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It's the climb
I was heading to work today, relieved that my Lyft driver was allowing me to enjoy my second-to-last commute into the office in silence. I was doing my usual routine–finishing up my make up, responding to some messages, checking my social media accounts, all while simultaneously working through the numerous checklists and points of anxiety that have been rotating through my head recently.
As much as I’m thrilled that I’m finally able to dedicate more time to this project, I also have been feeling incredibly guilty that it took so long to get to the point. All this prepping and research and conversation and training, but I haven’t actually been able to actually start doing the work yet. In a lot of ways, I already feel behind, like I’m trying to catch up to my dream.
I caught myself in these thoughts, and forced myself to just stop. Stop doing 5 things at once, stop all the static electricity buzzing in my head. I put away my phone and the mascara. I took a breath. I tried to pay attention to the world happening outside my window as we drove through the streets of Wilmington.
Almost immediately, I saw a license plate with “444” on it. I smiled. Ever since my grandmother died, I’ve been seeing more signs in numbers. The bigs ones that seem to come up are “222”, “333”, “444”, “555”, and “59.” It varies which one is most prominent, and most recently it’s been 444. I’m not exaggerating when I say I saw it come up at least 5 times yesterday (on various license plates, when checking the time, on a file name for work). Just as we passed this license plate, I heard a familiar song on the radio, and started laughing to myself.
Really trying to make sure I get the message this morning, aren’t we? I thought to myself.
Those who know me well know I love Miley Cyrus. Sometimes this admission raises eyebrows, especially to friends who don’t consider pop music to be legit. But popular doesn’t mean bad, and one day I’ll type out my tirade about that assumption, but for now, I’ll just leave this right here.
I’ve always loved her song “The Climb.” It’s the right balance of pop, aspirational, and uplifting, and generally does the trick to help pull me out of whatever funk I’ve allowed my overactive, over-anxious brain to wrap pull me into. And here it was, finding me again, in the back of a stranger’s car, when I was trying to stave off the feelings of self-doubt trying to find their way in:
The struggles I’m facing/The chances I’m taking Sometimes might knock me down but/No I’m not breaking I may not know it/But these are the moments that I’m going to remember most yeah/Just got to keep going And I gotta be strong/Just keep pushing on, ’cause
There’s always gonna be another mountain/I’m always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle/Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose Ain’t about how fast I get there/Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side It’s the climb.
Even when actively trying to make changes and chase dreams, there will be those nagging feelings that we aren’t doing it, or doing it right. And although I have gotten so. much. better. with being patient, it was mornings like today that remind me I need to appreciate the beauty of all the small steps that get me to that bigger goal.
And if there’s anyone out there feeling those same pangs of uncertainty, I hope you can crank this song and know you’re on your way.