As we drift into a new decade, our eyes scan over the landscape we leave behind. In a quick glance we see the glorious mountains of our hard work and achievements, and the deep, dark lakes of loss and hard lessons learned. But there is much we have traveled that may not be visible to us from this vantage, like the crevices between mountains where we camped for days, months, maybe even years, so eager to find the trail which will lead us upward to the peak; or the islands within the lakes where we caught our breath from fear of drowning, and found the courage to continue swimming. We did not make it this far without those in-between times, which may be just as important, if not more so, than the great and obvious feats.
We have faced fears, established boundaries, and learned to love the parts of ourselves we once thought were unlovable. We’ve overcome old habits (and maybe picked up a few new ones along the way). We’ve become wiser. We can recognize a toxic person from a mile away. We can also tell who is truly worth our time and love. From where we began at the beginning of this ten-year adventure, we know so much more about who we are and where we want to go, even if the horizon ahead is still blurry. We have been hurt enough times to know how to heal ourselves, and how to walk away even when our feet are broken. We have gone hungry, but we’ve also been overfed to the point where we thought we would burst. We’ve sobbed and laughed; created and destroyed. We’ve changed paths so many times that it might feel like we’ve hardly made any progress at all, but one thing is for certain: we know where we don’t want to be.
We should take pride in those mountain peaks, but never forget the hard caves we slept in in order to have the strength to climb them. We must honor the journey in its entirety.