How the Light Gets In

It’s funny how time brings things back to us when we least expect them: books, memories, friends, mentors. A meaningful moment or person is woven into our life; they become a part of us forever, and yet they are only a single strand of many. In the blink of an eye, they are lost amongst the colorful rushing of days, and weeks, and years.

Those words first came to me when I was a college student via the e-mail signature of Mitzi, the longtime and beloved guidance counselor of my alma mater, Columbia College. For a burned-out overachieving perfectionist on the tail end of her freshman year, this quote was a life-changing epiphany for me.

Today, nearly 10 years later, Mitzi’s words unexpectedly came back to me, though she no longer walks this earth or the beautiful campus at 1301 Columbia College Drive. Her timing could not have been better.

I needed to be reminded that there is something undeniably human about imperfection. When you can finally step back to appreciate the unknowable, unmeasurable, uncontrollable adventure that is your life, it is an indescribably beautiful moment. Sometimes, the best things happen when your plans fall apart. Sometimes, the only way to find your strength is to embrace your vulnerability. And always, the shell of the egg must crack and fall away for new life to emerge.

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