It’s a strange phenomenon
I’ve been experiencing lately.
I often find myself looking back on my younger self,
And I smile.
At her naïveté.
At her willingness to fall in love with strangers.
At her drunken bathroom best friendships.
At the way she danced the night away.
At the way she allowed herself to be lured in.
At the many, many heartbreaks she endured.
I look back, and I smile, and I thank her.
I thank her for the struggles she went through so that I can struggle less.
I thank her for learning the hard lessons when the grace of youth was on our side.
I thank her for being soft and forcing me to be strong.
I realize now that she was everything I needed to be in order to become who I want to be.
I look back with a special kind of clarity that only comes with hindsight.
And even though I’ve always believed it,
I really see now how everything truly happens for a reason.
I am grateful for every hurdle.
Because in spite of it,
or more likely because of it,
I am here now.