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If you were to review my entire website, all the entries, you’d see over time an expansion-contraction, in-breath-out-breath between the deepest permission to completely let yourself off of the hook with forgiveness and compassion without conditions, and an exhortation to cut the shit and push harder—because after all, this is your life, and it wasn’t meant to be lived from the cheap seats.

This post is a reminder: Life is not easy. (So cut yourself a break.)

It can become difficult at times to remember that being a human is hard stuff. And if your reasoning for not letting yourself off the hook a bit is that somewhere, other people are suffering more, and who are you to complain about your suffering when others are walking through worse?

Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then I wish I could wrap you in the warmest, closest embrace right now, and tell you that it’s all going to be okay; that the tears you keep holding back are valid; that the permission to acknowledge the hurt of life is there.

* * *

It’s hard to love people and simultaneously feel like they’re the most annoying human beings on the planet and then feel like a bad person who should be more patient.

It’s hard to not know how to handle money or not know why there’s never enough or why you can’t stop wanting-wanting-wanting more stuff.

It’s hard to be ill, to try to navigate health insurance and doctors, or not having health insurance and not having doctors, or having every single resource in the world and still no one can tell you what’s wrong or fix it.

It’s hard to watch death, to watch all the people in the world who actively do harm to others who are walking around alive-alive-alive while the person you loved most, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, is gone.

It’s hard to feel friendships fizzle and dissipate, to care about someone and discover that the foundation you built is on sand.

It’s hard to be criticized, rejected, ignored, left behind, gossiped about, left out.

It’s hard to feel like whatever you look like or whoever you are won’t be good enough.

It’s hard to reconcile your own failures. It’s hard to celebrate your successes, fully and joyfully, in a culture that is just waiting for you to cross the invisible line of “She’s got it too good, so now her successes are arrogance.”

It’s hard to watch social injustices play out and not know how to fix them. It’s hard to face your own guilt that you’ve been complicit in them, the beneficiary of such systems, or numbing out to avoid facing them.

* * *

All of these things are just hard. That’s the simple truth. Life is not easy.

There are other things I could say, of course—rising up to change it, practicing the courage to make it through, ten tips for an easier life.

But for this day, this post, I’ll only offer that it’s hard, which is okay. You’re going to be okay. None of us are alone; we are all just walking each other home.