Day 1 of the Rest of my Life

“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away”

I don’t know how it started, but while I was at TK, journaling became one of my biggest outlets. More often than not, I would be found in the milieu, writing away. It probably started because of the whole “no electronics” thing. There wasn’t much else to do. At the end of the day, I would do what I called a “daily recap.” I started with when I woke up, and would write down every detail from the day, even if it didn’t seem that important at the time. What started as a way to pass the time soon became the best way to process the major changes going on in my life. Now I can look back on my journal with every detail from the 28 hardest, but most impactful days of my life.

Coming up on the one year mark of my time at TK, I decided to reread my journal. I thought sharing what I wrote from Day 1 would make a great blog post. It would be this beautiful story of how I took a risk and everything worked out perfectly. Well, as I was reading today, I was reminded that was not the case. I titled the entry: “Day 1 of the rest of my life. Or so I thought.”

“I want to leave right now. I truly think this was a mistake. I feel so hopeless. Everyone has put so much into this. What if I can’t do it? What if I have to go somewhere else as soon as I leave here? I feel like I just threw my life away and I’m throwing the next month away. I hate that I let it get this bad. I hate that I forced everyone to let me come here. All I’ve done is make everything worse for everyone. They’re all expecting me to win this but I don’t think I will. ED, you win this round. Also I don’t have a pillow.”

I eventually got my pillow, but wow. Talk about a not great first day.

My favorite ride at Disney World is the Carousel of Progress. (I promise this is relevant.) It’s this precious little ride that Walt Disney designed for the World’s Fair back in the 1960’s. The stage rotates through different eras in time, focusing on the advancement of technology. While you transition through the eras, the theme song plays, which is the best part of the ride. I have a phone case and a t shirt with the lyrics on them. The chorus of the song goes like this:

“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away”

This simple song got me through some of my hardest days at TK, and days since then. One of my favorite parts is the way that tomorrow is described. It’s not just any old day. It’s going to be great, it’s going to be big, and it’s going to be beautiful. It’s so great, big, and beautiful that it can’t even wait until tomorrow to show you. It’s already shining at the end of every day.

Day 1 was the hardest of all 28 days at TK. But day 2 was a little bit better. Day 3 was showing some promise. By day 4, I was getting used to the 5AM wakeup call. I just had to get through day 1. February 26, 2019 absolutely was the first day of the rest of my life.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had given up on TK after day 1. I don’t think I would have any of the positive things I have in my life right now. Whatever hard thing you’re doing right now, keep doing it. Some of the days will be so bad that you’ll want to give up. But I promise that there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day. Keep going.

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