What is a Wapsi girl?
The Wapsi Girl
by Minnie Sukthankar-Romanovich
When asked to write a blurb or a mini-biography for this project, I found myself staring at my notebook, the page blank, the cursor blinking.
How do you write about yourself in a way that summarizes your entire persona, your psyche? Do you mention your personal struggles and the challenges you have overcome to reach the spot you are at? This would be a good enough cue to pen quite an epic, as my life’s experiences have been many and varied, although my years few. However, being a fiercely private person, it is anything but easy for me to open up and to flaunt the wounds or battle-worthy scars for the world to see.
My definition of a Wapsi Girl would be a girl/woman with an inner strength, compassion, talent, creativity, a dogged determination that even occasionally comes across as a stubborn streak, an indefatigable optimism especially in the face of adversity, a keen observer of life, and the compulsive desire to reach out to others; all the time, every time. Living life and facing it with gusto; taking the bull by its horns.
Few sips of coffee later, I started thinking of all the clichés that seem applicable to my life in this moment and how they translate into the spirit of a Wapsi Girl. The fingers flew and the keys went tap-tap-tapping furiously:
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
Of course every rose has its thorn, and I discovered the thorns in my life a long time ago when, being subjected to emotional and physical abuse for years, resulted in deep trust issues and self-doubts. The abuse stopped eventually, but the pain, the agony, and the questions remained — the thorns on the rose, so to speak.
Some times the challenges were unbearable. They now remain safely tucked away in the hidden house that holds life’s pain. I can open the door and look inside. I can remember it and somehow be stronger for it.
I was always starting over. Every day, a different beginning. I don’t know how I made it through but I am glad I did… it would have been easy to give in to the barbs from the thorns and give up, but I am glad I persevered anyway.
The great thing about the rose is that you can focus more on the beauty of the flower, and even though you know the thorn is there it doesn’t detract from the delicate beauty.
“If It Doesn’t Kill Me, It Makes Me Stronger”
I wasn’t always strong. I chose to hide behind my hurts and fears for a long time, because it was just so easy that way. But, it only ended up in a vicious cycle of downward spirals. So many times I sat down on the journey: Should I go on? Should I give up?
It took more than one epiphany to realize that it was time to swim against the current and break through the deceptive bubble of fears that was making me weaker by the day. It was too late to go back. No matter what happened, there wasn’t any way to retrace my steps; it was always about moving forward.
Besides, to me, strength is not about never crying or never feeling weak. Strength, I believe, lies in accepting your weaknesses, facing your fears, and admitting your vulnerabilities. For it takes courage to admit one’s shortcomings and face them. And, courage and strength are usually two sides of the same coin. Strength, I feel, lies in not giving up on yourself or your ethics, no matter what the situation that surrounds you.
“It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn”
There were times when it seemed as if the darkness would close in around me, sucking me into the murky depths of its bottomless pits. There were times when hope seemed like a candle in the wind — flickering, unsteady, wavering. Anxiety pricked me, self-doubts mocked me, a sense of failure and despondency engulfed me. Yet somehow — somehow — faith carried me over.
Faith is the essence of many things. It takes on new dimensions as we grow with it. Learn from it. It doesn’t make us perfect; it makes us more humanly compassionate. It allows forgiveness. It’s diplomatic. It gives pride without being prideful. It’s being a warrior of strength through all things. Faith made me hang on to that sliver, that teetering edge that prevents you from toppling over, and faith somehow saw me through the dark night and into the dawn.
“All Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”
I’m not sure how many people are left in my life. Seems special people have come and gone for one reason or another. Some of those relationships I can’t repair. I kept thinking if it was meant to be, it would be. I’m questioning that statement.
Not everyone is willing to fight to hang on to something special. It’s easier to let go and walk away. I let them go but I never released the dream they created within me. I’m not really sure what I expected them to do. You can’t go back to what was but I am hoping what will be has the potential to be better.
And then… I noticed something had changed. Yesterday the colors of winter were everywhere — dull browns, faded russets, spotted yellows, and muted reds. Almost overnight nature transformed from a dormant oat colored carpet into fresh green blades of grass. The birds started singing and playing with each other. Spring blossomed after a long winter — literally and metaphorically.
I know what a miracle is. I know love carried me all the way. As I look out into the soft morning light I know how blessed I’ve been. I shouldn’t be here, gazing at the awesomeness of it. But, I am because love carried me to this moment. Maybe I wasn’t deserving; I fought hard to prove I was. So much is waiting for me to re-discover.
It’s been a long journey but I always saw the happiness around the corners where the shadows lurked.
“Life Goes On”
I carry a part of everyone with me everyday. At some point or other they’ll help me overcome or have a greater understanding for something. Maybe that’s the gift they leave you with as they part from your life.
It has to be enough sometimes. It’s like the last little flower in the garden that hasn’t withered. It stands tall and beautiful facing the scorching heat of summer. You watch it drop its petals one by one, then fade as the season draws to an end. But the image of it is pressed in your memory… and it sustains you. And you know when the time and conditions are right it’ll return even stronger and more beautiful then when you last saw it.
I might not ever get a chance to thank everyone who’s made a contribution to my life. I may have missed some opportunities to express my gratitude and love to some of them. But, I also want them to know I’ll never forget them. I realize each person in my life fulfilled a dream in me.
~ Woman in the Moon