Do you struggle all the time? Do you wish things were easier? Is life hard for you? Well, guess what? You are not the only one. Everyone feels that way at one point or another. Even those people that you think “have it all.”
Do you believe if you were just skinnier, richer, more popular, or smarter, that life would be a bowl of cherries and you’d have nothing to complain about? Not the case. Do you know what happens when you get your heart’s desire? You enjoy it for a few weeks and then, you adjust. And you find something else to wish for. The list is never ending.
Have you ever been in love? – It can be wonderful and make you feel like you are floating on air. It can make you feel like you can take on the world. But when love ends badly, boy does it suck. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rip-you-apart pain.
Or maybe you haven’t been in love in forever and you are just sitting around wondering what’s wrong with you. That’s enough to make even a Kim Kardashian style wedding look good in comparison.
Do you like to collect friends? We feel this powerful urge to connect with our fellow human beings, but somehow, it seems pretty hard. Even with being able to look at your Facebook account and all of your 498 friends. The truth is, most of us only have 2 real friends, confidants or people we can trust. This number has shrunk in half in the last 2 decades alone. Can you guess why? Because people would rather sit at home in their sweatpants embellishing on a life that they don’t really have to impress people they aren’t really friends with than go outside and actually interact with people.
But set aside the last twenty five years and ask yourself a question: How can human beings go through their whole lives talking to other people and still only have a couple of really close friends?
Simple: We’re extremely self-absorbed creatures. To 99.99% of people on earth, what they’re having for dinner tonight is more important than the greatest accomplishment of your life. Then toss in miscommunication, bad moods, rumors, and the other added assortment of character flaws, vices, and mental illnesses and we’re lucky we don’t all just greet each other with punches in the face. Take that sista!
Are you having a mid-life crisis? When you’re young, you feel invincible and your whole life is ahead of you. It can be easy to forget about the fact that you’re going to die. Then you get knocked on your back with an illness, someone you care about passes away, or you just get a little older and the idea slaps you right in the face.
This is why people have mid-life crises. You wake up one day, notice that you have aches in weird places you didn’t 10 years ago, think about your childhood dreams, and realize you never achieved your teenage dream of sleeping with whatever rockstar or celebrity (John Stamos for example) you happen to fancy — and maybe you never will because you are going to DIE. Why didn’t someone tell you about this at 20?
Do you prefer carrots or cupcakes? If carrots and spinach tasted like bacon and cupcakes, we’d all be healthy. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
So we need to decide. Do we want to eat for maximum enjoyment and skip the hard work of exercising or do we want to eat food that isn’t as good and put in the time training? In theory, most people prefer option two, but in practice, people seem to usually take option one. And those that combine eating healthy all the time and exercising, I’m not sure what to say to you except you are superhuman and I bow before you.
The truth is it is really less of an even trade than we often admit. It takes a lot of exercise and eating right to look really good, and only a few months off to go back to doughy and bloated. Moreover, you may live longer if you exercise, but if you were able to add it up, you’d probably find that you spent most of that extra life you earned exercising. That said, exercise is still a better choice. I don’t want to steer you wrong.
Would you rather have mo’ money, mo’ problems. Less money, mo’ problems. Inbetween money, mo’ problems? The poor, well everybody knows about their problems. But, the richest people get sued by people just because they have money, they worry they’re only liked because of their wealth, they feel unworthy of having so much money, and they go bankrupt. Sure, nobody ever looks unhappy when he’s riding around on a 48 foot yacht, but there are a hell of a lot of unhappy rich people out there.
Then there are the people in between. They have problems, too, primarily because lifestyle tends to rise to match cash flow. There are people who are making $100,000 a year who are flat broke because they’re spending $125,000. Even if things are going well and you’ve behaving responsibly, there’s always something to worry about. Maybe Social Security will go bust and you won’t have enough when you get old. Maybe your kids will get into trouble and you’ll have to spread yourself too thin helping them. Maybe your daughter will become a groupie and follow Justin Beiber around the country on tour. Maybe you have a shoe and beauty product addiction like me? Middle class Americans can never really squirrel enough money away to feel 100% secure.
Being middle class or better yet, rich, definitely beats being poor, but don’t kid yourself: Everybody struggles with money — well, almost everybody.
Do you believe in God? If you’re an atheist or agnostic, it’s probably troubling that so many of your fellow travelers in humanity buy into religion while you don’t. There’s also the idea of creating a whole moral code for yourself based on what you feel is “right” at the moment, as if that doesn’t constantly shift throughout your life. Then, there’s the gnawing feeling that maybe you are wrong about your lack of belief, which seems to really bloom when people start to sense the presence of the Grim Reaper in their immediate vicinity.
That’s not to say it’s all rainbows and butterflies for believers either. Ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen to good people? I have. Very recently. Have you ever scratched your head because you don’t understand things that God’s doing? What about kicking yourself for knowing something was wrong and feeling compelled to do it anyway? It’s never fun to feel like a hypocrite, wonder if you’re doing enough to please God, or to feel unworthy because you’re good, but not good enough to meet a standard no human can ever quite reach. Truthfully I have probably sinned three times writing this article alone.
Although people hate to admit it, religion is supposed to be something that you struggle with. If it were easy, like a pass/fail Dinosaurs 101 course in college (I actually took one), it wouldn’t have any meaning.
What’s the meaning of life and, no, it’s not “Life’s a b*tch and then you die.” Life is like a game with ever-changing rules, an infinite number of strategies, and an unlimited number of ways to “win.” Figuring out what part you’re supposed to play in the game of life is tough duty (not to be confused with Call of Duty) — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Everyone loves to say, “I don’t have any regrets.” Let me just throw the bullsh*t card down on that one because all of us do and say stupid things we’d take back if we could. We also struggle with tough decisions, wondering how and if we can reach our full potential, and what our purpose here in this world is. The one thing I can say for certain is our life purpose is not to find
The takeaway: Just enjoy life. Do it now. Eat the cupcakes.