I wonder if we put too much pressure on ourselves to always be moving forward. This year in particular, it feels as though we’re struggling through, barely keeping our heads above water, while a voice keeps on whispering, you are not doing what you should do to grow…
But there’s victory in survival. Simply surviving 2020 is enough hard work and enough of a goal for all of us. Getting through this year — scratched and bruised and surely a little damaged but still in one piece — is a win worth celebrating.
Strength isn’t tested by periods of ease, achievement, joy and light. Those times are wonderful and they ought to be marked and treasured and remembered. But they don’t test us, and they don’t show us who we truly are.
Our strength is tested by the hard times. Our strength is tested by the growing and lengthening shadows that have loomed over us this year. Our strength is tested by the moments when it all becomes too much, and we still keep getting through it and getting on with it.
Be proud that you have survived. Be proud that you are still here.
Joan Westenberg is an award winning Australian contemporary writer, designer and creative director. She is the founder of branding and advertising firm Studio Self. Her approach to messaging, communication and semiotics has built her reputation as a writer, and she has been named as one of the leading startup voices in Australia by SmartCompany.
Her writing has appeared in The SF Chronicle, Wired, The AFR, The Observer, ABC, Junkee, SBS, Crikey and over 40+ publications. Her regular work can be found on Pizza Party, a blog about creativity, culture and technology. Joan is the creator Transgenderinclusion.com, an open-source workplace inclusion hack, and the author of the book #DIY, a manifesto for indie creativity.