Resiliency.. The ability to withstand change.
Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different
Anything that requires you to be resilient, requires you to change.
Weird analogy. Think of metal. Metal is considered resilient. You can bend it with all your force and it may make a dent, subtle change may be happening that is unseen to the human eye, or there just isn't enough force to make an impact. If you keep applying more and more force to its natural state, if it keeps resisting, it very well snap in half.
Different metals can withstand different amounts or force and pressure before it changes. Eventually, the perfect amount of force will cause it to bend completely.
There are varying degrees of resiliency in metals. I wouldn’t use the same standard of metal to build a bridge as I would to make a decorative piece, yet both are considered resilient. No matter what, there is a point where they all change under pressure.
So my question is, why are blanket assumptions made that teens, kids, and people as a whole, are resilient to what has happened and continues to happen, in our world?
Each individuals breaking point is unknown till it happens & then it may be too late. Suicide, overdose, doesn't just happen it builds.
We are hiding behind the lie of resilience.
Resilient means you are coming back from a change. The change needs to be addressed if not the impact will become the lies you tell yourself and become your truth. It all starts with the first lie, “I’m Fine, It’s Fine.”
After 9/11, I changed. I lived my lies. I believed that 9/11 didn’t affect me. I mean, I know it did, I sat up and watch “Miracle on 34th” for a week in the middle of September. I know I went through all the feels.
Confusion.Anger.Sad.Guilt. Anxious. Terrified. Devastation.
The one feeling that had stuck with me, was HOPELESS. I couldn’t process how I saw the world change in a moment. Instead of accepting there was no true explanation that would help me grieve that day & the life I could have had, I was tormented by Why?
I lied. I was fine. I convinced myself this wasn’t the life I wanted.
Before 9/11, I wanted to graduate NYU with straight A’s, live in a loft apartment in NYC, and make it on Broadway. I was willing to do anything to get it. After 9/11, in my journal that NYU makes you keep for a performer’s mental health, you could see and read the change in me. My statements of “ I will find a balance between my dreams and family” became “ what is the point of a dream when it all can be taken in a minute?” or “ I need to help people. I was lucky. Family is the only thing that matters, I shouldn’t be so focused on just my singing.” I hid that journal from my family. that journal showed the lies. I decided to leave NYU and go to Temple University for Nursing. If you know me, I absolutely hate germs.
The last thing I sang at NYU was “ Broadway Baby”. I remember being on stage and vividly seeing what I singing, “ Gee I want to be on the Marquee.” I still cry when I think about that moment because in my heart, I knew I wanted to stay but I was so scared. I just kept lying. The dean came up to me and my family and my teacher and asked me to stay, full ride, whatever I needed covered, I turned and said, “ No thanks, this just isn’t me.” I packed up my apartment and had regret but I kept lying because I was too scared to admit that I was stuck on WHY. Life had changed. My life had changed. I kept asking Why when I should have been asking What’s Next.
When I started Temple, my nursing degree lasted less than a semester. Lies never last, but we do become trapped within them. They pile up and you become your lies till you finally completely bend or break.
Think about life right now. Think about the pandemic. Have you or someone you loved changed? I know at our school our students have changed. After a trauma or a sudden change, after having to continually be resilient, passion becomes non existent. Activity becomes effort. The joy is gone and you blame the activity you used to love, because now its hard.
What’s the point of working so hard when it’s not guaranteed?
The questions become never ending and the new fun you becomes effortless. You find ways to ignore the pain from what you think you lost or didn’t get to achieve. Priorities flip flop constantly. You are questioning who you are. You need to find security, safety. You don't want to feel pain.
Here is the thing, you don’t need to be resilient. You need to learn how to react to a change. You need to be loved, heard, strengthened, and constantly reminded that there isn’t always an answer to why? There is always an answer to “What’s next.”