I am still here. And you are still here. And we are breathing and our hearts are beating and we are living. After every scar, every tear, every heartbreak, we are still standing--and if that’s not something to be proud of, I’m not sure what is.
There are days, I’m sure, where you felt as if you had the weight of the world on your shoulders. There were days where it took all of my energy to do everyday things. There were days where I thought I would never fall in love with life again. And then I did. And I woke up for another day.
What I’ve learned is that you have to celebrate the little victories. You have to celebrate the days where you pulled yourself out of bed even though all you wanted to do was stay there. You have to celebrate the items you checked off of your to-do list instead of being frustrated with yourself for not completing everything. You have to celebrate laughter and random compliments from strangers and bright blue skies. What I’ve learned is that happiness is never permanent--but neither is sadness. What I’ve learned is not every day will be a good day, but you go to bed and wake up for another one. The sun sets. The sun rises. Your eyes will flutter open to the greeting of daylight, and you will be here.
And maybe for some who don’t want to be here, that is not comforting. I know surviving is different than living. I know it can be tiring to keep telling yourself that it’ll be okay--that you’ll be okay--but if there’s one truth in this world, it’s that everything will get better. If you had told me that in my darkest of moods or on my worst of days, I know I wouldn’t have believed you. But dear younger me, dear anyone in a rough patch, I swear on my life it will get better. Because guess what? It’s gotten better.
I have not won every battle. I have not reached it to every hilltop. I’ve fallen and tripped over myself many, many times, but what defines a person is whether or not they get back up. I have been to the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs. I find comfort in these words, “I am better than I was, I will be better than I am.” I am still here.
Too often we view happiness as a destination, which it is not. There’s no map with a big "X" on it telling you where and how to find happiness. Life will never be solely sunshine and rainbows, there will always be storm clouds and rainy days. But how could we ever appreciate the good if we never knew of the bad? You’ll have to learn to dance in the rain and use the thunder as a beat because you cannot live waiting for every storm to pass.
There are so many more sunsets to watch, so many more pictures to take, so many more people to meet, and adventures to have. You have to believe that. Despair can consume you, don’t let it. Life is tough but I can promise you, you are tougher.