Friday, December 7, 2012

Life Revelations, a Few Years Later

Sometimes things get worse before they get better.

Sometimes they get a LOT worse.

I somehow got sucked into looking at old Facebook posts tonight on my profile. Thanks to the wonder of the timeline, it's easy to go back a few years and look at the silly things you used to write. Mixed in with the silly is the occasional meaningful post, or the post with an underlying message that the average reader wouldn't catch. But you know what's there, you lived the raw emotions, the moments of desolation, the secret fears.

I covered a lot of ground in the past 3+ years. Emotional roller coaster after emotional roller coaster. There were the highest highs and the lowest lows, and looking back, I remember many moments where I felt utterly lost.

I felt the most lost when I lived in Colorado and when I first moved back to Iowa. I know because I remember. I was reminded of that tonight when I crossed a few posts that said things to the effect of, "I wish I could figure out my life."

Okay, we all wish we could figure out our lives, because who really has it all together? But sometimes we're more lost and confused than other times. And that was my season, Denver to Clinton, I was so lost. That was the lowest of the low, when I hit rock bottom. I remember constantly thinking, where am I going and what am I doing? Life felt like a wilderness and I was wandering across it, not even sure if I was headed in the right direction, parched and looking for shelter.

One of the biggest things I learned was that life can take the steepest of downhill plunges before it even begins to get better. Looking back on that wilderness now, it seems so far away. Now, on this side where things are starting to make so much more sense and I have less of the "what am I doing?" feeling. Now it's like I can see again. And with 20-20, I know the past was the way it was for a reason. There was desolation, but there was also life and growth. The sand of the wilderness shaped who I am, who I am becoming.

Now I know that life sometimes reaches the point where you think you've come to the end of all things. Sometimes it feels like you've sunk so low you'll drown beneath the weight of everything crushing above you. Sometimes it feels like the wilderness is endless.

But if there is one thing I've learned, it's that life does get better. Maybe it takes months or years, but eventually we come to the end of the wilderness. And if we've learned all we needed to, we'll come out refined, purged, wiser, and able to see the path before us.

Here's to finding that path and following it wholeheartedly. Here's to remembering that when the worst comes, sometimes what's better is just behind that distant horizon. Here's to remembering that the wilderness is not endless.

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