All of us come into Pathways knowing pain so differently from each other. For many of us it takes the form of sexual abuse, drug addiction, and family betrayal. And for some, it’s the invisible battle between you and yourself. Two years ago, I was constantly having to decide whether life was the right choice. Today there is no other option. Pathways, in many ways, gave me a reason, without making itself a reason, and it’s something extremely important that I’m coming to realize more and more.
I used to think that being in the program would simply mean parental approval, being able to go to school, or validation that “I’m finally good enough for this life-thing.” But I was wrong. It’s more than that. It dug way deeper than having the title of a “Pathways Client” and serving as the model or product of the perception of an observer outside the program.
Pathways never made itself a reason. And by Pathways, I mean every single person that has helped and worked to make this happen for us. Rather it has countlessly put itself aside and always made the reason to be independence, self-love, genuine generosity, and life. Reasons to overcome self doubt and reasons to redefine your perception of worth. If I could be any more straightforward than “I came into Pathways feeling and believing I was less than complete shit,” then I wouldn’t be being brutally honest with anyone reading this entry or with myself.
Pathways never made itself a reason. Pathways never congratulated itself for getting us here or to wherever great places we’ll end up. Rather it has rewarded, loved, and admired every single one of us through every weakness, doubt, and plethora of “I can’t do it” days for our perseverance and willingness to become a better version of ourselves.
We are our own reasons. And while I’m still working on letting myself soak that in, Pathways is somewhere finding every and any way to help me realize my truth.