I weaved around marimbas, timpani covers, and instrument cases as I sprinted across the gym. I reached the wall and skidded to a stop as I looked up hoping, praying, and wishing with my whole heart that my name would be up on that list. I lifted my eyes up, then I closed them to look again. I must have seen it wrong the first time because my name had to be on that list. But when I opened my eyes, nothing had changed.
I didn’t make it.
I cried and I cried and I didn’t stop.
Suddenly all the adrenaline and nervous energy that had been brewing up inside of me put the breaks on and lurched to a stop. My body fell limp as Niagara Falls suddenly found a home in my eyes and as a friends steered me through the crowds. We found an empty room and the flood gates opened up. I cried and I cried and I didn’t stop. My mind was swirling at one million miles per hour, I was to the point of crying where you can barely breathe, and over and over in my head I told myself “you’re a failure, that was your last chance and you blew it, you aren’t good enough, so you might as well stop trying”.
I wanted to listen to myself. As I cried on the bus ride home, I was ready to give up, to stop trying, to rethink basically my whole life because I wasn’t good enough. However, as close as I was to letting go of my dreams, and giving up entirely I never did. Something, from somewhere, was telling me that this wasn’t the end. And something, from somewhere, told me to listen to everyone else and to hear them out when they said it would be okay.
Life Isn’t Always Easy
And it was. It was okay, but it wasn’t easy. Life isn’t always how we picture it. I think that’s a really difficult thing to accept. Because often, in the moment, if it were up to me I’d change the way things play out. But looking back, it’s the bumpy parts of the road that make this adventure so worth living. I’m no expert, but from my experiences I’ve learned the pain and heartbreak only makes me stronger in the end.
It comes down to forgiving yourself— even when it’s not your fault. You’ve got to forgive the blame you’ve tossed upon yourself, and you’ve got to forgive those voices up in your head that told you no. At some point, you’ve got to get up and move forward. Although you’re hurt, you’ve got to stand strong and refuse to be knocked down.
Abigail Toussaint: First Place
Forgiveness is powerful. Later that year I decided I wasn’t going to quit, no matter what I told myself I should do. And later that year I heard the words “abigail toussaint” and “first place” used in the same sentence. I stood on the top of the world that day because I had felt the heartbreak and I had felt the pain, but I had refused to give up, I forgave myself, and I had moved forward. Now, I felt the joy.
Take it from me, that joy is worth it. Decide today not to let the voices in your head stop you. Forgive yourself, accept where you are, and move forward. Joy is coming soon :))
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”