They want you to cower. They want to see you shrink into weakness. They want to know they won over you, over every effort you put out to get through it, everything you’ve done, everything you’ve ever become. They want to see you fall to your knees and sob until not a trace of faith is left in you. They want to suck the life out of you. They want to see you lose everything you have ever had and never will have. They want to tear your hopes and dreams into shards of ignorance, prove that you knew nothing and because of that, you will never reach the end. They want to destroy the best parts about you, shame you, and humiliate you. They want to look down their nose at you and make another addendum to the statistics out of you.
I know your palms are clammy and sweaty and your nerves are tense and your body shakes uncontrollably. I know that the sensation, the only presence you feel within you is fear, discouragement. I know it’s overwhelming. I know everything is washing over you at once in an ever-powerful tsunami, casting a shadow over your helpless soul, the imminent danger palpable. I know all you feel like you’re capable of now is reducing yourself to teardrops on the ground upon which you have fallen in feebleness and despair.
I know because I live in it.
But I also know that in the long run, you will be okay. You will be able to enjoy life. Happiness will be so desperate to join you, chasing you, unable to be pushed away. You will awaken to the daylight beyond the milestone you trudge past. You will see that, despite everything you’ve ever dealt with, this might be the most difficult one yet, and still you will overcome it without a fight. You have the might and strength within you. You have all that you need to accomplish this. You will succeed. You will see yourself more than a year down the road, holding your lamplight, showcasing your pin, and the only tears you will ever shed and ever need to shed are tears of celebration and relief.