“Everything happens for a reason,” she replied.
I sat in my bed surrounded by empty tissue boxes and a tear-soaked journal page that I had attempted to write on. My eyes were red; my lungs were short of breath. “Nothing happens for a fucking reason,” I wanted to fire back at her.
Nothing happens for a fucking reason.
I felt defeated. My world was crumbling around me; my tears became inevitable. I would wake up every morning with every intention to take on the day with a clear heart and mind. I started the day on a positive note, despite my puffy eyes and wet pillow from the night before. I started out the day wanting to be happy. I needed to be happy.
I needed it so badly that it started to feel out of reach. The longer my fingertips would stretch to grasp it, the further it would be. Depression was embedded in me and happiness was so far gone that I lost all hope. When people would tell me that “everything happens for a reason,” I wanted to punch a wall. If everything happens for a reason, then why can’t I catch a goddamn break?
Does everything really happen for a reason? Or was this just a sad attempt to make me feel better?
I rejected the notion of destiny for several months, calling it bullshit and would cringe at the sound of this kind of advice. I was tired of hearing cliche one-liners. I was tired of people minimizing my complex thoughts and problems into one short sentence that I had just passed on my Pinterest page. I was pushing this advice so far away in my mind that I had never taken the time to consider the deeper meaning behind it. I was pushing everything away, and perhaps it was time to stop pushing and start holding. It was time to start holding onto something greater than the shitty situations that were right in front of me.
I can’t count the amount of times that people have told me that “everything happens for a reason.” I can’t explain why people rely on destiny to solve their problems or hold onto the idea of karma to get them through the day. It seems as though we are told that everything happens for a reason because there is simply no other tangible explanation.
To be honest, I don’t know if everything happens for a reason. I don’t know if happiness is an active choice or if I’ll ever be completely content with every aspect of my life. I don’t know what life has in store for me tomorrow or ten years from now, if anything at all. I’d like to think that karma exists and destiny has some sort of plan for me, but that could also be a bunch of bullshit.
I do know that you have to hold onto something. “Everything happens for a reason,” may sound cliche, but if it gives you a peace of mind, hold onto it. Don’t push it away because you’ve heard it a thousand times before. Hold onto the idea that life is so much more than sucky situations and broken hearts. I don’t know what good came out of scars on my arm or the depressing poems tucked into my tear-soaked journal pages. I probably never will, but I have learned to look at life from a larger perspective, rather than separate broken pieces that I am expected to fit together.
My life will never be a perfect puzzle. I will always have missing pieces that don’t seem to fit with the rest of the picture. There will always be shitty people; there will always be situations that I can’t explain. I can’t give you reasons for every broken piece that is thrown your way, but I can tell you that I have broken pieces, too.
I won’t attempt to lessen your burdens by telling you to simply be happy. It doesn’t work that way. It’s OK not to be OK sometimes. I won’t tell you that life will provide you with some epiphany to explain the shitty cards that you have been dealt. However, don’t let your depressing moments define you. Don’t let any single moment define you, because life isn’t one singular moment. Life is multiple chapters of a large book; understand that all you need to do is flip the page. Page 134 might be just as depressing as page 23, but at least you’re not stuck on the same one. I won’t tell you to let go of what makes you angry, or tell you that tomorrow will be easier than today. But I will tell you to try and hold onto something that gives you a peace of mind, even if it’s just for a moment. Hold onto some type of constant.
Because in this life, that’s all that we really need: something to hold on to.
Featured image via WeHeartIt