Once is enough to see your parents cry. Watching their eyes grow glossy as streaks of tears drip down their sunken-in cheeks as your stomach grows completely hollow. The people who raised you are now stripped with nothing but their vulnerability. Being strong is the only option you have left.
Once is enough to be cheated on. The seed of trust you planted, watered, and gave light to has become rotted with betrayal. You find it unbearable to even think about constructing this idea of faith with someone completely new and different. It’s wiping yourself completely naked and risking your stitched up heart once again.
Once is enough to break up with a friend. Memories have grown gray and their face appears foreign. It’s painful to try and forget the effortless comfort you mutually shared. When your trust wilted from a loved one’s disloyalty, at least you had your best friend to spoon you together. But who is left to hold your heart now?
Once is enough to intentionally hurt yourself. You watched yourself leak blood and felt your insides grow dark. Your eyes started to water but not before they began to bat themselves shut. Yet the idea of inflicting any more damage to your own healthy body makes you grow cold with shame and guilt.
Once is enough to lose a dream. Success was teasing away at your hands one fingertip at a time. When the wind swept it away you grew hopeless of any glimpse of light to appear before your eyes again. You hope that nothing will ever wipe away the sun that way again.
Once is enough to feel hopeless. Every day things are going to go wrong – whether it’s missing your train or losing a friend. Every day is a risk that becomes chilling to think about. But for every failure, there is a new opportunity for success. Some things may happen only once, some things twice, and some things never. You will live unconditionally fearless once you learn how to expect the worst and hope for the best.