If you’re having a hard week, this is for you.

Please forgive any typos. ​I didn’t plan to post this today.

I had my regularly-scheduled copywriting tip ready to go, all neat and organized.

But I have this niggling feeling in my gut that you might need ​this ​instead.

Real quick, a little back story: Last week, I was in the Grand Canyon with my (brand new!!!!) husband, Joe. We spent a few days hiking, exploring, and generally getting our minds blown by the wonder of our planet. I mean, Earth, you guys. She’s truly phenomenal.

And yet…

The trip was also really, really hard.

I lost my dad nine months ago. And the Grand Canyon would have been SO. his. scene. He was such an outdoorsman and I found myself seeing him in ​everything ​— in a hoodless sweatshirt, in a shy smile, in a slightly hunched posture, in a plate of greasy breakfast food from the crappy cafe by our lodge.

All I wanted to do was text him a picture from one of our hikes or call him to talk about what we’d seen. I wanted to hear his reaction and share in our nerdy nature-related excitement.

But I couldn’t.

And that hurt.

A lot.

Despite the aforementioned wonder of the earth, it was a difficult few days at the Canyon and it’s been a difficult few days since getting home.


I was scrolling on Instagram yesterday morning, as per usj, and found a video of Prince William talking about his mother. (Click here to check it out.)

It was serendipitous because I’ve become a little obsessed with the story of Princess Diana, with all the documentaries and specials surrounding the recent anniversary of her death. (She’s now joined Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in my “celebrities that fascinate and inspire me to no end” list.)

So I clicked play, watched the video, and my eyes welled up instantly.

William said:

“When you have something so traumatic as the death of your mother when you’re 15, as very sadly many people have experienced, it will either make or break you. And I wouldn’t let it break me. I wanted it to make me.

I wanted her to be proud of the person I would become.

I didn’t want her legacy to be that William and/or Harry were completely devastated by it, and that all her hard work and all the love and all the energy she put into us when we were younger would go to waste.”

I was so moved by his words, his grace, and his strength.

The idea that hard times can make or break you was ​exactly ​what I needed to hear.

Life can be so beautiful (a la a new marriage, a perfect vacation, the beauty of the Grand Canyon) but it can also be so difficult. But that’s the balance of life, isn’t it? You can’t have one without the other. The downs are the mirror of the ups. The sadness is the price of the love.

Those hard moments definitely have the power to break you, and no one could blame you if you did.

But to CHOOSE to let them make you? That was a powerful thought I hadn’t had before.

To zoom back the lens of your story and realize that this is a fulcrum — a pivotal time that turns you into the person you’re going to become.

To accept that it’s hard and it hurts, while choosing to…

Keep showing up.

Keep moving.

Keep trusting that this will ​make ​you, if you let it.

That video gave the shift in perspective I needed to take a deep breath, acknowledge the hard, and feel a hint of excitement (as crazy as I know that sounds) for the strong woman this hard time is going to make.

I’m not the only one who’s felt this way and moved through a tough season in life. And neither are you. I take a lot of comfort in knowing we’re not alone in these feelings.

If you’re having a difficult week (in business or personally) remember:

Yes, this can make or break you. But the beautiful thing is, you get to CHOOSE.

Today, choose wisely.

PS. Just gotta add…

Former psych student (and current mental health advocate) coming out in 3, 2, 1…

I also understand that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the aforementioned “breaking” is out of your control.

So if you’re having a ​really ​really hard week, and you’re not able to choose the “making” path, I acknowledge that, too. I’m certainly not trying to trivialize or diminish that reality. I’ve been there and I get it.

Bottom line: whatever path you’re on, I’m sending you love today, friend. I’m here with you.

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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