If there is one thing I have learned for sure in my life it is that my happiness relies on my ability to truly "roll with the punches". Life is going to be unkind, I am going to, at times, put forth my best effort and still fail. I will be kicked while I am down, my faith will be tested, and I will be left wondering if it's even worth trying anymore- I have found that the point is not to achieve constant highs in life, but to endure the lows with dignity and class and to never back down.

That part is becoming easier for me. However, I still have a hard time differentiating between failures that result from my own shortcomings and those that were just meant to be. I can't help but feel that "if I had never..." or "if I had just..." things would have worked out according to my plan. My well thought out- built with blood, sweat, and tears plan. I can't help but wonder if I am just not trying hard enough.

The whole thing is a catch-22 really; if I believe that my failure(s) are a result of circumstances beyond my control I risk neglecting to admit to my missteps and risk repeating the same mistakes. But if I believe my failure(s) are a result of things I did or did not do I can end up putting too much pressure on myself. The key, of course, is balance- but I struggle to find that.

I have to admit that at least the last decade of my life has been built on convincing others that I am confident and strong. Proving that I know what I am doing and that I can do anything- with the belief that if I could convince others I might someday believe it myself. The problem is that when I am scared or feel lost I don't want to show weakness. I was a seriously emotionally unstable adolescent and I know that that is not the person I want to be. But now I can't reach out, I can rarely admit defeat, I suffer in silence.

I know that I can't win 'em all. I know that it is always darkest before the dawn. I know that things will get better. I know that I can't give up. And most importantly, I know that I will never get anyone to believe in me until I can believe in myself. I guess some serious soul searching is in order.