Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Earnest Henley


I didn’t ask for any of this to happen. I didn’t want it. I could be upset and angry. I could be defeated. But I’m not.

Every challenge is put in front of us for a reason. Our strength and character are tested and we either fail or succeed, but we always learn. What we learn from our challenges is more important than the challenge itself.

I’ve fallen prey to the cruel hands of circumstance many times during my service, but I refuse to be smothered by chance. I hold my head up high and press on. I cannot control what is out of hands, but I can control my attitude.

And I choose to learn from this test. I choose to be strong, to be upbeat, to be undefeated. In the words of Maya Angelou: “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”


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