Uphill Starts

So you take a break.

It’s not so bad, after all, just sitting here. You can look behind you at how far you’ve come. You can shut your eyes, and hear life whizzing past your window. Just on the other side of the glass, you can hear engines growling as they shoot past; you can almost imagine that you’re still on the move.

But eventually you’re going to have to look forward. You’re going to have to see how far you’ve still got to go. And you’re going to have to figure out how to get this damn car started again.

In the end, starting over on my driving test wasn’t the most difficult uphill start I ever had to face. No, that award could go to the first time I walked away from the fragments of my teenage broken heart — and had to figure out how to fall in love again with only porcelain splinters where the beating organ used to be. Or it could go to the time I was sent home, ill, just four days after starting university in a strange new city — and had to start again, one month later, still fatigued from the glandular fever and trying to force myself into friendship groups that had taken the last month to bond. (Thanks to the glandular fever, I also couldn’t drink — and that does not make the UK university experience easy, let me tell you…)

But most likely, that award has to go to this moment right now. The one where I’m writing again, even after I burned out. The one where I’m writing again, even after I got my first barrage of negative comments and let it scare me away for months. The one where I’m writing again, even after I let my dream fizzle out because I got too tired, too sad, too overwhelmed.

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