Monday 14 April 2014

Do you think life is hard?

Yesterday I got lost in the world of Meg. Meg is a wonderful writer living in NYC, whose blog is “a guide on how to drink lattes (full-fat and without restraint), on how to love graciously, and how to ever-so-slowly suss out a life.”
I simply love her, because she is so honest, eloquent and beautiful. A beautiful soul living in a beautiful body and mind. I highly recommend checking out her blog, it’s a worthy read.

Anyways, in her last post she mentioned, in passing, that she thinks life is hard. And that people give her a hard time for saying that.
I stopped and asked myself: “Is life really hard?”
I guess having to ask the question is an answer in itself – if you didn’t notice it yourself, life probably isn’t that hard for you.

I think some people are really good at living life. They are fearless and brave, and if you are those two things, you are pretty much set.

I am not one of these people. I am scared of so many things that it is ridiculous. Some of my fears include (but are not limited to): answering the phone; meeting new people; confrontations; pain; that the moles on my back may turn into cancer; getting tongue-tied at inopportune moments; feeling lonely; public speaking; swimming in the ocean (sharks, jelly fish, undercurrents, the sheer size of it); more and more, flying.  
That doesn’t mean I don’t do these things; I do. But some days it is so difficult.
Do I think life is hard though? No, not really.

You want to know why? Because somehow, I lucked out and ended up living with a person who is very good at life. Who doesn’t scare easily.
(Rumour has it that he isn’t scared of anything. Is that even possible?)
Over the last decade he has been my teacher. Inadvertently, since he doesn’t realize what a rare talent he possesses. To him it’s normal. Oh, if he only knew! I have tried to explain to him how scared many people are in life, of life, of so many things. He doesn’t quite understand.
Lucky, lucky man.

I think it is essential to get to know ourselves. Who we are, what makes us happy.
What makes you get up in the morning and excited for the day? What makes your heart beat faster? We are all such unique individuals, don’t let society tell you how you are supposed to be. What you are supposed to like and dislike.

Doing things for the wrong reasons makes life incredibly hard. If you are being forced having to do things you are uncomfortable with, you will feel overwhelmed every day.
I know that we are supposed to get out of our comfort zone, try new things, be brave.
And I agree.
But only to a point. If we deny our true selves and try to be someone we are not, we will end up having to act in our own life, pretending to be someone we are not.
And it creates a chain reaction.

Let’s say you got caught in the money/career trap.
You got a degree (because it was expected of you). Now you got a job that goes with it. You are secretly scared of your job, because you don’t actually want to be in a position with such great responsibility. It gives you sleepless nights, tummy troubles and a smoking habit you can’t seem to break.

But you get through your days, you act and pretend and hide the fear. There are some perks – prestige, and you make good money. You are able to buy yourself pretty things. Just look around you – isn’t that what everybody wants? Being able to afford a shiny new car, big house and exotic vacation? So you buy them, to make yourself feel better. To ease the stress, treat yourself.

You may find a partner one day. Because you spend so much time at work, it is someone from the same field. You date, you move in together, you get married.
He/she sees you as this competent, confident business person. You have gotten so good at hiding your fear and anxiety that you fooled them all!
But not yourself. Not forever. It will catch up with you, even if it is years later.
Such a life is hard.

And your partner? They didn’t marry the real you. They married the version you thought you should be.
And that, again, makes life very hard. Being with the wrong person.

It may even be harder than being alone. And being alone ain’t easy.      
If you ask me, human beings aren’t meant to be alone. We are gregarious animals, who need the protection and companionship of a herd. Not necessarily a big one – I myself are very content in my inner circle of two (and the dogs of course), with some more members on the outskirts.

But in order to find the right person, you have to know who you are.

Which brings me back to my initial thought – why some people seem to be so much better at life than others.

I believe that they have figured out, for themselves, who and what they are. And they are content with it. They are comfortable in their own skin. If you are happy with yourself, a lot of things don’t affect you.
You are not really affected by jealousy and the comparison monster.
You are not scared of other people.
You are not easily influenced by the media, trying to tell you all the things you should be, that a makeover is the answer to everything, that you will be happy if you just lose that weight, buy that new kitchen, get that promotion. 

If you are comfortable with yourself, you know your capabilities and limits. You can admit that you don’t know everything.

Such a life is not so hard.

I strive to be like that one day. Because to me, life was very hard at times. Some decisions were made out of sheer desperation or stubbornness.
It is getting better. Little by little, I'm finding to my own and feel I'm getting a handle at this life of mine. 
It's a process though, I'm not there yet. 

With that teacher of mine by my side, I am confident that I may just figure it out. 
Let’s talk again in another decade.

What about you? Do you think life is hard?

xoxo Miriam  

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  1. "I think it is essential to get to know ourselves." I couldn't agree more! I don't think that we can truly enjoy life or any situation in it, or any relationship in it, until we've achieved knowing ourselves or are at least making the effort to!

  2. So many thoughts here. For me, getting to know myself has been the hard part, not life itself. For so long I believed that my way of life (me) was wrong because I wasn't accepted by those closest to me. I can see the exact moment I lost me, and getting back to that is what's hard. Everything worth having is worth the struggle though and luckily I have a partner who thinks the ups and downs of my journey are worth the bumpy ride :)

  3. Hi Miriam. My pleasure stopping by. =) Thanks for doing the same.

    This post was so thoughtful and reflective. Many great ideas. Life is hard but it is the little things in life that make it all worth it in my opinion. Don't you think? Wishing you a Great Tuesday!!

    And I'd love for us to follow and support each-other. I am your newest fan & reader via GFC. Do you have Bloglovin as well? Hope you follow as well. =)

  4. Wow Miriam....excellent post! I don't know where to start or what to say; as you so beautifully expressed so many thoughts that I feel are so very, very true about life. I struggle with "where" I should be so much, but at least I know that I have the "who" worked out and I'm grateful daily for that support and decision! I'm so glad I did not settle on that aspect in life and allow fear to push me into maybe an easier or less resistant route.

  5. Love this post! I have never thought of life as hard, although I have definitely been through hard times. Even in the difficult times, I still feel like I am going to make it through okay. I know this mindset comes from my belief in God, and that as a child of His, I don't have to be afraid. But through that, there is also contentment, and like you said, that is a big part of your perspective on whether or not life is hard. I fear many things, like you do, but I also enjoy challenging myself to conquer those fears. It's funny that you said you still have to be careful in that though, because you might be trying to be someone else. I have thought about that a lot! If I am trying to conquer my fears to conform to societal pressures, then it is probably not a good reason, and won't be worth it in the end.


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