The first thirty years of my life felt like one long fight.
It took the entire last decade just to crawl out of the crap from the first two. In that time, I picked up some more. I listened to my father's disappointment in me on the phone, in his regular typed letters, or every day in my own head. I watched every single person I knew at Harvard eclipse me in salary and social rank, and I knew my father was right. I loved men who would never love me. I let people trample over my boundaries - hell, what boundaries? I cowered at the voice in my head that told me I was a miserable human being. I went through the loneliest periods of my life, times I don't like to think about. There were moments I thought I'd never stop crying.
Obviously, I kept crawling. And for the first thirty years of my life, making it through was accomplishment enough.
But that's not what I fight for today. Now that I'm on the other side at last, I have a new task:
To not let it harden me.
I'm not sharing this to be maudlin. But to tell you that if you've ever crawled in the dark, if you're crawling through it now, keep crawling. And when you make it through, there's one final thing you must do to not surrender.
The crust that pain makes around you? You must break it off you.
It might have helped you while you were in there, in that dark. But it won't help you now. You don't need it.
You just need to commit to this one thing:
Never let the pain make your heart hard.