Existing is Hard
Disclaimer: This article was written in one long, emotion filled pass. There may be errors and typos because I'm not gonna proof-read it. This is just me, as I am. 💙
Currently, I'm working on my next big article which is going to take a long, hard look at both validation and praise. Before I put that one out there for everyone to take a look at, however, I want to just take a second and let you know that no matter where you are, mentally, emotionally, and figuratively; I'm right there with you. Existing is hard, life is hard, and it always will be. No matter how calm, positive, or happy we are in one moment, there will always be frantic, irritating, misery just around the bend. You can't have one without the other, and that's a fact.
A lot of people will ask me, "How are you so positive all the time?" To which I usually reply, "I don't know, I just am." If I can be completely honest though, I don't see myself as being positive all the time. I'm not some super hero when it comes to emotions. I'm actually pretty bad at them lol, but I guess I just know that no matter how I am feeling right now, it's gonna change. Nothing is permanent in life. I see people so unhappy with things like their living situation, their job, their partner, or even just the state of the world. And goodness does social media not help with any of those things.
I guess my point is that no matter what it is, your life is going to change at some point. You may not know when, or even how, but change is coming for you. If you're happy now, then the best thing you can do is know, and accept, that a dip will come. Hard times will find you again, and that's okay! If you're miserable now, just know that happiness is coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Some of us spend years on one side of the coin or the other, but seriously, there is another side to it. The worst part is that you can't see it until after it flips.
When I look back over my life, I see this incredible roller coaster of ups and downs that doesn't have a beginning or an end. I can see some of the happiest times of my life and they shine bright like little lighthouses dotting the moonlit ocean. Of the times that I can remember, here are the highlights of my life:
- When I was maybe 5, my dad bought me a power-wheels jeep. It was just a little battery operated car with weirdly sharp plastic in certain places, but I loved it and I remember it fondly.
- When I was 11, my grandparents took me to San Antonio for the first time. My grandfather, being retired Air Force, turned me loose at the Lackland AFB Museum and I touched the landing gear of an SR-71 Blackbird. This changed my life forever.
- When I was 16, I got my first car and discovered a new meaning to the word "freedom."
- When I was 18, I graduated high school and went off to college. The first night in the dorm, living by myself, was absolutely thrilling. But also terrifying.
- When I was 23, I got married. The ceremony took place at a friends house and it was beautiful. We danced and drank and sang into the night.
- At 28, I landed a job on Cape Canaveral AFB, working for IOMS, a NASA contractor.
- I think I'll stop there cause talking about my 30s just makes me feel old LOL
At the same time though, I can look back over those same years and see lots of low spots. I'm sure if you do the same thing, right now, you'll see some of the same. If not a very similar experience, then you will at least have some variation in there. Especially from your younger years. We are invariably happy as children, so carefree and spoiled by the world over. Then our brains start to develop and we begin to think. I really believe that the ability to sit and consider endless "what-ifs" is what actually screws us over.
I guess my point is that no matter what's actually happening, we continue to go through life. The sun rises, then sets, mirrored by the moon, and we do it all again. Maybe it's the same thing, day in and day out. Maybe your life is constantly on fire and you're the only one to put out tragedy after tragedy. Or, perhaps, you've already made your million and retired at 25. I actually know two people who this applies to, so don't think it's impossible. One hopped into stocks as soon as they turned 18, and the other landed a massive inheritance. Neither of them work now, and actually both live in the Caribbean. But, I digress. To bring my point home, here are the low points in my life that I can easily see:
- When I was about 10, I no longer fit into that power-wheels jeep. So it sat for maybe another year, because my grandparents couldn't let go of the memories either, before disappearing forever one day.
- When I was 17, I was exposed to something that I am deadly allergic to. This landed me in the hospital, barely conscious because my lungs were swelling shut. I had never had a shot in the butt before, but I vividly remember how hard I bit into the pillow.
- When I was 19, I flunked out of my first year of college. I discovered alcohol and a lot of that year is a blur. I made a lot, and I mean a lot, of bad decisions.
- At 26, I got a divorce. That happy marriage quickly turned into three hellish years with someone who couldn't do as much as wash a plate or put the clothes in the dryer. I'll never forget how useless and worthless I felt when they left though. If I couldn't even keep a bad partner, how was I ever going to hold on to a good one?
- At 32, I had to leave my job at the Cape because my grandparents were in very poor health. I left behind the rumble of the rockets and the scream of the jets with tears in my eyes. My grandparents are okay now, but I miss that place so much.
- And, most recently, the pandemic cost me my job. I was unemployed, for the first time in my life, for nearly a year. No matter what I did, I couldn't get a job in aerospace. They just didn't exist anymore and there were several nights where I cried myself to sleep thinking that I would never get back to what I love.
As you can see, I'm definitely not positive all the time. I think what people choose to see is my demeanor, rather than my emotions. That and we all put on masks around others, it's second nature to be what we want, rather than who we are, depending on present company. We all cope in different ways, but again, life keeps going. The only time that we can't account for is when we sleep. Other than that, we are always thinking, always wondering, always what-if'ing. There are a few people out there that I honestly believe would think themselves to death if it were possible.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I know this little site in the middle of an electronic sea isn't much, but it means the world to me. I hope this article spoke to you in one way or another. I think the whole point of this was really just to convince myself that, "Hey, it's okay. You're gonna be alright. Just take things one day at a time and remember that change is coming."
Life keeps on, and so will we.