You’re going to reach a point when you’ve had enough. When your fire is muted, each small piece of coal having abandoned its orange glow, settling into the sea of dark gray matter. At some point, your fight will leave you. You’ll wrap your arms around your knees and hug so tightly, holding yourself together when you so desperately want to fall apart.
There’s going to be a time you unravel, come apart at the seams, and puddle loosely on the hardwood floor that hasn’t been swept since St. Patrick’s Day of last year.
There’s going to be a time when you feel like you’re not doing your best work. When you feel like you’re not being your best self. When you sit in the silence and think about what can change, picking at your cuticles and feeling like you’re wasting time. Contemplating an early wake up time, more space for dreaming, more movement, and more blissful mess before shaking your head and shuttering the windows.
There’s going to be a time when you can’t sleep. When each second that passes just drives home that YOU. ARE NOT. AT PEACE. Tossing and turning and doubting and loathing. Times when you sleep too much, your legs too heavy and your brain too battered from the sheer exhaustion of always running from who you’re terrified of becoming.
There’s going to be a time when you fall in love, quickly and without reservation, just as there will be a time when you fall out of love just as harshly, the reality smacking you in the nose as you stare across the table at the person you once thought you’d be with forever and realize you no longer want to brush your fingers over the freckles on their shoulders, that you no longer want to combine the heat of your body with the heat of their body, that you no longer like their company.
There’s going to be a time when you just want to rest. Crawl into a dark, warm cocoon and rest your weary bones until the soul sickness subsides. Until you can, once again, pull yourself up by the proverbial bootstraps and take one more step forward. (Because after all, a tiny step forward is still a step forward.)
There’s going to be a time when you compare yourself to others. To the woman standing in front of you in line, effortlessly poised in her nude heels. To the runner who’s 20 yards ahead of you during each and every race. To your Facebook friend from high school who you haven’t spoken to in years, but is now (seemingly) happily married with two kids, even though they sometimes post racist articles and you’re not even sure you want to share a beer with them–let alone share their life.
There’s going to be a time when you want to give up. On your candle-making business. On your 5K. On your relationship. On your life.
And while it’s okay to stumble, stutter over declarations and temporarily lose your way, know this:
There’s going to be a time when you realize that all the things that have made your insides ache in that deep, hollow chamber somewhere between your ribs, are the same things that have been the most transformative. That have helped you define yourself. That have shown you what you’re capable of going through and coming out the other side better off.
There’s going to be a time when only you know what’s best for you. When no amount of advice or research or psychic readings or wishing and wishing and wishing into your fisted hands and the dead of night can guide you as well as your gut.
There’s going to be a time when you look back on all the other times and feel the nostalgia settle in your stomach for the days your insomnia granted you late-night trips to dimly-lit diners. A time when you let go of the anger and bitterness and disappointment and sadness, releasing it into the wind and watching it dissolve like all things dissolve–slowly, and completely.
I know it can be hard to remember how brilliant you are. How your smile is unlike anyone else’s smile in the whole entire world. How you are an important and nonnegotiable part of this large and stunning universe. How your eyelashes so perfectly catch your sweat. The way the hairs on your arms stand up in a standing ovation when the jazz band on the corner hits the perfect note.
But when the path seems dark, and lonely, and likely riddled with murderers and/or pillaging pirates, remember.
Remember the way it feels to blow out birthday candles, the gentle puff of your breath holding the power to change the world. Remember the way your muscles melt after a late summer hike. Remember that you are strong. And you are capable. And you are whole.
You are enough, regardless of where you’ve been or where you plan on going.
And you should be so very proud of yourself. For being here. For sticking around. And for trying, every single day.