Someone asked me the other day if I remembered when the hardest decision I had to make in a day was what color crayon to use. Years and years ago I am sure picking between sea foam green and sky blue seemed like a defining decision that affected my existence. “Does sea foam green best define my mood after waking from a nap and finishing my juice box? Or is sky blue the better expression of my infantile emotional state as I attempt to illustrate my vivid imagination?” (Yes, I like to imagine myself as the type of child who would be concerned about the color of a crayon reflecting my inner emotional self. In reality it was more like “Blue is pretty! Green is icky!”)
Ah to be a child again… I remember I used to hope and pray that time would go by faster so I could be a grown-up. I couldn’t wait to throw my own parties like my parents did or stay up late watching those funny TV shows I could never understand. I will admit being an adult has its perks. I can stay up as late as I want, I can reach the back of the pantry where the good snacks are hidden, and I can watch TV all weekend long if I want to. These are wonderful privileges, it’s true, but why did it all seem so glamorous when I was a child? Unfortunately everything just gets more complicated as we grow older. As we attempt to mature we learn that people are not always dependable and relationships become more convoluted. (I hear you saying “Well DUH… is this supposed to be insightful?” but I am going somewhere with this, I swear).
Time passes and friends you once relied on to do anything for you start drifting away. Before you know it, they’re no longer the same friend you remember. As a child, friends were true friends to the end. There were no judgments to be made regarding your morality, religion, political views, etc. The only fight that may have occurred was whether someone feels like sharing their favorite toy. Now our friends become more than just our playmates, they become family. You give them your trust despite the fact they could betray you. When you were younger, there was no question as to whether your friend would help you up when you fell on the playground. Now our friends can choose to keep running, leaving you behind to tend to your bloody knee all by yourself.
Let’s face it, it’s impossible not to trip and fall in life. Sometimes your friends will be there to help you and other times you will find yourself sitting alone watching the ones you depended on flee the scene. Thus my first realization – it’s time to stop putting faith in those people that let you down. Stop expecting them to support you through anything. Stop relying on them when they fail you. It’s time to move forward with a strong support system and leave that dead weight behind.
Now, don’t forget, you are going to fall. You are going to fall HARD and it’s possible that no one will be there to help you. And so my second realization – if I fall and no one is there to help, who the hell cares? It’s the decision to get up and keep climbing that mountain that makes us who we are. Would it be easy to stop where you are, set up camp, and never leave? Hell yes! But stopping mid-way on your own journey is a cowardly way to let your life pass you by. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s going to hurt. However, I owe it to myself to fight whatever hell may lie in front of me.
So you know, these realizations have stemmed from a recent terrible, indescribable fall. Looking up from where I’ve fallen, I don’t see too many people holding out their hands to help me up. I can tell you right now, it doesn’t feel so great. Despite this pain and the bruises I have brought upon myself, I’m not setting up camp and calling it quits. Thankfully as I begin to brush the dirt off and start walking, I see a few shining faces that I have always been able to rely on. You know who you are and I want you to know that I love and cherish you all beyond words. Thank you for the support, the hugs, the laughs, the smiles, and the reassurance that I have sorely needed. Thank you for taking my hand and reminding me the end of the world only comes when you give up.