This I Believe

Latricia - Sacramento, California
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Exercise for the Soul

It’s late at night and my mother and I are sitting in a laundry mat. The laundry mat is cold and our tummies are both screaming and crying with hunger. My soul is tired and it is illustrated on my face with every tear that creeps from my eyes and with every wrinkle that folds the caramel skin of my forehead. The anger I feel is making my body tense with pain and is almost too much to take for such conditions. We are not in this laundry mat because we do not have a washer and dryer, but because we do not have electricity and home is a dark and cold place. My mother didn’t have money to pay the bill, but she attempts to make things better and cheer me up.

“Things will get better Tricia”, my mother says. “One day we’ll be able to look back on this and laugh about this situation.” My response is short, cold, and straight to the point. I reply with, “We are not looking back on anything; you’re going to do that yourself this time.” She knew where I was coming from and attempted a few more times. Then she reminded me of the fact that hard times are like God’s way of preparing the soul for what good is to come. I call them exercises for the soul.

My soul must be ready for the Olympics because I have been exercising for the past eleven years. Weight training started with the divorce of my parents at the age of ten. This was the first rep, as they say in the gym. The second rep was seeing my superhero, dad, cry for the first time. The third was sleeping in my mom’s office just to spend time with her. Moving out of a neighborhood I was in since I was three, realizing that family could do and say some cold things, loosing the house on the hill, moving to Sacramento, staying in a hotel with my brother and mom, and now living in a house with out any electricity in a nice neighborhood; all reps.

Each hard time that had come into my life has prepared me for all the good that God has blessed me with so far. In a way, the good and bad are blessings. Like needing to go to the gym to keep a healthy body, the soul needs hard times to become healthy and grow. Without the hard times that I have experienced, I would not nearly be the person that I have grown up to be today.

I apologized to my mother for my behavior. We have been through so much together and could only keep positive minds about what is to come. With each hard time and good, I have realized that hard times are exercises for the soul and good times are what I trained for.