So if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I LOVE road trips. I am extremely restless, so I’m constantly planning trips to see new places and to experience rad things.
This weekend my friends and I ventured to Canyonlands National Park, which is just a few hours south of where I live. I really, really don’t like Halloween, so I figured this weekend was the perfect time to cross Canyonlands off my bucket list.
A trip south was also perfect this weekend because last week was so, so stressful for me. I came home every single night feeling tired and sad and overwhelmed. For the first time in several months I started feeling completely hopeless—like my life was never going to change for the better. Like I was never going to be able to achieve my dreams or reach my goals. Like I was doomed for failure and unhappiness and an all-around crappy life.
And so, I went into this weekend looking for peace. A break from it all. Happiness. A reminder of what I’m fighting for. Contentment. And above all, a little glimmer of hope.
To sum things up, I gained so, so much more than that.
As I hiked along the edges of 1,400-foot cliffs, scrambled up rock faces, and gazed at miles upon miles upon miles of canyons, I realized that so much of what I saw was a product of millions of years of harsh weather conditions.
Arches and sheer rock faces take shape thanks, in large part, to driving winds. Deep, winding canyons often form as a result of persistent rivers. Trees and bushes bend and twist in accordance with the wind patterns they experience.
To put it simply, I realized that the world is shaped by adversity.
It is not broken or destroyed by it. It merely lets winds and rains and storms shape it for the better. It lets adversity make it more beautiful, interesting, and spectacular to look upon.
And then I realized that I can let adversity in my own life do the same thing. Challenges don’t have to break me. Encounters with mean people who don’t understand don’t have to define my life. Hard times don’t have to destroy me.
And they don’t have to destroy you, either.
Instead, we can use adversity to make us stronger, more interesting people. We can let challenges shape our lives—not break our lives. We can weather the storms with smiles on our faces knowing that when they’re over, we’ll be that much more polished and pretty.
There is no doubt that life is hard. And when you have flaws—whether they be mental illnesses, physical ailments, emotional disorders, or anything else—life can seem damn near impossible to make the most of.
But I like to take comfort in the fact that no matter how debilitating my anxiety gets, no matter how awfully people treat me, no matter how much I want to give up, the world around me will always go on.
Day by day, canyons are becoming deeper and more beautiful. Little by little, arches and monuments are becoming rounder and more defined. Inch by inch, trees and bushes and branches become taller and stronger.
And for all those reasons, whatever battle you’re facing is always going to be worth the fight. Your life (and mine!) is always going to be worth living!