I remember seeing a photo of myself when I was around 20 years old. I was looking down, and there was sadness in my face. In my eyes. Sometimes when you life gets you down, you can no longer hide it from the world. It’s in your posture. In your hair. In your skin. Even when you smile, a sadness hangs over your eyes and stretches them down to the sides of your body. There’s nothing unnatural about challenges and finding that sometimes there really is no way to conceal the pain. Wear it in your demeanor like a coat that’s much too big. But take it off soon or it’ll become a second skin. There’s nothing unnatural about being transparent about just how deeply you’re affected by something. Wear your humanity as a badge of honor. Do not try to hide it behind an armor of facade. It will take up residence in your soul and hang there tormenting you until you’re a shell of your former self. I see pictures of myself now with none of the soreness of a fresh wound, but if it’s there I know now (what I didn’t understand at 20) that pain is temporary. So I get to trade in all this heaviness for a smile because I’ve learned that not every lesson will be an easy or happy one. These challenges come to make us strong. To make us better. To remind us that we’re human. And there’s nothing in this world wrong with acknowledging that.