This week’s theme is LIFE (not at all a challenging or broad topic to discuss)
I’m only 24 so I’m not going to try and pretend that I have all the wisdom in the world. Instead, I’m going to talk about probably my biggest life lesson so far. So what is it? What huge lesson can I bestow upon you? Well, it’s nothing new, but it took me a while to accept, and that is that there will be AMAZING highs in life, but they won’t come without really really CRAPPY lows. Life without either of these things wouldn’t be, well, life.. It would be a monotonous line of bland okayness.
Remember the highs when you're feeling low
Life throws a lot of curve balls our way – death, breakups, failures, health issues, financial problems, family disputes.. you name it, life will throw them at you at any time, willy nilly. Life is nice and non-discriminatory that way. Thanks life!
It also provides us with lots of great shots – love, amazing friendships, close families, job promotions, travel opportunities.. you name it, life will surprise you with something that brings you joy.
I remember the first time I was ever in my proper ‘down’ part of the roller coaster. It was in second year of University and well, I just wasn’t happy. From the outside, all the boxes were ticked – I had a boyfriend, I had friends, I was at University, I was healthy, I was doing well. However, I couldn’t see the positives in my life. I was only looking at the negatives. I began to question everything in my life and started to worry way too much about the future, even although I was only 19! It sounds ridiculous. But at the time I really couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, even though I was in an extremely lucky position. I felt trapped. I began to think about my future negatively. I started to doubt myself and my self worth plummeted. I was worrying about what I would be doing in five years rather than what I was doing that day.
You see, sometimes those down parts don’t necessarily mean things are going terribly wrong in your life. Sometimes it just means things aren’t going the way you want them to and it can be terribly frustrating. In these moments when you can’t envision your way out, it can be so hard to imagine that things could be better.
I had no idea then, that the following year would be one of the best years of my life, that I would better the friendships I already had and make new ones. I had no idea that I would start to love University again. I had no idea that in a few years time I would be lucky enough to travel around the world with one of my best friends.
You truly never know what is around the corner for you. As long as you persevere and don’t give up, life will find a way for you.
You can find hope, and that there is actually a lot to learn from the failures and upsets that life throws our way. For me, whenever something goes a bit tits up in my life, I remember how my 19 year old self felt and I’m thankful that I can get through bad times and that life has rewarded me for it. I remember all the amazing things that have happened to me since I felt that way.
There’s not much I can say to talk you through those rough patches, except from the old cliches, keep going, stick it out, you’ll make it.
Your life should be like the best book you have ever read.
You also have to remember that your life is like a story. Imagine reading a book where nothing bad ever happened. Imagine a book where someone goes to school, gets great results, goes to University, gets a great job, falls in love, gets married, has 2 kids and a dog and then passes away peacefully in their sleep aged 90.
Let me tell you, that is not a book I want to read! That book sounds so boring and run of the mill. So why would you want your life to go that way? Why would you want to live a life without any bumps in the road? Bumps in the road are what makes us stronger (soz, cliche, but it’s true.) Bumps in the road are what differentiate us from other people. We shouldn’t let them define us, but they can help us appreciate the good in life even more.
Appreciate contentedness, everything else is a bonus.
Universally, the most important thing in life is to be happy. After that, everything is a bonus. Often in life, we’re always looking for the next step. We’re always looking to better ourselves or to better each other. We often forget to appreciate what we have right now. To appreciate our health, our relationships and our prospects.
It’s only when you go through tough times that you can truly understand and appreciate how great it is just to be content and happy.
You never know what other's are going through
I would also advise to NOT compare your life to anyone else’s. I recently found out that someone who I think has the PERFECT life (based purely on social media), is actually really unhappy and going through some really hard things right now.
Remember that social media is everyone’s HIGHLIGHT REEL. People don’t tend to share the crappier aspects of their lives. So if you’re thinking that everyone seems to be doing dandy and you are the only person whose life isn’t going to plan, take a look at your own Facebook profile and ask yourself if you could tell that you weren’t having a great time. The answer is probably no.
Life is hard!
Just remember. If life was easy, it wouldn’t be worth living. Overcoming adversity and getting through tough times is gratifying and life changing.
And if you’re ever needing a song to lift your mood, I always find singing ‘Life, oh liiife’ by Des’ree makes me laugh when shit hits the fan.