Have you ever just had one of those days where it feels as if time has slowed to almost a stand still and no matter what you do, you just can't get it to move any faster. You can't concentrate on reading, TV, music... You've cleaned, baked, put the kids to sleep. The evening just stretches before you, and all the things you complain about never getting to do? You don't want to do.

Because, suddenly, there's this openness that you keep stretching toward, this goal you are determined to reach, no matter who or what seems just as determined to keep you away from it. You are reaching out of your shell, out of your comfort zone... and out of everyone else's. Scary thing, that.

Somehow, there has been a shift. It's been coming and coming, the build up has been impossible to ignore. It wasn't a light at the end of a tunnel, it wasn't a welcoming hand. It was a shove into the deep end and a cheery “Swim or die.” It was almost a direct dare to persevere, overcome, walk out of the ashes with your head held high.

So you did. Sort of. You went unheard, felt unseen. You watched your opinion matter very little, and you quietly took stock. You observed, you paid attention. You hurt, you soared. You cried, you felt overwhelming pride in the person you had chosen to spend your life with. And hated them in the next second. You rode the roller coaster, stomach churning the whole time. But you rode. Every single step of the way, through every up and down, losing a little of this and gaining a little of that with every turn. But you rode, unconditionally, even when you doubted and questioned every step.

And then, somewhere on one of those loops, something moved. Slowly, you came to realize that it wasn't up to anyone but you how you felt at the end of every day. And your shoulders relaxed, just a little. You stopped holding your breath quite so long. Because for the first time in God only knows how long, you took it back. You realized that worrying and hurting really weren't changing anything but you, and that was on only one person... yup, you.

So, ever so quietly, you found yourself looking for those pieces you had all but abandoned. And slowly, you are finding them, finding your way. It's a lot of two steps forward, three back, but you've come far enough to know that anything worth having is something you have to work for. And you're working, with and around everyone you know.

Your stomach is still churning, your hands still shaky. But the ride is different now. You are different. And you no longer clutch the rails, eyes clamped shut. You've realized it's a lot more fun with your eyes wide open, and your arms in the air, headfirst into the next adventure.

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