Being strong is like building a sand castle. You’re given a little spade to dig up experiences and convert them to lessons. You then neatly add them to the small mound before you. Tears, hurt and pain hold the sand together, binding it firmly. Every time it starts crumbling, you dig faster and keep adding it. It gets bigger as you grow. There’s this term called ‘life experience’ which helps you learn things that aren’t taught in classrooms. The truth about people and the world and all the sorrow that can only be felt. The truth about change and inevitability and disappointing stories. But above all, the truth about yourself. Your castle is everything. It’s your fortress, protecting you against lurking bombs of sadness.

Ever so often a wave comes along and washes away everything you’ve built. And all you can do is sit and watch. Because at that moment it doesn’t matter that it’s taken years to build this bold, beautiful structure that’s slowly dissolving before your eyes. You can only feel one thing. The pain of starting over.