“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Brick walls hurt. I can confidently tell you this from the collection of fragmented bricks that trail throughout the steps of my past. These walls once stood in front of me in all different shapes and sizes. Some were exorbitantly thick while others were mighty and tall. The worst of them surrounded me on all four corners. The best of them were paper thin, though I never found that out until I gathered the courage to go through them.

My inital approach to destroy them was highly inefficient. I used to walk up to the wall, pointlessly stare at it, and say something along the lines of “I don’t understand why this is happening to me.” This was generally followed up by complaining to multiple people about my situation.

Ahh, but that sympathy felt so good…or so I thought.

I realized the more people I would tell and the greater detail I went into, the further I was digging myself in my misery. Rather than dealing with the situation, I kept reliving it. Communicating your feelings during times of struggle is vital but I wasn’t communicating. Instead, I was moping and procrastinating from tearing down the wall and moving forward with my life.

Though destruction of the previous walls was strategically flawed, they left me with big muscles and callused knuckles. With that, the manner in which I conduct wall destruction now has changed. The last few were approached with ” alright bitch, let’s do this,” followed by some awesome ninja moves. All I can say is THANK GOD, or buddha, or jesus, or your mom, or whomever else you feel is appropriate to thank. Truly speaking, life is far simpler when the things that once held you back can now excel you forward.

Metaphoric brick walls aside, I am truly grateful for every moment of challenge and struggle I have ever come across. I would absolutely be a different person with out them and the person I am today, I happen to love. I am not trying to imply that I am an all-knowing expert at dealing with challenging times. Within my own life, I have just chosen to always find the good in even the worst of times. I freely allow myself to experience every emotion going through my body as a result of it. I greet these emotions kindly, acknowledge their existence, tell them to fuck off, and then let them go. I look for the lesson that each one has hidden. I focus on the strength that I know will come when it’s over. Time is too limited to get slowed down or stopped for too long.

This mentality works for me. Explore what works for you.

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