First two weeks of July have passed like a breeze. I didn’t cry, get angry, drink sedatives, or quarrel with relatives. I’ve planned my winter vacations, bought three new dresses and snickers, met my BGF, and chosen birthday gifts for my mom and sister. I worked on an even keel, watched movies, slept well, stroked my cat, and brewed coffee.
Everything was fine.
And suddenly, during this Zen period, I’ve got messages from friends: they feel sad; they have problems. Then, I’ve read several blog posts on depression and heard some complaints live. I nodded sympathetically, said that “everything’s gonna be okay,” – and escaped that someone else’s pain. I wanted to close my eyes and ears tight and find shelter in my peace.
How dare you suffer when I feel so good? It’s unfair!
We all consider happiness and calm the ideal mental state. Prescriptions like “be persuasive,” “live hygge,” “find work-life balance,” “be successful,” and others of that kind snow in, giving no time to relax. Real life will begin when all problems disappear. For that, finish this book, leave your comfort zone, network with these people, get enough sleep, relax, wake up at 6 am for running, and visit a psychotherapist. It’s preferable to do this all together.
Done? Great! Now you are ready to start living. (sarcasm)
I bet you heard all those “Hooray! I’ve finally written my book/run a marathon/left my hated job.” Yeah, all projects are finished, everyone’s healthy, they’ve found new jobs, got married, gave birth to kids, moved to a dream country – the global happiness has come! Don’t you want to press the Save button and stay here?
But it’s not the end but the start of another life stage.
Leaving a job, we start looking for a new one: this process is far from visiting a crazy party, right? Together with happiness, a baby brings tons of problems and dirty didees. Moving abroad, we have to adapt to new rules, look for new friends, and suffer from unbearable loneliness.
There are crises in relationships; quarrels and conflicts come after sustained peace; some bosses appear to be assholes; the dearest and nearest leave us sometimes. Maybe, living like a breeze will never come?
After two weeks of my July breeze, failures showed in one after the other:
Notifications on new projects came; the brain brought back offensive words from quarrels; someone turned sick; someone did not keep their promises. I fell on a greasy sidewalk, tore off a hanger loop on my jacket, gave up hope in a couple of people, and lost my favorite earrings. Problems like problems, nothing special.
A lightness of being doesn’t come every day, and it doesn’t stay with us for a long time. It’s a guest that drinks tea with us and spends the night on our sofa. But it’s unavoidably out by occasions, diseases, PMS, and bad mood. A human brain is cunning, which makes it impossible for us to live like a breeze. We get all worked up, hanker after all this to cease, and yet keep on suffering, accusing weather and avitaminosis of all manner of offenses.
Motivational books and blog posts on success cry, “Hey, be happy, not a dummy, okay?!” And you turn yourself inside out to reach that. But shit happens, and sometimes it happens every day.
People guard against problems in different ways.
One friend of mine, as they say, “makes lemonade when life gives her lemons;” another one moans all the time and yet seeks solutions to the problems; the third one panders to own and others’ pain, waiting for problems to disappear themselves. As for me, I want to scream something like “Hey, people! It grieves me; I feel bad. Help!”
Ways out are many:
You can visit a doctor or take a headache pill.
You can go to a gym when feeling pain in your back or knees.
You can take some wine and forget about all the troubles. For a while.
Or, you can keep on living with pains and gains, knowing that both will come to an end sooner or later.
Kids and pets are those teaching us to live with fails.
Your cat will pee under sofas and steal sausages; it will get sick, and big chances are it will pass away earlier than you. But a stolen sausage is not a sign your cat doesn’t love you. And you won’t cry every day because of the knowledge your cat won’t spend its whole life with you. You will stroke it and feel happy – here it is, your cat.
Your kid will pee and get sick, either. But eventually, he will stop screaming all the time. You’ll discover: he knows where a closet is, he can hit your funny bone, you can talk to him and learn new things. It doesn’t mean you won’t have troubles with your kid anymore. Later, he’ll get low grades at school, damage his nose, or make friends with some shady teenagers. You’ll have to live with problems rather than avoid them. And if you are a good parent, your kid will love you. And you will love him and feel happy – here he is, your kid.
To live means to know that it won’t be easy. We’ll feel sad sometimes, worry about parents, and quarrel with friends. We’ll meet bad people, be sopped in the rain and receive sunburns; people suffer from diseases and pass away; favorite earrings get lost for good.
Learn to live with own pain and understand that of others. Learn to see good and not close eyes to bad. Learn to understand it’s okay to feel sad and lonely sometimes. Looking through a broader lens, it may appear that life isn’t that bad. And you will feel happy – here it is, your life.