Time and time again over the course of our lives, you and I are going to come across obstacles that seem insurmountable. It may be painful to admit, but it’s true: every single one of us here today (and tomorrow, and tomorrow) is going to face moments when the choices before us seem too hard, the pain too much to bear, and our perceived societal- or self-boundaries impossible to overcome.
One of you, for example, might face the dilemma of your family rejecting your life partner because said partner doesn’t share your family’s belief system. This prospective love-of-your-life might, say, think it’s more important to watch the NFL than Wimbledon, or might prefer cats to dogs. It could seem like your parents will never sanction your relationship, and that the relationship is therefore doomed from the start.
Another of you might be out at dinner one night when a bowl of mushroom risotto four times the size of your head is placed on the table. You might feel sure your spoon will never scrape the bottom of the bowl, no matter how hard you try (and how much you eat).
Or you might wake up one morning and be unable to get out of bed. The sun might be burning away in a cloudless sky but all you’ll want to do is cry and lie there, still, still, still, desperately hoping no one will notice while, at the same time, all you’ll want is for someone to walk in the door and rest their hand on your face, quietly.
I know how paralysing it can be to feel hopeless. To feel like what’s blocking your path is too big to be defeated.
But I’m here to tell you, to promise you, to show you that no matter how big the obstacle before you seems to be, you can get past it.
Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that your life can be characterised as a walk with your mother through the woodlands surrounding a garden nursery in Canberra. That all the good things in your life are symbolised by chattering and laughing with your mother, until… BOOM. Suddenly the path you were on, the life you were leading, seems to stop short before you. Let’s just say, for the purposes of this metaphor, that your life-impediment is A Big Fallen Tree Almost As Tall On Its Side As You Are Standing Up.
Do you (should you) give up, turn around, retrace your steps, and submit to a life of fumbled hopes, fading dreams, and ever-familiar surroundings that never put you out of your comfort zone?
Well? Do you? Should you?
Absolutely, positively, absolutely not.
The only thing worth doing in life is getting on with it. And sometimes that means hitching up your skirt (or shorts), reaching one hand as far across the obstacle as you can, and hoisting yourself up and over what, at first, you thought you weren’t brave enough to conquer.
Sure, you might look terribly undignified whilst struggling to overcome that which was trying to force you back, but I promise, promise, promise you…
The effort is worth it.
Because afterwards, you’ll get to smell the flowers.
And sometimes, once you’ve made it, there’s cake.