There will come moments when you will know that all the struggles you have faced were there for a reason, though you did not realize it at the time. Though you bled and hurt and doubted and despaired and questioned while they were ongoing. And in those moments, even if they come years later, you will realize all that you have learned from those crushing blows. You will realize that you are much stronger, more capable and more insightful than you once believed. That you can do what needs to be done. That you know how to land on your feet, regardless of how far you fall. You will be empowered. You will gain true empathy. How you choose to apply that knowledge will be up to you, but you will have a choice, because you will have learned the hard way, the messy, confusing and painful way how not to be a victim.
This truth is at the essence of our humanity. It will carry you through in this field, where we face such adversity and loss. When each moment is filled with a myriad of emotions, interwoven into a glorious and tragic fabric, it is this lesson that will remind you what to hold on to, and ultimately more important, the stuff you need to let go.
My brother Colby reminded me of a quote in Rocky. “It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and still keep moving forward.” So, here’s to all the bad days, the toughest lessons, and the worst hurts because they brought us to today. And today is a damn good day.