"But," he grinned, "All is as it should be." He touched my face tenderly with the tips of his fingers.
Even then, I knew he didn't really mean it. Deep inside, I realized he would give up everything to have her back. I was young, but not oblivious. Just today, although he laughed as we played together, I saw his eyes travel towards the grassy slope and linger on the solitary tree where the monument stood camouflaged in its shade. For a few moments, he would lose himself to random memories, and a dark shadow would pass over his face. I never interrupted his silence. I knew he needed those few precious seconds to be with her.
There are no free rides.
This world demands you to work for what you want.
It will beat you down until you feel defeated, drained, hopeless, and frustrated. It will try to mold you into things you are not, and attempt to force you to conform to the standards of others until you're just about ready to give up, or give in.
Your strength is being tested.
Some people seem to coast through life and appear to be handed whatever they want and never have to work for anything.
Don't be fooled.
You see only their successes, not their struggles, not their heartaches, and not the pain of their journey.
They've suffered, but with unwavering determination they have prevailed.
Varying degrees of determination is the only difference between a person who succeeds and one who gives up - Notice I didn't say 'one who fails'.
If you try, and continue to try even after being knocked down and dragged through the mud, and then still keep on trying, you've surpassed 'failing'.
These little bumps in the road are designed to make you stronger, leaner, and more fiercely determined. They're designed to see if you have what it takes.
I believe that we are born with a spark, a passion, a need that smolders inside of each one of us. It glows only dimly in some while in others; it's a full-fledged blazing fire. It all depends on how much you feed it and allow it to breathe within you.
You will know when you find yours.
It will become a requirement in order to live, as necessary as breathing, and as urgent feeding your hunger.
Chances are, you already know what it is...you can feel it deep down in your gut. Don't let the tiny flickering flame go out.
Failure is nothing but a new beginning; a chance to regroup and figure out a new strategy to get what you want.
It's only the end of your story if you allow yourself to give up.