“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship” -Louisa May Alcott. Sometimes the only way to learn something is through your experiences. Looking back at all the negative experiences I’ve been through in my life, I wouldn’t regret having to suffer through any of them. Those experiences are what make us grow and develop us into who we are today. You can’t learn the lessons you learn through these experiences in a textbook. Whether it’s an unhealthy relationship, friendship, family member, or unhealthy decision you made on your own, these all shape us into who we are today and make us that much stronger, tougher, and intellectual about ourselves and the world around us. I’ve talked to a lot of girls who have shared their story with me and have referred to themselves as “broken” or are embarrassed by their past and think they carry baggage but really it’s the opposite. Being able to experience and feel allows us to have a better understanding of ourselves, what we want in our lives, how to treat other people, how to respond in given situations, and ultimately it allows us to connect with others in ways that people who haven’t had this sense of discovery cannot. Experience gives us depth. It gives us the credentials to touch a life, to inspire others and make a difference in someone’s life. Whether we feel like we are doing all these things or not, we truly are. And in the midst of a storm, it’s easy to feel like we aren’t learning the direction of our life but in the big picture we are accomplishing much more than that.

When you’re going through a hard time, embrace it. You never know what the reward and lesson of the experience will be. Take it on as a challenge and conquer it.