It’s Okay to Swim.

Today, nestled against the old wooden column, you felt the familiar heartache, the one you’ve felt since you were a little girl and you exchanged hurtful words with your hero. Tears threatened to fall, mixing with the peeling paint, as you leaned against it, sure you were in need of the support.

People keep disappointing you – and he will keep disappointing you. He will keep shattering your hopes because you keep expecting him to know what they are when he just doesn’t.

It doesn’t mean it’s not okay to be sad. You fear those tears because you’re afraid you’ll drown in them.

But my darling, sometimes you are so afraid of drowning that you forget it’s okay to swim.

Sometimes you so fear getting your heart broken that you forget it’s still good to fall in love.

Sometimes you fear people leaving so you hold your arms closed, but arms were never meant to be empty for long.

Life is meant to be this delicate, beautiful balance of extremes. Lots of times you’ll get it wrong. But so many times you’ll get it right, too.

Just don’t hold the broken pieces so close. I know it’s hard. I know it’s seemingly impossible. But life is not meant to be a series of safe, calculated risks. We don’t learn on the shore. We don’t grow when life is filled with shallow, meaningless friendships.

We learn and we grow when we cry. When we tell the ones who’ve hurt us that they’re letting us down. When you fall for the boy because his heart and his voice make your heart dance. When you open your arms and hold the broken even though in the process you’ll end up getting a little broken, too.

That’s how we grow.

So next time let the tears fall against the peeling paint of that column. Let it hold you.

You’ll find yourself standing, alone, a little stronger, in no time.