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month of thankfulnessthoughts

The shadow proves the sunshine [Day 15 of Thankfulness]

currently: listening to Switchfoot's 'Nothing is Sound' album.

Day 15: The shadow proves the sunshine
My favourite band in the world is Switchfoot. Since 2005, when I watched this really cool music video of them diving around underwater (aka, the song Stars), I've been captivated by their alternative rock music, and the message they stand for.

They have one song in particular called 'The Shadow Proves the Sunshine' which, title alone, is really powerful. It basically says how darkness helps to prove that there is light, and vice versa. Bad contrasts good, sadness contrasts happiness.

I think of this song when I reflect on the toughest moments in life. In 2012, when I faced what I have called "my most stressful year of my life (so far)" I went through a lot of pressure living under constant deadlines, constant judgement, and just trying to work my butt off to finish my university degree. It was an awful time in retrospect because my life was consumed trying to meet every assignment and story deadline at all hours of the day. It's not like work now where you can relatively clock out after 6pm and be done for the day. No, my life in 2012 was forever running, and running fast to compete with time.

But the funny thing is, no matter how I look at my life back in 2012 and how hard I felt everything was then, it's still one of the most rewarding and growing years of my life.

'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
'God won't give you more than you can't endure.'
'Today's pain is tomorrow's strength.'

No matter how you phrase it, those challenging times tested me to be better than what I was before.

I struggled. I gritted my teeth. I cried. I persevered. Some days I didn't eat enough. Some nights I didn't sleep. I worried, I stressed, I wished to quit. But I didn't in the end.

I was really proud of everything I accomplished because of my struggles. Every published story, published photograph, and the experiences I had. These painful times became valuable to who I would become now. And funny enough, I've never been as stressed again as what I was that year.

It's a weird thing to be thankful for the challenges and trials we go through, but it's because it lets us notice that light is there at the end of it all.

"Hold fast till the break of daylight when the shadow proves the sunshine."

For the month of January 2016, I'm writing 31 personal stories about things in my life I'm thankful for. See all my posts during my month of thankfulness here.

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