On the days when it feels like you will never get through this season, this period, this transition — please remember all of the mountains you have scaled before. Please remember all of the nights you spent convinced that the anxiety wouldn’t leave, that you’d never move beyond where you were in that very moment.
Whether you realized it or not, the time passed. Without you having to even try, joy emerged from your days. One day, something small brought you a little ease, and then a little more. You waited. You realized that everything was going to be okay, even if it doesn’t always feel okay. You let the waves crash, and then you let them recede.
Whether you realized it or not, you found courage. You did things you once did not believe you could do, even if those things were just finding the will to wake up and face each day. You felt worse than you were capable of feeling, you suffered loss that you couldn’t have conceived prior. You were awakened to reality, which is sometimes cold, and sometimes hard, and sometimes brutally unfair.
But also, unimaginably sweet. Because while you were mourning what you thought would be, you also found softness. You discovered how important it is to love the people nearest to you, and how invaluable they are. You began to appreciate what you didn’t see before. You began to know that you were enough, because you decided what was enough.
Whether you realized it or not, you became resilient. You explored the perimeters of what your heart could hold, and how much it could process. You discovered that your strength is limitless, you just don’t know what if it’s never been tested before.
And over time, what was once impossible became easy.
The life you have today is a mere dream of the past. The things you do right now were once the things you only could have ever prayed to have. The people in your life are the ones you gazed out the window for years and wondered if they would ever arrive, if someone would ever show up that made you feel so deeply understood.
You do not have to have everything in order to make the best of anything, because the truth is that goodness is something we extract from life, something we savor, something we choose to see. It’s not always something we can achieve, or find.
So when the day comes that it feels most like you will never move beyond where you are right now, please remember how far you have walked, and through what. Please remember all of the times you were stuck and were sure you would never get out from under the crushing weight of your own disappointment and defeat. Please remember all of the times you were truly heartbroken, truly let down.
Then remember all of the nights you dreamed of being where you are right now. The days you spent working and planning and hoping that it would all work out. In one way or another, a path was made where it did not exist before. The opportunities showed up. The doors creaked open. You met the people who you’d spend years of your life with, people who were once strangers.
You discovered things about yourself you did not yet know. You learned what it takes to feel safe, and not. You learned what you enjoy, and what you don’t. You learned what you value, and what you don’t. You learned, because you discovered, the honest truth of who you are and who you’re going to be.
You found yourself, not because you were searching, but because you were cornered. When discomfort in life peaks, we are left to look around and wonder why. Through that reflection, we discover all the pieces that are out of place, and then we find the courage to put them back together.
You will move the pieces in front of you today.
You will arrive to the horizon you’re gazing at in due time.
Instead of fearing that the road will fall out from under you, return to what life has shown you: that things can be scary, but that a way is always made. That even if you don’t believe you’re worthy, you’re always given enough. That even if you don’t believe you’re lovable, you’re always loved. That even if you don’t think there’s a way forward, there always is.
When it feels most like nothing will ever give and the mountain ahead of you won’t ever be scaled, remember how you crossed every one that’s behind you: one step, one hour, one moment, one glimmer of hope at a time.