Before I begin, I ask of your forgiveness
The holidays are over and I’m feeling pessimistic. The stress of expectation and anticipation is over, but so is the spirit of hope and new beginnings. So I ask you to bear with me as I criticize some of your favorite chlichés, point out what I believe to be some harsh realities, and get altogether down on myself.
Here we go: I don’t believe that if it’s really meant to be, it’ll work out. Things are more complicated than that. People fall in love but sometimes geography, or financials, or human rights (or lack thereof) stand in the way of that. It’s just not that simple. And this doesn’t just go for love but for many things.
Secondly, when something doesn’t work out, it’s not always because there is “something better” waiting for you. Sometimes you need to adjust your expectations and persevere a little longer. You can really want something, pray for something, work hard for something, and that doesn’t make you entitled to it, and maybe you will end up in a better place but maybe not. Life isn’t fair, and there are harsh realities of endless struggle, of unexpected illnesses, of sudden deaths, that can’t be explained.
I don’t think my mum died for a reason, and I certainly don’t think I’m better off without her. I don’t think that it’s healthy to believe that things will always get better, largely because for most of us this isn’t the case, at least not forever. I live in constant fear that my best years are behind me, but as I get older, and those around me age and family gets sick, relationships and friendships become more distant, politics and the integrity of the world seem more and more in jeopardy, this only gets truer and truer. I know I am young. And I try not to dramaticize. But responsibilities exponentially increase, things change and we are forever guided by and holding on to the way things once were. Change is hard.
We grow up and we realize that those whose opinions we used to cherish so deeply, and advice we used to take as word of God, are flawed human beings just like we are, and we are all just trying to make the best of everything. It can be hard to see one you once idolized as human, and find out that nobody has all the answers.
To dream is dangerous, even though some days it is the only thing keeping me going. To dream is to have goals and aspirations, and these I do believe to be quite healthy, but our dreams do not always come true, and sometimes not at any fault of our own. We can get down on ourselves for not being where we want to be at a certain age, not completing a childhood dream, not meeting our own or someone else’s expectations, and this can spin us (read: me) into a dark place. We live in a world full of comparisons but there really are none. There is no real way to measure progress, since we are constantly in flux and while one aspect may be better, we are most certainly sacrificing in another area.
I don’t think I am at the worst point in my life, and I am certainly not going to say this is the worst it will ever get, but I am in a difficult spot and this I won’t hide. I am scared of the future. I have been pretty stagnant the last three years, but in this stand-still I have found consistency, and I have not been so invested in something for fear that I won’t be able to hold onto it, and this is a very safe, though dry, place to live. I do have hope for the future, but I have reservations as well. I’m tired, exhausted even, by the constant struggle, and this is just how things are. I hope to be moved to action, and motivated to create change for the better. I remind myself to take it day by day, and enjoy the process, because we are not guaranteed a better future. We can do everything right, and for reasons beyond our control, with no explanation or justification it may not go our way. It is a reality I live in though still somehow in denial of it.
I leave you with this, stay strong, rally together, because as dire as the situation seems, we are certainly not alone. We all have a say in how the future will go down. Not a final say, but an influence and this seems to be mostly of all we can ask.
Stay strong, persevere. You matter. We all matter.