There are so many negative feelings associated with being “almost there”, and I completely get why. With all the times we could have made it but fell even just a little short, it’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the most painful words in the English language.
But that doesn’t have to be all we remember it as.
The Oxford English Dictionary has two main definitions for the word “almost”, the first of which being "not quite”. This definition sheds light on all the almost relationships, almost successes, and almost achievements we were never able to truly grasp.
And sure, there have been countless TED talks, videos, and articles about the disappointment that comes with every almost. However, one spoken word video personally stands out. During the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2014, Bianca Phipps performed her written work entitled “Almosts”, and this is what she had to say:
“We exchanged our favorite words, mine being illuminated and yours being cattywhompus. And our least favorites: mine, “moist”, and yours “almost”.
And when I asked you why you said it was because almost held failed potential. That it represented our ability to be just not good enough.
That we had come to the brink of something beautiful, but fell short so many times we crafted a word for it.
But even we with our supposed mastery of the English language were not immune to the shortcomings of our vocabularies."
Don't get me wrong; I'd hate to bring you down with perspectives like this, but I must. Because although almosts can be unpleasant, bitter, upsetting–you name it–they are also normal.
So the next time you feel like life is treating you unfairly, remember that no one:
With that in mind, it also means that no one is alone in their struggle.
So revel in knowing that if others around you have gone through the same thing and survived, so will you. Be grateful for the realization that maybe you don't have to love the idea of being "almost there"–you just have to accept it.
If you want to take it a step–or a leap–further, though, maybe the second definition is for you.
Aside from "almost" meaning "not quite", the Oxford English Dictionary also defines it as "nearly there". And contrary to the first definition, this one encourages more of a glass half full approach.
One that allows you to look at things from a more optimistic, gratitude-filled perspective.
It helps us see that being "almost there" means only needing to put the last piece of the puzzle.
A few more minutes of hiking until you reach the summit.
Your final lap.
It may not always feel like it in the moment, but looking back, you'll see that you were way closer than you thought to achieving your goals.
So complete that puzzle, climb that mountain, and finish that lap in record time.
Because I promise you, you're almost there.