Opinion: Growing up urban
- Alyson Bear | August 05, 2019
I’m just going to say it like it is. This is my own perspective. I’m tired of being torn down and especially by men like it’s normal or acceptable or for some reason women have to tolerate it. I grew up not knowing who I was, and it has taken me my whole life to find myself, to love myself, to respect myself and not take anything less than I deserve. I am still learning, growing and becoming better every day and that will never stop.
Boundaries and standards are so necessary to learn and teach our children. Respect is so detrimental, yet it seems so lost and foreign in this world today. Indigenous laws are rooted in respect. Respect for each other, respect for the natural world but that is clearly not being practiced anymore. I question everything all the time, whether things are getting better or worse? Sometimes I have so much hope and sometimes I feel like I have none. That is just life, I guess? Everything cannot be wonderful all the time and we’re only human.
There is no such thing as perfect. I wouldn’t wish for anyone to learn life the hard way. Life is a struggle, I wish it was easier, but “You are allowed to be both a master piece and work in progress simultaneously.” I’ve been through hell and I’m still trying my hardest. I want to make a difference, a good and positive impact even if it’s just for my daughters. At the end of the day everyday it’s my girls who keep me strong, and motivated. I didn’t plan on being a single mom, going face first through a windshield, or writing this article. That’s life, things happen we can’t control, but what we can control is how we allow our experiences to shape us. I’ve learned to make the best of life’s curveballs and instead of dwelling on the pain using it to create a better life.
I am doing my best to end dysfunctional cycles, revitalize my culture and pave a positive path for my daughters with a drug and alcohol-free environment. It is hard when I am the only one providing and I am working overtime and we only have so much time. I wouldn’t wish the pain I’ve been through on anyone. Those long nights wishing I wasn’t alive after I could not literally recognize my own reflection in the mirror after my first accident. I know people feel that way sometimes and it’s okay, it doesn’t make you any less. I also know a lot of people who have been there, and we need to be real about it. We don’t have to open up and tell everyone everything, we all learn and heal differently, so do what is best for you and your healing.
Even though I long for culture, ceremony and my language. I did not have the privilege to be raised traditionally and it’s so hard to get that back especially when the path I am on keeps me so busy. I also grew up urban so I was never brought up in it but that is not an excuse anymore. Excuses will only lead you to dead end cycles, excuses for yourself and other people to treat you a certain way. That is why I will say again, having boundaries and standards are so important.
Let’s end cycles of destruction: if we don’t want our children to be mistreated, we must do our best to avoid those harmful situations that cause them in the first place. I also stress being mindful, we need to treat others how we would like to be treated. Being mindful, reflective and thankful, I now realize I do not have the time to keep going backwards for others. I am climbing a mountain with two little bear cubs on my back and it is them who deserve all good things.
I know now I need to take care of me if I want to take care of them and not allow anyone to attempt to tear me down. I realize I was once on an unconscious path, one of self-destruction and not caring about anything, that was never me! Today, I feel closer to my spirit and to who I was born to be. Sometimes you need to let go to grow. It’s not about what could have been it’s about facing reality and saying no to things you know are not good for you which can be a lot harder then it seems. On July 1st, I was 6 years sober and the vision has never been clearer.