Survival of the Fittest: What it means to me

25 Nov

It has been several weeks since my last blog entry, mostly because my travels have kept me in assorted cities, pouring over budgets and spreadsheets, drinking excess amounts of coffee and just feeling really, well… blah!  Tonight was my first real opportunity to slow down and prepare my favorite Southern desserts to the sounds of holiday music.  I couldn’t resist dancing around the kitchen when Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” blasted through my Sony speakers; the spectacle was a cross between Risky Business and Jazzercise.


Throughout the day, this pre-Thanksgiving day, I’ve been pondering all of the things, tangible and intangible, that I am thankful for.  With the maximum 140 characters allowed on Twitter, I expressed my appreciation for every new day and every opportunity to a newfound friend.  I posted a comment about being thankful for everyone who believes in me to assist in the announcement of  And still, after the posts and discussions with friends, I still feel like I haven’t summed it all up.  I have yet to encompass all of my feelings and thoughts into one statement until now…




Being a science buff, this statement reflects one of the greatest accomplishments of all time: the ability to evolve.  Being able to evolve, to survive, is a daunting task.  It isn’t something you can decide to do today and accomplish tomorrow.  It takes time… strength… possibly something that is in your DNA (no pun intended) that tells you to never give up!  One must persevere; One must roll with the punches as we often say.  But in essence it’s much more than that: it’s learning from those mistakes, those bad choices, or even those situations you find yourself in that are beyond your control.  The next logical step is to apply what you’ve learned to future situations, adapting and evolving.  There is that word again…


I’ve only spent a few short months opening my heart and my mind to complete strangers in the social media realm, yet the complexity of my thoughts have become apparent to many.  There are many aspects of my life that will remain private, although I must expose some minor details in order to drive home the message behind this blog.

Why am I speaking about Survival of the Fittest?

That’s easy: this Thanksgiving holiday, I am most thankful for having the ability to survive.  To learn.  To grow.


When I was only 6 1/2 years old, my father passed away tragically.  It was if my whole world had fallen apart.  I was truly a daddy’s girl in every sense of the word; we were basically inseparable.  Although I was quite young, my memories of my father were (until recently) vivid in my mind.  He not only had a love for cars, but a true gift in the art of metal fabrication and the rebuilding of engines and carburetors.  I loved to ride in his ’69 Chevelle SS; I can remember how hot those black vinyl seats could get in the 95 degree summer sun.  We would often drive to the convenience store together… in a time when sitting on dad’s lap as he accelerated down the highway was a normal occurrence.  We both loved chocolate milk, big bowls of chocolate ice cream and the Dukes of Hazzard (wow, Friday nights are never that good anymore).  We loved to sing Yellow Submarine together, watch the game show Let’s Make a Deal and laugh at the contestants who got greedy and were only offered the donkey behind door #2…

And then…

I knew my father wasn’t alive when I woke that morning.  My life was forever altered.  My mother was an emotional wreck and I had to be strong… especially since my little brother was coming into this world a mere 7 months later…

This was the beginning of a path that I couldn’t see at that moment, but now it is crystal clear.  At an early age, much earlier than I would have ever desired, I was exposed to a traumatic experience.  An experience that shaped me, molded me into the person that I am today.


At this point you are expecting me to say that I am bitter, angry and cold to the world.  However, that is not the case.  Children have this amazing ability to comprehend much more than they are given credit for; believe me this I know is true from experience!  As tragic as my loss was at the time, I believe it gave me an instinct, a survival capability that many do not have the opportunity to grasp until much later in life.  And, as you know, children can learn at an amazing rate compared to the average adult!


So, today, this month, this time of year that seems to remind us of all that is good in the world, I am expressing sentiment towards survival.  Every ounce of my being, every step that I take, is in honor of my father.  I strive to give everything my best, whether it is work, friendships, love…




If there are others with similar stories reading my blog, I would truly love to hear from you.  I know I cannot be alone in the way I feel.  The way I live.  The way I survive.



3 Responses to “Survival of the Fittest: What it means to me”

  1. Bryan November 26, 2009 at 12:55 am #

    Right on the money once again! Love this post. If you ever get the time in your busy schedule, maybe you could read my post entitled “Just Do Your Best”. It relates to the relationship, or lack thereof between my Father and I. Might be a couple things in there you can relate to as well.

    PS: Where’s you’re Retweet Button?

    • carissajones94 November 26, 2009 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks Bryan! I will read your post later today, after consuming mass amounts of turkey and crashing for the afternoon! And as for the retweet button, I think I might need to upgrade my service. Or, maybe I’m not as IT savvy as I once thought.

  2. Patrick McIntosh November 26, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    I Love my little girl. She is 7 months-old. Carissa. Thank you for your post.

    I can tell you understand a father’s love for his daughter and I can feel your love for him. Thank you for looking at things through healthy -glasses and drawing strength.
    Thanks, Brian for tweeting this post. I will have to RT you (mcinpat).
    BTW I can play the Waylin Jennings theme song on the guitar.

    Thank you. We have so much to be thankful for.

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