I’m writing this as I sit here drinking a glass of Irish whiskey, recovering from a hip replacement surgery at the age of 27. My soccer career went down the drain, and I’m experiencing a severe anxious-filled existential crisis. With all of that happening, I begin to understand what the hardships of life are about — the lessons we must learn, the heartbreak we must endure, and the never-ending feeling of feeling like a phoenix shot down mid-flight. We all experience change.
A wise man once told me, “Son, life is like snakes and ladders. You could be on level 97, role a one, and then land on a snake that takes you all the way to level three. Maybe it was just the luck of the dice, but don’t be angry you fall. Look up and think about how to get to level 98.”
The core message of this is magical. Continue to climb, but take different routes with different perspectives and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Never give in to the adversity that life throws at you and always dust yourself off — you have to be ready to push through the next barrier that comes your way.
And make sure to enjoy it! Enjoy the moments you feel hopeless and the ones where you hit the wall and feel like giving up. This is life, but it is also us. Our experiences, one may argue, are all positive. It’s the way we react to those experiences that can make them negative.
So many of us, if not all, have gone through a massive period of change. A moment, which feels like a lifetime, where we question our whole lives. We ask ourselves many questions: Who are we? What am I going to do now? What career do I want to follow?
All of these are such common questions that we ask ourselves regularly. And this is perfectly OK! These questions of existence, purpose, and even destiny are inevitable. So maybe we can view these moments not as a crisis but as a turning point — a moment where we stop, assess, and discover even more facets of ourselves.
After all of the things I’ve experienced, I realized that it’s actually all exciting. For the first time, I can begin exploring so many different avenues that the world has to offer. I have the chance to change my negative way of thinking into a positive one. After all, s*** is going to happen, and we need to be prepared to dig in deep and find our wings so that we can soar once more.
I would like to point out that I’m not pretending the idea that “if I can believe it, it will happen” is true.
Because the reality of the world just isn’t as such. We must be able to find the balance between our own experiences and those of someone else. Instead, I want to convey that we must look within ourselves, which will guide us through life, especially when we feel down. We must not only empathize with others but with ourselves too. If we look within and take notice of all the improvements we have made, we can begin to change our relationship with adversity. Then, we can use it as a driving force.
This can make us better in all sense of the word — make us feel happier and give us the determination to keep moving towards our goals and aspirations. Every experience, moment of pain, anguish, and adversity is a learning curve we can use to find who we are when it comes to our reality. So let’s appreciate the steps we take in life and learn from every single one as we venture.