This year has been by far the most difficult year for me personally. And by difficult, I don’t mean the ‘I’ve gained a few pounds’, or ‘I had a few bad dates’, or even ‘I didn’t manage to achieve my savings goal’ type of difficult. 2015 feels like a long year of being dragged slowly through a dwindling road of never ending challenges from relationships, family and work. My Father was ill for the first half of the year, I called it quits with someone that was very dear to me, I was uncertain at work, and recently was stumped by some depressing personal news that superseded everything else that happened this year.
It is not easy to make sense of it all when you’re in the bubble of hardships. It certainly doesn’t help when you scroll down social media and it seems like the rest of your friends are living a ‘perfect’ life, albeit knowing the fact that they are all fantasies, a subconscious effort of our minds to only post wonderful things online to make it seem like our lives are perfect. Friend X keeps showing off her perfect little family, but perhaps she is exhausted as hell. Friend Y is posting photos of travel adventures, but maybe it’s a substitute for feeling a bit lost in his real world. Friend Z seems like she’s climbing a fast ladder in her career, but it could be at a price of her personal time that she can never get back. It’s not a crime. Almost everybody does it. Everybody yearns to live a problem-free life, which in turn inspires the stint of only sharing the good things with the world. Alas, none of us have it all. Everyone has challenges, in different altitudes and different ways.
Episodes of downfall in life can sometimes cause such a thick haze that it becomes almost impossible to look beyond it. Personally I always end up feeling withdrawn from people, and all I want to do is to buy ten gallons of Jamaican Almond Fudge ice cream and go live in a cave for two weeks. Some people will try to be helpful and tell you all the generic advice you’ll ever hear, but these will sound void and meaningless. Religious faith can be a great assistance, but if you’re human like me, sometimes it is such a struggle to collide your emotions and religious logic. Furthermore, sadness, disappointments and loss are such resilient, resilient villains. They lurk in the shadows, refusing to go away too easily.
Downfalls make you grow. It is impossible to learn anything if you’re constantly on top of the world, the euphoria of good times shielding you from any form of self-growth. The harder the downfall, the more we are forced to look at our lives from a different perspective. For me, downfalls make me humble. They make me man up to the hard truths of life. When my Father was sick I was forced to prepare myself for a life without parents. If it doesn’t happen today, it will happen someday. When I was broken hearted, it made me re-evaluate the definition of love against the fantasies of it. In the wake of other news in my family, I was taught the price not thinking about your loved ones when making life decisions.
Downfalls, at the core of it, are what realigns our focus on what life and living are really about. Loving our family despite their flaws. Falling on your face when it comes to love a few times, so that when you meet a good one, you’ll know it. Understanding that life isn’t just about being happy all the time, but it’s about those accumulation of moments, both good and bad, that makes it a complex, rich and wondrous overall experience. There is no point being too bummed out about anything in this lifetime, because in case you haven’t noticed, whether we choose to live it with utter contentment or not, none of us are getting out of here alive anyway. So if you ask me, it’s a pretty obvious choice how we should conduct it.