Today, I took a LONG road trip. I’ve been on road trips before, sure. But, this was the first time I was the one behind the wheel, and drove for a LONG TIME.

I would turn the music on, and then off. Then, listen to a podcast. I yawned a few times. Took sips of my energy drink (which is bad for you, I know!)

It was fun.

Of course, after a few hours have gone by, the “length of time” really started to hit me… I did not anticipate how exhausting a LONG road trip really is. You think to yourself “oh, I am stuck in traffic over an hour each day, who cares”, but NO. It’s seriously very tiring.

And then… a fricking sandstorm. THAT’S RIGHT. I’m just driving on the freeway, not even halfway to my destination and already exhausted (because I underestimated how long the trip was really going to be), and then I see the air brown, and the sky was brown, and everything around me was brown. My phone reception was down, and my GPS was malfunctioning. I could feel my car rock from the gusts as I was wrestling the wind.

Suddenly, I hear an emergency alert tone on my phone (don’t ask how I had no reception but was able to receive that alert: I still do not understand). The alert said that a DANGEROUS “dust storm” (AKA, sandstorm), was in my area, and I needed to park on the shoulder of the freeway, and turn off my car until it’s done. I wanted to continue driving – because I’m that stubborn – until I realized I couldn’t even see the lane anymore.

I was the only one in my car. There was no way to call for help, and nobody to talk to for comfort. I was absolutely terrified.

Again: the sky is brown, the atmosphere is brown, the FREEWAY STOPPED with all the cars PARKED on the shoulder because they can’t see each other, my reception and GPS is DOWN, and the wind feels like it’s about to pick up a car. At one point I could have sworn I felt the side of my car slightly lift.

And, the worst part, is that the storm lasted long. It was not short. It didn’t even feel like it was getting better! It just kept roaring.

And, that’s the thing about storms. You feel paralyzed. You feel helpless. And, because of that anxiety, you’re trapped. Time moves so slowly. You can’t think, or do anything to save your own mother’s life.

However, even though I thought it wasn’t going to end, it did. It ended. The super-duper scary storm, that felt like forever, has ended. And, most importantly, I’m stronger than before. I’m smarter than before. I also experienced something I never have before. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Would I go back in time to not let it happen? Hell. No. It didn’t kill me. Why go back in time when I wasn’t as strong? Again, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

Whatever that scary sandstorm is in YOUR life, I promise you; it will end. It’s only a matter of time. It’s easier said than really accepted, I know, I understand: trust me, I honestly thought that sandstorm was NOT going to end. But, again, it did.

Just hang in there, and keep wrestling that wind. You are SO MUCH STRONGER than you realize.

– Ethan @