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  • Two Cups of Tea

Silver Linings

If you look for it you’ll find faith everywhere. You may find your faith in people, places, religion, or spirituality. You may even find it, if you’re one of the lucky ones, in yourself from time to time.


It doesn’t matter what type of faith you hold close to your heart. All that matters is that it’s there in some way or another. Faith is what keeps us moving and, when things feel impossible, it may be the only thing keeping us looking ahead.


The same thing goes for silver linings.


Last week was awful. My family and I received some news that’s been hard to find the silver lining in...yet


When I launched this site two weeks ago I was in a different place. My only worry was how people were going to respond to what I was writing and what I was trying to create. My purpose for Two Cups of Tea is part personal gain and part community gain. I, of course, want people to relate to what I'm feeling. I want people to show up and come together in a way that makes them feel safe.


The personal gain is freedom, accountability and a sort of therapeutic aspect of it all. I wanted to find myself again through my words and force myself to stop living in this corner all alone. I wanted to shine light on the messy in my own world so others would embrace the messy in theirs, too.


When creating this blog I stocked up on posts in preparation for weeks when I may not feel creative enough to write anything. It was meant to weed out the possibility of writing just to create crap content and not for passion. It was meant for times I may be on a vacation or just busy in my social life. There I was, two weeks later though, about to break that promise to myself of being accountable for embracing all of life. Even the messy parts. I wasn’t ok with it. I want to be authentic and be my purest, truest self and the truth is, last week, that self was hurting. Confused. Scared. My cup was very empty.


I'm here to remind myself that no matter what I'm going through, there will be a silver lining. It’ll show itself in some way or another. I may just have to search for it.


So, I created a list to remind myself of silver linings I've witnessed before in my life to make it easier for me to trust that one will come again. While I was writing mine down Cole decided he had some of his own to share as well.



Shannon:


1. My dad has used a wheelchair for most of my adult life. He hated to take his chair places when I was younger because little kids would always stare and get scared. I was never one of those kids and my son won’t be either. In fact, my son went up to a, luckily, very nice stranger in a wheelchair at the beach this summer and said, “Papa?”


2. One time at night I ran out of gas on Interstate-80 on my way back to my apartment and my roommate had to drive me out a gas tank to fill my car up just enough for me to be able to put the last $20 I had at the time in my bank account in my tank. Now I never let my car fall below a quarter of a tank.


3. My college boyfriend had sex with my friend in the bed beside mine while I was asleep. When I found out I went to my other friend's house to vent about it with her. When her brother came home and heard us talking he sat down at the table with us and found the story interesting enough to listen to me vent about it to him, too. I’m now married to her brother.


4. I had delayed postpartum depression and consider myself lucky that I survived it. Some never do. Now I can easily notice the signs in myself and in others and be there for them if they’ll let me.


5. I developed severe anxiety after having my son, but I am now extremely intuitive of other people's feelings which allows for me to be a kinder, more understanding person. I am always thinking five steps ahead so I can pay attention to how my words and actions impact other people.


6. Our wedding was planned and paid for before Covid shut everything down. However, I got to have two weddings because of that. One was a big celebration with all of our friends and family and the other was an intimate ceremony in our backyard, in the same spot Cole proposed to me at, with just our parents and Slade present. The smaller wedding ended up being my favorite of the two.



Cole:


1. The most prominent case of silver linings in my life would be receiving my DUI. For months, and most likely years, I didn't see a silver lining until I finally found the peace in my life I had been searching for in my wonderful family. I had plans made for myself before this incident occurred that I made more out of the need for a plan than what my actual wants and needs were. What seemed at the time like a life ending ordeal culminated into the path putting me exactly where I always wanted to be.


2. Having separated parents rarely insinuates a positive response. Growing up seeing a messy divorce with parents that had so much love to give, but were consumed with their own ordeals, taught me a valuable lesson on parental priorities. Your kids coming first is the most important part of all parents' lives. However, the mental health and happiness between you and your partner opens a door in which you not only have the ability to show all the love to your child, but also gives an avenue to teach your child how to love others through your partner. In my opinion, being openly affectionate and loving towards my wife will hopefully teach my son a healthy and productive way to love the people in his own life.


3. While having direction may be a great trait early on in life, more and more often the upcoming youths of the world lack this knowledge. I could easily put myself in this category. While your early 20’s are for the beginnings of our life journeys, mine was more like several rest stops. My resume is highly diverse due to my lack of direction at that time. In what could be perceived as a waste of time, I learned many valuable skills through my wide array of jobs. I had great jobs and I had not so great jobs. Going through all of the confusion this brought led me to a better understanding of so many cultures, classes, and mindsets that I otherwise, being from a small town, may have never been able to experience.


4. I have memories from when I was younger with my great grandpa who was better known simply as, “Pap.” Those memories were child-like ones such as him always giving us loose change, candy, and always minding his beloved tomatoes. I never really knew the man, though, and as I grew up I would only see Pap at family functions. I never put much more thought into it. That was until I stopped seeing him there. I would hear things such as, “He fell again,” “He can't live independently,” and the always ominous, “He's not doing so well.” Because of this I started going to the home to visit him. For the first time in my life I really met Beau; not just Pap. With just him and I in a room I was able to hear the stories of his life and the trials and defeats that made the man in the room with me. While this made the process of his passing sting more than it previously would have, I took solace in the fact that I got to know the man behind the family view. After all, I believe we all want our lives to be known to their fullest extent and not just the last years of them.




Silver linings are there. I promise they are. You just have to find them. Here’s my reminder to find the one in this next chapter of our lives.


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