Ad Astra Per Aspera
To the stars through difficulties.
When I toured my future college 25 years ago, I thought Ad Astra per Aspera was the least inspirational motto for a college. Shouldn’t a motto end on a high note by reaching the goal? Like one of those cheesy dorm room posters that reads: Shoot for the stars, and even if you miss you’ll land among the clouds. But, alas, the journey to the stars isn’t glossy like the dorm room poster.
Truthfully at 18 years old, I couldn’t even have conceived the difficulties that I would have to dodge, and some I would have to ride out, in order to reach my star. And when you reach one star, another will appear in the distance, you’ll just have to avoid a few more meteors to get there.
Ad Astra per Aspera. The difficulties make the journey meaningful. It's the difficulties that teach you the substance of the star, and it’s the difficulties that teach you how to navigate to the next star.
Over my birthday this summer I saw my dear college friend, Shahgol. I shared with her ideas for the When Daddy Shows Me the Sky book launch. She’s a person that finds universal connections in all things, and one of the most joyful people I know. She said, “Of course, Ad Astra per Aspera,” like somehow she knew my book would get published all along.
This summer was the first time I had thought of the Latin phrase in years.
It is pretty perfect.
Keep looking up.
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Rebecca W. Wheeler
School counselor, psychology educator, and yoga instructor.