This post originally appeared on Medium. I’m cross-posting here in the interests of updating this, my personal blog, to where I am in my life now.

It’s like being on a desert island building sandcastles.
(Maybe the island has a palm tree like a proper desert island™)

Building my sandcastles comes easy because it’s so familiar.
So long as I’m building sandcastles the sea can’t disturb my little island.

Sometimes I build sandcastles with others, or teach them to build their own.
It’s the best feeling.

But you can’t build sandcastles all the time. There’s simply not enough sand.
(And you can’t build sandcastles at night — because no-one does that)

So when I’m not building sandcastles my island is swamped.
My sandcastles are consumed by the swells of the sea.

And when I can’t see them I forget how to build them.
I see everyone else building theirs and I tell myself I can’t do that.

People tell me i’m good at building sandcastles but it doesn’t help.
I simply can’t believe it when I’m neck deep and sinking.

When i’m treading water I don’t know how to swim to other people’s islands.
I tell myself I shouldn’t trouble them anyway.

Just sometimes I can dig a defensive moat around my sandcastles.
But when the sea recedes — I always forget that it must — a little stays behind.

My moat then becomes a chasm and I tell myself I can’t cross it.
Worse, I don’t know how to invite other people across.

I forget, of course, that (sand)castles are supposed to have drawbridges.

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