• Jake West

The Balance We Must All Find

Life is an interesting, unpredictable, puzzling, amazing journey. It is filled with memorable fun times, as well as inescapable hard ones. One that gives us moments of clarity, along with moments of endless insanity. Our journey is on a windy road, at an unclear time with no destination. Life is good and bad with little indication on what side of the coin we will experience next.

And it’s funny because of how subjective the journey really is. I’ve often wondered whether I have it tough or not. As most people do, we wonder if we have struggled and/or continue to struggle. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to terms that I can not answer this question because it’s simply phrased the wrong way.

I’ve been cheated on in the biggest relationship of my life. I’ve had an ex become suicidal and bipolar (which I could not help from blaming myself). Once I stood helpless as one of my closest friends began cutting themself. I’ve been heartbroken by the loss of friends, family, and lovers. I have divorced parents who raised me in polar opposite environments. And I am diagnosed with mild Asperger’s syndrome, asthma, mild scoliosis, and Celiac disease. I am constantly going in and out of the ringer with depression. And the occasional episode of insanity seems to trickle into my life whenever it can.

So yeah, life can seem pretty terrible, but it’s not that simple. Life is not about our bad times, it is about all of our times. It is what makes us who and how we are. All of those examples include experiences I have felt or still feel every day. I can live with these dilemmas because the things that have happened to me have also created me. And throughout all of this, I like who I am, as I believe everyone should since we are the only people we must live with for our entire life.

Now let me explain my blessings. Starting from a young age I excelled in intrapersonal and existential intelligence. I have maintained a decently funny personality with the ability to usually hold a fun and engaging conversation. I have both a mother and father that are in my life, who love me very much. Both of whom have provided me with a sufficient amount of money, which allows me the convenience of only working for my own income. I have been gifted with athletic ability and good looks, along with amazing friends and great relationships with dozens of people. I excel in college between my social and academic life. And I’ve had amazing romantic relationships with beautiful people, and honestly, I’m excited for my next. And best of all, I have discovered self-developed genuine happiness that largely makes me who I am today.

Life is a balance between the good and the bad. It is unrealistic to think people will never go through a struggle or endure pain, it is also pessimistic to think people only suffer. We all live on a balance between good and bad things that happen to us. Everyone goes through their struggles and everyone lives with their gifts. We all have knowledge that comes naturally to us and knowledge that is impossible to comprehend. We all have things we take for granted and things we feel we cannot live without. Everyone has good and bad parts of their life. We cannot control these things, and nor do I feel we should control them.

We all endure different types of experiences and in response, we should learn to accept the bad and flourish in the good. To accept that the bad times will return, yet also understand that they will eventually end. Living a happy life is not living a life without pain, it is being able to turn that pain into strength. We should strive to understand that our struggles are what creates our purpose in life, and a life without a purpose is the only one we should never live. Life is an unpredictable balance of good and bad times, so let us strive to find the best in everything that comes our way.

Doctor Seuss once said, “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened”. This mindset is encouraging the ability to see the best in everything, to be able to say that yes it is bad, but also that it is good. I hope you find your balance, just as I did some time ago.

**A point to be made with this article is that I do not address forms of privilege. I find those systems of oppression to be a very different type of issue that I address in the linked blog post I have provided.**

Image Credit: https://www.incimages.com/

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