When You Feel Like You Have Been Running Forever

Will Folsom
Will Folsom

Goals are good. It is nice to want something and to chase it. I think that’s human.

As Sheenagh Pugh wrote:

sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes a goal takes forever, but we get there. We dig deep. We persevere.

Sometimes we don’t reach them. We fall short. We stumble at the finish line despite our best intentions. To be completely honest, sometimes that failure is welcome. It’s exhausting to be running and running and running.

Sometimes our goals turn into carrot sticks dangled in front of us. We can’t quit because they’re right there, though we’ll never get any closer to them. Quitting seems like such a failure, but not every one gets to accomplish what they set out for. There comes a time when no matter how few inches separate you from the finish line, it doesn’t matter, you have to stop. You have to figure out how to be okay with quitting.

Is your life going to be better when you reach your goal? Maybe. But how great is the quality of life you have while you are sacrificing everything else for it? Sure we’ll be happy when we reach our goal, but we aren’t promised that part of the equation. We’re promised the right now part, the part that we’re sacrificing for an unknowable.

This is why giving up can be brave.

You always watch someone quit and you think “they should have been able to hold out for just a few more minutes.” But when you’re in that situation a switch happens where you just don’t care anymore. You snap. You realize nothing is worth this. Nothing is worth your health and your sanity and your quality of life. Nothing is worth being stressed out about every day for months (or years). Whoever you are and whatever you have done, you deserve more than the kind of life that is bondaged to this stress.

Maybe it’s okay to fail. Maybe it’s better to fail and be human and get to go on with your life than suspending it forever in the hopes of what may one day come.

As Jennifer Michael Hecht said:

they didn’t fill
the desert with pyramids.
They just built some. Some.

They’re not still out there,
building them now. Everyone,
everywhere, gets up, and goes home.

It’s okay to go home when you’re tired. We’re only human. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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