When things to wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile , buy you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As every one of of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man:
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be ear when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
– John Greenleaf Whittier
The last 48 hours have been challenging, to say the least. After months of quiet days in my little haven by the river, this week was filled with a flurry of activity that changed my life around 180 degrees. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that I suddenly have a long “To Do” list as part of what I call the reconfiguration of my life.
Starting over in a new country is huge risk, and there are definitely days when I question my own sanity. But I embrace the darkness and attempt to understand the emotions raging within me. This is beginning to sound like a string of cliches – no storm is permanent, and the next morning I am usually back in fighting form.
My resiliency can only be partially attributed to my inner strength. The rest comes from the wonderful support network that I have been blessed with, without whom I would have gone over the edge a long time ago. It is only now that I fully understand the meaning of special people being the pillars of your life. They do indeed prevent the entire structure from caving in.
Yesterday, several people asked how I was holding up, given my current situation. I had to admit that I was drained, and exhausted, confused and feeling a bit lost and certainly overwhelmed. I have never known myself to be over emotional or hyper sensitive, but these days I am. It has been six months since I arrived in Germany, and I am completely depleted. Then I received a beautiful line from the poem above in a text message.
Throughout my entire high school life and until the time I moved out of my parents’ home to get married, I had a poster above my desk with this poem, and then I lost track of it. Until yesterday’s message arrived: rest if you must, but don’t you quit.