Hard Times And Why They’re Cool

It has not been an easy semester.  This is an especially difficult thing to accept, since my memories of last year are punctuated by (almost) wholly happy, carefree events.  It’s alarming how quickly you can go from smiling at what life has bestowed upon you to grimacing under the weight of the world.  The more optimistic corollary to this realization is that the opposite is equally true.

It’s a difficult time in my life.  Again, even admitting this is something I find hard.  Part of the reason is that I do not like to confess that some things have hurt me.  As well, I worry that many negative things have their genesis in negative attitudes.  Any way I slice it, however, these last few months have really sucked.

With that said, there’s something a little…glamorous about going through painful trials.  Maybe glamorous is not entirely an accurate word, but it does feel good to know that what you are struggling through is meaningful and important.  The struggles that you face MEAN something.  You’ve been hurt, trampled, disappointed and rejected and still you carry on.  I find that beautiful.  I can realize that this period is, believe it or not, beautiful.  That’s not because I’m a masochist: it’s because I feel growth and learning happening every single moment of every day that I feel beleaguered.  

Is pain the only teacher?  Certainly not.  Does it always lead to growth and maturation?  I wouldn’t think so.  There are many cases of people whose pain has regressed them.  It’s certainly possible that this will be my fate, but I somehow doubt it.  Anguish and what it opens up have been some of the best teachers in my life.  I don’t think that I ever truly appreciated what I had until it was gone.  Similarly, I think that I overlooked a lot of the beautiful things in life (waking up in the morning and feeling just…normal is a blessing of massive proportions) until the hard times showed me just how much I depended on them.

It’s a bit passe, but times like these also make you absolutely excited about the future, about improvement and about a time when you take a breath without feeling emptiness.  “There’s nowhere to go but up” is a phrase that I wish were universally true, but I find it inspiring, regardless.  One of the few curses of loving a period of your life is the deathly fear of it turning to loathing.  One of the few blessings of despising a period of your life is the realization that it is fleeting.  

Thank god for the hard times.

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