In 2016, I divorced my high school sweetheart. My best friend, my confidant, the person I would take a bullet for. Marriage was everything I always wanted. The thought of building a life with my best friend filled me with joy. I trusted him and believed in him wholeheartedly. I was, by every definition of the word, in love.

Yet, the relationship was the most toxic and emotionally draining I have ever experienced. When he pushed, I pulled. I saw blue skies and he saw grey. Slowly, I begun to see the reality of our relationship and reached a point of emotional exhaustion. After eight years of friendship and four years of marriage, I was simply done fighting for him. I felt defeated. Although I knew I was making the best decision for myself, I was instantly faced with the overwhelming uncertainty of my future. What others described as an exciting second chance or clean slate, I saw a scary big question mark in a sea of regret.

If it were possible to travel back to the beginning of the year, I would spare myself unnecessary heartache and give myself this piece of advice summed up into one word: Patience.

Be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace. For the rest of your life, you will make smart and stupid decisions and that is okay. Maybe you’re going through a heartbreak, or a major career change or maybe just became a first time parent and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. Life changing moments have a way of bringing us up against ourselves. In these moments, you find your every insecurity and your every fear staring right back at you but you also find your strength. You learn your truth. You realize that what doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger.

In 2017, I will be patient. I am promising to live in my truth and to look at situations through a lens of grace. There is a quote by George Orwell that goes, “Just as one’s lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available.” You might be going through a rough patch, but life does and will go on.

Just be patient.

- Submitted by Alina

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