You arrived to this chapter a bit disheveled. In the chapters before, you discovered a dozen versions of yourself, but all of them crumbled around you the moment he’d let go. So, following a radical burst of courage, you decided to embark. You set out, a car full of belongings and a heart full of hope, and you made your way here. Into the sky you rose and fell, searching for a story to call your own.
And you made your way here.
The day you arrived here, you took a look around you, exhaled, and wondered just what the hell you’d done. Removed from everything familiar, facing those first nights alone and uncertain, you considered writing an escape plan. You could make your way home, return to the pages you’d lived before, and not a soul would blame you.
But, brave girl, you decided to stay.
In the earliest days, staying was the practice of stubbornness. Each morning, you roused yourself to your feet, brushed your teeth, sized yourself up in the mirror, and bundled your things. Every footstep a conscious decision, you made your way through the first week. Then the first month. Someday, you promised yourself, it was going to make sense.
Perhaps you held out hope that it would click all at once. The work you were doing would boost your spirits, the friends you were working to know would understand your spirit. One day, perhaps, the setting of the sun would not find you feeling alone, uncertain, and small.
But life isn’t nearly that simple, and growth isn’t ever that clean. For every mile you journeyed forward, you were greeted by another reason to reconsider the walk. The act of growing, of breaking old habits like bones and allowing our bodies to heal, is harrowing, clumsy, and indefinite.
But, somehow, you decided to stay.
You found them, the pieces of yourself you were searching for, one at a time. One evening, surprised at something somebody said, a laugh billowed from your lungs, reminding you of your joy. On another, you talked someone through the tangle of their pain, rediscovering your strength. And so you found them all –– your kindness, your courage, your ambition, your wit, your boldness, your softness, your resilience –– and, in the finding of all that, you lost track of your footsteps.
And now, here you are, wrapping up the chapter you weren’t certain you’d see through. Did it sneak up on you, the conclusion of these days? When you look in the mirror, do you see the girl you saw on that first night, eyes searching and unsure? Or do you see somebody new, a person restored?
The art of living is tough to get the hang of, brave one, but you’ve learned that no chapter can last forever.
You decided to stay the course, write your life in daring directions, and find pieces of your being amidst all the uncertainty.
You found the courage to believe her, the girl who bet on herself to brave the unfamiliar, and she gave you all the growing you needed in return. You wrote this chapter, brave one, and you’ll write all the ones ahead of you.