I stumbled onto some old emails, from a young, floundering version of myself, from a very different, and very difficult, time of life. What an odd thing, to see those moments as little, to be gathering snapshots of what was, once, so major. Looking back, I can see now that the shifts taking place were definitely as important as I thought they were, but they certainly weren't as finite as they felt.
Things got messy for awhile there. I had no idea who I was, and as a result, my life and everything in it rolled around me. Instead of decisions, I would make hasty stabs into the dark world of pretense, unplanned desire, and impatience; a practice I'd long since made a habit. I'd grab for anything that seemed like certainty, I idolized anything that looked like independence. I was desperate for a footing, and in my desperation, found none. These waves crashed in a terrible anti-rhythm for quite some time.
Thankfully, I got broken. I backed myself up the shoreline and let the water take the last bits of my house; I'd never gotten settled in it anyway. And then I sat there. For a long time, I didn't move. I didn't build myself up because I didn't know how. I was finally at peace, but I was tired. My body stayed put to memorize the sand, the sound of remaining winds, and I watched the ocean do to others what I felt it had done to me.
Now, looking back, I can assure myself that nothing's ever finished. If only I had known, then, what was to come. How often have we said this to ourselves? If only I'd known.
The thing is, we do know. We know every storm has an eye and an ending. We know time is short and we should make the most of it. We know we should save for the rainy days. We know every tide has its turning point. So our stretching, and the punches we take, become less about what we are ready for and more about how we respond. Less instruction, more intuition. Less pruning, more roots.
Less stress, more assurance.
When our problems are big and resolution eludes us, it would do us well to remember this: we will be okay in the end. If we choose growth, we'll be thankful, too. This will pass. We will learn from this. We are only ever a less experienced version of our future selves, and experience is a non-stop process. If we don't know it now we will know it eventually.
We may not know how to swim, but we are made almost entirely of water. No matter how deep you feel you are, you are always in your element.
Every ocean touches a shore.