“Brand New Day,” Joshua Radin

“When I woke, the world was new. I never had to ask.”

Depression and anxiety have played a pretty significant role in my life over the last few years, and even though I can truly say I have put a great deal of time between me and that part of my past, there are still days that are much harder than others. Many times, it’s difficult to grip the part of reality that reminds me how far I’ve come. It’s hard not to wonder if I’ll ever have days that don’t stop me in my tracks.

My little sister came to me recently and asked if this whole “life” thing ever gets easier, if there’s ever a point when we are the conquerors of our own mind. I tried to remind her (and myself) that there is no owner’s manual for that sort of thing. Every day is a journey, but a journey worth giving everything we’ve got.

I remind her that every day is a new day. Every single day when we wake up and make the choice to keep fighting for ourselves and for our world is a new mission. The world is beautiful and fresh every morning, and we have the chance to seize it and live the best life we can.

“Most kinds of stories save the best part for last.

Most stories have a hero who finds you make your past your past.”

It sometimes seems as if this journey we’re on will always be an uphill battle. It sometimes seems hard to imagine that we could ever hit the peak of our struggles and finally ride the coaster right back down. Everything can seem out of control or out of our reach, but we are the heroes of our own stories, and we are the champions of our darkness.

We have the power to put our past behind us and to focus our eyes on what lies ahead.

“This cycle never ends. You gotta fall in order to mend.”

My favorite part of the TWLOHA story is when Jamie says, “We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home.” I have never agreed with something more than these words. When people walk on the road of recovery, they are often left wondering, “Why? Why me? Why this? Where is the meaning?” As human beings, we continuously struggle to find meaning in everything.

Maybe we’re not meant to know all the endings. Maybe some answers are supposed to stay hidden, and maybe the meaning is to leave yesterday behind, to focus forever on tomorrow. Maybe we’re only meant to use the path we are given to simply make the world better. Maybe we’re supposed to use the tools we have to fix the broken things we find. Maybe we are meant to never look back, but to always push forward. To always set our eyes ahead. To never stop fighting, to love brilliantly, to live courageously.

Every single day we live is a new day, and with that new day comes a new chance to find redemption. Every time we open our eyes is an opportunity to see new things and to change the way we think. We are not trapped by our pain or suffering. We are not controlled by our past, and we are not defined by it either. We are the conquerors of our stories and the believers of better things.

“And it’s a brand new day. It’s a brand new day

For the first time in such a long, long time, I know
I’ll be OK.”

—Ty, TWLOHA Spring 2014 Intern