Excerpt from I Stood Yesterday. I Can Stand Today. by Dorothy Dix
I have known want and struggle and anxiety and despair. I have always had to work beyond the limit of my strength. As I look back upon my life, I see it as a battlefield strewn with the wrecks of dead dreams and broken hopes and shattered illusions–a battle in which I always fought with the odds tremendously against me, and which has left me scarred and bruised and maimed and old before my time.
Yet I have no pity for myself; no tears to shed over the past and gone shadows; no envy for the women who have been spared all I have gone through. For I have lived. They only existed. I have drunk the cup of life down to its very dregs. They have only sipped the bubbles on top of it. I know things they will never know. I see things to which they are blind. It is only the women whose eyes have been washed clear with tears who get the broad vision that makes them little sisters to all the world.
I have learned in the great University of Hard Knocks a philosophy that no woman who has had an easy life ever acquires.
I have learned to live each day as it comes and not to borrow trouble by dreading the morrow. It is the dark menace of the picture that makes cowards of us. I put that dread from me because experience has taught me that when the time comes that I so fear, the strength and wisdom to meet it will be given me. Little annoyances no longer have the power to affect me. After you have seen your whole edifice of happiness topple and crash in ruins about you, it never matters to you again that a servant forgets to put doilies under the finger bowls, or the cook spills the soup.
I have learned not to expect too much of people, and so I can still get happiness out of the friend who isn’t quite true to me or the acquaintance who gossips. Above all, I have acquired a sense of humor, because there were so many things over which I had either to cry or laugh. And when a woman can joke over her troubles instead of having hysterics, nothing can ever hurt her much again. I do not regret the hardships I have known, because through them I have touched life at every point I have lived. And it was worth the price I had to pay.