Hello from the Other Side

It’s an interesting thing to re-read your own journals.  I do this every once in a while, just because it’s so easy to forget where I have come from.


Sometimes, I look back on relationships and see the places where it all went wrong.  I see the times when I tried to cling to something too hard, when I should have just let go.  I can see the moments when I messed up, when I said something unkind or made a mistake that had consequences later. 

Often when I look back at certain times in my life, though, a funny thing happens.  With the benefit of hindsight, I can see how I struggled, how I persevered, and the moments that changed everything. 

Transitions have never been easy for me, and several months ago, I was right in the middle of a pretty major life transition.  I was in that beginning of a career change, and didn’t know what was coming next. I had just moved back to the United States after spending a year away.  While I was gone, my friends had changed, and I had changed, too. 

I forgot how hard this was, I thought as I read.  For two months, it was nothing but stress, sadness, doubt, and the fear it would never change.  There was a heaviness I just couldn’t shake. 

But right in the middle of it all, there was a day when it started to change.  It started with something fairly commonplace—a new friend and a party.  I had just received a particularly hard job rejection, and I seriously contemplated just staying home watching Netflix in bed.  But in a moment of determination, I dragged myself off the couch and showed up at an apartment full of people I had never met before.  I poured myself a glass of wine, joined a conversation, and said “Hi, I’m Becca.”

I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but there was something about the food and the wine and the music and the people that were the very best medicine.  For the first time in months, it was good to be alive. 

After this, the journal entries started to change.  My circumstances didn’t outwardly change, but something inside was made new.  A tiny bit of hope started to grow which overcame the doubt and fear.  And somewhere along the way, I found what I needed to keep moving forward. 

Every once in a while, we all have an experience like this.  For better or worse, there is one moment that tips the scale.  It’s like the momentary g-force we experience on a roller coaster before it speeds back up a hill, or plummets down to the ground.  These are the experiences that remind us not to take moments for granted, because single moments can change everything. 

From the other side, life is this great story.  We may not get a final resolution, but there are lots of moments of pain and redemption in the middle that make it all worth living.  I like to think of these moments and let them remind me to throw more parties, to invest in relationships, to keep moving forward when it feels like the world is ending, because for better or for worse, we never know when one moment can change everything.  

StoriesBecca Nelson