“For what it’s worth... it’s never too late… to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it… I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” -attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald
I believe that deep down, we all long to live a life that is true to who WE are.
In big ways and small.
Whether we’re trying to give up sugar, start an exercise program, tackle a project we’ve been dreaming of, get sober, start a new career or re-create our entire lives from the ground up…
Ultimately, we all want to live a life that makes us feel proud and fulfilled.
In my late 20’s, I made the gut-wrenching decision to leave a toxic marriage and move halfway across the country… completely alone. I remember pulling into Breckenridge, Colorado, a town I had never even stepped foot in before, with everything I owned in my vehicle - an air mattress and the bare essentials I brought along to my new life. I stared up at those stunning mountains, such a foreign sight for an Indiana girl, with a feeling in my heart that, even now, I find hard to describe:
Never in my life had I felt more heartbroken, terrified… and ALIVE.
I was starting over again.
This move has become symbolic of a hundred other times I’ve started over since, though none were quite as drastic as this one.
It’s never too late to answer that quiet whisper inside that has always KNOWN we can achieve the things that light our soul on fire – the things that feel right to US.
It’s never too late to set a goal and freaking go for it!
No, it’s not always going to be pretty.
We’re going to screw it up sometimes.
We will make mistakes.
We will fall.
And that’s OK!
Falling isn’t something to beat ourselves up over. It’s not a sign that we should give up. It doesn’t mean we aren’t up to the challenge or that we shouldn’t have bothered trying in the first place.
Falling is something to be PROUD of!
Because falling means we picked our butts off the ground and we flew… even if only for a moment.
And we will fly again, higher each time.
And every time we fall, we will dust ourselves off and start over AGAIN, knowing that falling is just part of learning to fly.
Simply put - Falling means we had the courage to go for it.
The most powerful part of the Fitzgerald quote, in my opinion, is the simple word “again.”
“I hope you have the courage to start over AGAIN.”
A life full of dreams and passion and fulfillment of our goals involves trying and failing and re-calibrating and soaring and crashing and starting all over… again. And again. And again.
And each time we fall, we know in our hearts that we CAN start over again. We WILL start over again. We will continue to start over again and again, as many times as it takes.
Because each time we start over again, we are one step closer to that goal we set for ourselves.
So instead of beating ourselves up and talking ourselves out of our dreams, we lift our faces from our hands, take a deep breath, and start over. Again.
Knowing that we are courageous.
Knowing that we are authentic.
Knowing that we hold all the power to be the person we’ve always known we can be, deep down inside.
Here’s to starting over again. And again.
As many times as it takes.