses and learned behaviors and came up with a journal of "how to's" and "how not to's" and "maybe don't go there's" and also a bit of "hell yesses".
I am conscious that I am a survivor and survivors are often perceived to be scary-ass, super strong and muscle wielding Mamma's. My personal survivorship though focuses on protection of a very sensitive inner being which I have identified to be my "Spaghetti Legs".
You see, many many years ago in my development years, I had what one would term, a mobility impairment. Quite frankly that means I had a really bad case of "pigeon toe" which meant my posture and natural walking ability was quite affected. I recall having to climb into a really uncomfortable leg brace which had to remain strapped on for the duration of the night - it was not pleasant! Of course my early classmates picked up on this relatively quickly and pretty soon I had landed myself the nickname "Spaghetti Legs". I hated the name and loathed the connotation for many years.
But let's not focus on the negative connotations. Leg brace did it's trick and corrected most of the orthopedic side of things, and through the absolute and unequivocal support of my dear Mummah I enrolled in postured ballet classes which taught me beautiful posture, stature and positioning (not to mention some kick-ass dance moves which I rocked in my teens!), plus I was really, REALLY good at it!
I went from awkward duck to graceful swan in time and pretty soon I adopted and loved the royal ballet culture. I excelled and soared!
Spaghetti Legs turned into a gracious swan. I liked her. I loved her!
Today I forced myself to recall my "Spaghetti Legs years". I remembered.
This was important. I needed to evaluate present emotions. They felt the same.
Vow to myself! Don't you dare forget about Spaghetti legs turning into swan! Dig her out. Wear her. Celebrate her.
But I reflected deeper.
In life we experience multitudes of emotions. Daily. Weekly.
We immerse in them. React to them. Wear them almost. Sometimes we "adult" and walk away from them.
But sometimes we succumb to them. And that makes us vulnerable. It doesn't change who we are. It doesn't alter who we are becoming. It's meant to alert us to what's important and what is not.
What is captain of our souls and what is dust in the wind.
I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
For you Madiba! And for you Nettie!