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Struggle

There’s a Nintendo Switch game I need to find time to play called Celeste. I’ve heard it’s a challenging but rewarding game about a young woman trying to climb a mountain. What I heard recently was that it’s actually a game that discusses anxiety, depression and the struggle to achieve something.

I wonder if with people openly talking about anxiety and depression will children grow up in a better future? Will they grow up accepting the struggle of trying to achieve something knowing it’s not easy but it is rewarding?

The struggle is the process in some ways. I listened to a podcast about Back to the Future the other day where they said the first draft of the script was a very bad movie involving a fridge as the time machine. The process, the struggle, of honing that script to develop it into an actual movie took it from this laughable idea to one of the most iconic joyous films ever. Sure it all sucks, its heartbreaking and you just want to throw in the towel but if you keep at it you get somewhere.

Thing is, all this is great on paper (screen). It’s so easy to read this and to type this. In practice though it’s so easy to throw in the towel. I run every day to remind myself every damn day that I can achieve something. I’ve achieved a few things in my life. I’ve ran a marathon. I’ve had numerous exhibitions of my work. I’ve published books. I’ve travelled. Those are all great things but those achievements never seem to stick. It always fells like I’m at the bottom of a mountain trying to get up it.

Maybe that’s half the point. I’m still trying to accept struggle as reality. I’m still trying to accept that it’s not easy to get somewhere but you can get somewhere. I know to put the hours in. I am putting the hours in. But it’s so so easily undone by opening social media and seeing 1 single post that knocks you right back down the mountain. So you pull up your socks but then an email comes in and you are floored again.

I didn’t become a good runner or swimmer by watching YouTube. I got good at those things by struggling through a process. It’s ok to find things hard. It’s by doing them that you get better. This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you reading this.

Remember to take a minute now and then enjoy the view on the way up though :)