Life is chaotic. We can either do something with the opportunity chaos places in front of us (climbing the ladder) or we can stand at the bottom of that ladder and wait for it turn into an escalator. Unfortunately (or fortunately- depending on how you look at it) climbing and moving forward isn't something that can be done by just standing there hoping to be carried to our next destination; it requires strength, endurance, determination, and motivation to continue when we are tired and our fingers can't seem to grip the rung anymore. So, we wait, hold on a little tighter, trying to regroup so that when the next rung is ready for us, we are ready to grab hold and pull ourselves higher.
The other option is to let go, and fall backwards. It happens to everyone. Some fall all the way down, and some just fall back a few rungs. But the choice to start climbing again is up to us.
I think we forget that there are other people on the ladder, dealing with a chaotic life too, and we have opportunities to reach back and grab hold of their hands and help them hang on by being their ear, their shoulder, or a whisper of confidence. We all need people in our lives who can help us stay on the ladder, moving upward.
I know that I have been extremely lucky to have people in my life that have helped me hold on to the ladder and keep on climbing. Even though we think that climbing, and waiting for our next rung to appear is personal, the anticipation, the anxiety, the prospect for the future, the torment of time can all be too much to handle alone. How we handle our waits and climbs, and how we help others wait and climb is what defines our character. Be strong, reach up, reach back, and move forward.