I heard a quote once, about how each day we are navigating the journey to “become more clearly ourselves.” At the time, I thought (somewhat smugly, as teenagers are prone to do) that I was already there, that I already knew who I was, what I was capable of. I thought I was already “ahead of the game” and could get on with the business of living my life, free of the uncertainty wrought out of the process of personal growth.
Some fifteen years later, I stand here humbled by my naivete, an example of how everything we think we know about ourselves can be challenged, changed, questioned, answered, broken, and made new.
If the me today had taken the me of then aside, providing a list of all the intense hardships I’d face, but said “and you will not just overcome, but you and your Faith will grow stronger in the process”… I would have laughed. Hysterically. Maybe even maniacally. Because to all outward appearances, no one — no one! — could face these things (some horrible beyond compare!), and walk through virtually unscathed.
But by the Grace of God, I did. I have. I am.
And somehow, amid all the hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, anxiety-inducing act of living a life under fire, I found the real me.
As I stand here at the beginning of 2015, my resolution is to become the best, truest version of me that I can. My resolution is to never hide from myself again, I resolve to look in the mirror and embrace everything I see — both dark and light. Because I am not just the victories, I am also the adversities I’ve faced. I am a survivor — a fighter! — for all my messy hangups, failures, and shining moments of awesome glory.
It is the end, but it’s also a new beginning.