You understand what it’s like to embark on a big new project.
At first it feels like wide-open space with no boundaries, which is the good and bad news. What’s one to do when there’s no official trail to follow?
You may spend an inordinate amount of time walking in circles at first, coming back to the same original spot, frustrated, fatigued and fearful about the prospect of finding a way out or through.
Soon you discover that the only way to succeed is to put one foot directly in front of the other and create a brand new path.
The new path is exciting and daunting all at once. Your stomach feels like a mixture of exhilaration and responsibility, and you’re not sure you knew you were signing up for that concoction. Still, you take another step. You’re brave that way.
Thick thorny branches, beautiful clearings, foggy mornings, and late nights – the journey is more unpredictable than you thought. Sometimes you forget why you thought this was so important in the first place.
Despite the long road you leave in your wake, you’re almost surprised when you find you’re at the end of it. You actually carved an entirely new path! Not alone, not without failing and falling and re-deciding, but you did it! You persisted. You cared enough to see it through.
You realize that you’re not the same person you were at the start. You’re wiser, more experienced. You’re kinder to everyone on other paths because you realize none of them are easy and only a few people dare to sculpt them from mere wilderness. You’re tired in the way that only really good hard work makes people tired. Your heart feels full and your brain feels refreshingly empty.
You have poured yourself out.
The crazy thing is you realize that the end is really just the beginning. You have put something into motion that was not there before you arrived. And the world is better for it.
**Congratulations to the NTNCB and to each and every ‘behind the scenes’ rock star who supported their journey thus far. Your dedication inspires. The path you established will serve therapists, babies, and families all over the world for generations to come. Breathe that in today.
**Neonatal therapists – for every project you’ve ever done, for every road you’ve traveled alone, every day you’ve spent wondering if anyone understood your value, every time you’ve gone the extra mile (or 10) for babies and families, every piece of knowledge you’ve shared, for every single day you’ve re-decided the NICU is your home – this is for you.