It takes guts to show up as the main character in the middle of a story you don’t know how you wound up in. It takes grit to pick up a pen and rewrite the script. To create a role you want to play, even on the bad days. One you’re proud of when the credits roll.

I’m finding a great deal of importance in standing in front of the mirror, shaky hands, frizzy hair, dark circles under my eyes, oversized t-shirt I wear as pajamas and daytime clothing. Just standing there, looking at myself. Not at who I’ve been, not at the version of myself I liked best, not at who I am when I’m all put together and filtered. And I focus on the person looking back at me in that moment, no matter how messy, and I own who THAT person is. I cherish them. I thank them for not giving up, for carrying their heavy into another day. And I go on a scavenger hunt for all of the little minuscule details that I like, that make me me. I notice the smile lines strung across the sides of my mouth like Christmas lights. The faint freckles fading with the summer. The poetry of my pulse. The evidence of storms, but the aftermath of strength.

I’ve always been weary of words like “courage” and “strength” - especially if I’m associating them with myself. They feel like superhero words. Like something you would call someone charging into a battlefield. But those words have been redefined for me in this last season. Now everyone I look at fits into the category of courageous, strong, brave, heroic. To wake up and walk your story out another day. To get dressed in the clothes that make you feel the most you. To carry all of the debris of where you’ve been and still have vision for a new floor plan. If you’re reading this, you’re my hero. You are brave and you showed up today. Thank you. We are all glad you did. I think of it like this, we are all walking, breathing, pulsing construction sites. Most days none of our tools make any sense. That’s not because we are incapable of building, it just means the master Builder is behind the scenes making us into someone we could never create on our own. Go look at yourself in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say “hey, thank you for staying.”