We all know that there are some lessons we have to learn in order to really know how life works… and that’s a tough pill to swallow.
These people are sharing all those difficult truths they’ve learned over the years, and they’re nice enough to share them with us… so maybe we don’t have to go through as much pain.
Probably not… but it’s a nice thought.
Get ready for the pain!
1. One-way street.
That no matter how much you care for and value someone they’re never obligated to be the same to you. Especially friends.
Seems like I’ve been there a lot for my friends but they’re never even noticing that things haven’t been right for me lately.
Just a sad reality I guess.
2. They have to save themselves.
If somebody doesn’t want to be helped you can’t help them.
This one hurt with a suicidal brother.
3. Sometimes you have to move on.
Don’t take anything for granted, things change so fast and life is really short. I remember having so many friends not that long ago, who are now strangers.
A big one for me is how many “last times” you’re going to have, and how often you won’t realize it’s a last time. Things can change so fast. Go bowling every Monday? Have a convention you and your friends go to yearly? Hang out regularly with the same people?
One day is going to be the last time it happens and almost without fail you will not know. Then you go days without talking to someone, then weeks, then months, then one day you realize that you aren’t really friends anymore.
No major fallout, just your lives are no longer compatible.
4. Gone… and forgotten.
No matter what you have or what you do, you will be essentially forgotten after a few generations.
Weirdly enough, this one doesn’t really bother me that much. Like yeah, I will be essentially forgotten sooner or later, but it’s not like I have much to be remembered for.
In fact, most of us won’t have much to be remembered for other than a few interesting stories here and there, so I might as well get used to the fact that I will be forgotten eventually.
5. It’s often the opposite.
Being the hardest worker will not always equate to you being the one rewarded or recognized for accomplishments.
I was always warned by my grandfather that from a corporate point of view that to make yourself irreplaceable could oftentimes make you unpromotable… Because the powers that be would rather have you keep going than wait for someone else to learn a role already being filled.
6. Dealing with grief.
When it comes to grief Time does not heal all wounds. It dulls it, but one trigger and it floods back.
I learned this after my dad & grandma died in 2015. Sad I know, but I resent the fact that people kept telling me I wouldn’t feel it one day.
I think we need to be honest about that so people know how to cope with grief in the right way & not hold out for a day when it won’t be there lurking in the shadows.
7. I will survive!
Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.
8. Boundaries are everything.
Don’t fall in love with potential.
Big things, small things. That someone who’s inattentive will pay attention if you just try hard enough to show them it’s important. That someone who constantly self-sabotages will stop if you show them they’re worthy. That an addict will get clean if you support them enough. That someone violent will stop if you love them enough.
It’s not your job to fix your partner. Either you love them the way they are (and you should have a long, hard look if “who they are” is really what you think or if that’s just your idea of them), or you don’t. If it’s the latter, you may need to move on.
This isn’t the same as growing together, that’s an inevitable process based on equality. Your partner can’t be like an investment into a rotting house that you just need to fix and then it’ll be great to live in.
9. “Last time”
That you never know when the “last time” is until it is too late.
Last time you hugged a friend.
Last time you said “I love you.”
Last time your kid crawled in bed for cuddles.
Last time your parents called to chat.
Last time you had a great time with someone before…
Even the last times you look forward to end up passing by, and mark the finality of time… I am not sure what the date was when I changed my last kid’s diaper, but my babies aren’t babies any more.
10. Life? No, it’s not fair.
Sometimes the nicest people just seem to get f**ked over by the universe through no fault of their own.
I know being nice can lead to you getting screwed over by people willing to take advantage of it, but I’m more referring to random happenstance like someone gets run over by a drunk driver, gets killed in a terrorist bombing/attack, getting cancer/other diseases.
That’s more what I’m referring to.
Yep, those were some tough lessons, but we want to hear from you!
Have you ever had to live through some tough times? What did you learn?
Let us know in the comments!