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I have learned something profoundly important and liberating.

There’s no way I could have learned this lesson as a child. 

Nor as an adolescent.  

Nor as a young adult.

It is a lesson only time could teach.

Do you remember how you saw the world as a child?

I do.


I believed life was shaped like a plateau. 

You grow, you learn, you find yourself.
You decide who you will be.

At least I was wise enough to know that happiness…

is a recipe that changes by the person.

But I still believed that once you had your recipe…

it stayed.

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And then enter that magical plateau.

With identity, purpose, and happiness achieved,
I would march through the years.

An aging body the only changing factor.

Now I see the truth of it.

Life is not a plateau.

It’s something entirely different.

Something more beautiful and brutal…

We all experience that first crash at some point.

Maybe it happens in our teens,
maybe in our twenties,
maybe later.

It’s the moment when your scaffolding
comes crashing down around you.  

When the life you carefully and meticulously built
unravels without warning.

And despite all your frantic attempts
to reassemble the pieces raining down,
you can’t.

Sometimes you’re the one
who purposefully brings the scaffolding down.

The decision was terrifying,
but somehow you mustered the courage.

Despite the fear of all the unknown
lurking on the other side.

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Now matter how the change was brought about…

There it is.

Sitting squarely in your life, wreaking havoc.

First comes the numb shock.
What just happened?

Then comes anger and

– if you’re me –

blaming people (I know my faults).

But then comes the stage
that I have come to love.

Rebuilding.  Revision.

Knocking at that door in my chest
and taking a step inside again.

I build a new nest

woven from brutal self honesty
and refreshing clarity.

It’s at once a
terrifying and exhilarating process.

And the thing is…
life is full of these changes.

Over and over and over again.

Life is no plateau.

It rises and falls, ebbs and flows.

Just as romances flourish, careers take off,
children are born, dreams are fulfilled…

Relationships also fail, loved ones die,
bank accounts wither, careers stagnate.

And each downturn is an opportunity
to revise and rebuild myself.

Til the day I die
I will be in the process of revising myself.

I understand this now.

And, oh, it is liberating and beautiful.

Cora-Rose-Sand-Castle-China

Does this story speak to you?
Share your thoughts or own unique experience in the comments below.
It may just be exactly what the next reader needs to hear at this exact moment.