For most of my life I lived in what I affectionately call “a-shell-in-a-hole-in-a-tunnel-under-dark-clouds”. Sigh. It was not that I wanted to be there. It was not that I did not sometimes try to come out. But I was not convinced that I could, and I could not find enough incentive to be brave enough to make a concerted effort to try. It seemed as if every time I tried to stick my head out of the shell, something would hurt or scare me, and I’d go back in. But the shell was not a place to be. Bravery sometimes dictates smashing the shell behind you and moving forward, and realizing you can never – and don’t want to ever go back. It has not been an easy road. It is not easy still. I may never be where I wish I was, but whether that is because I wasted all those years, or because life and God have different plans for me, I may never know. All I do know is that even through all the fears, I am glad the shell is gone, and my plan is to keep moving forward. The carrot may ever dangle in front of me, but who knows what else I may find as I work toward it.