Life lessons aren’t fun

You set up a goal, you try something, you fail. And looking back you can see how much you learned, and boy, you sure are glad you learned all that. It was a beautiful, soul-filling life lesson that made you a better person.

But as soon as your face hits the pavement and all your hopes and dreams are running down the gutter — alongside, at best, rainwater; at worse, who can say? — you don’t feel that good about yourself. You feel like a failure, like you’re incredibly stupid, and gosh, you should have known better.

I’ve recently been through one of these hard-learned, world-shattering life lessons, and although I can’t say I’ve recovered completely, I can share what’s going through my mind — and what’s been making me feel just a little bit better every day.

How did I not see this coming?

Looking back, the red flags were all there. All the signs of a catastrophe in the making, the dark storm clouds gathering. I should have seen it. I should have known.

The truth is, looking back every single thing becomes a red flag. It’s the easiest thing in the world to look back and collect a whole bunch of them. If they were red roses, I’d have the largest bouquet on the planet.

But back then, I was too close to see it. Back then, it was an obstacle, a problem I had to get over, a challenge to overcome and make me stronger, not the sign of impending disaster.

It’s easy to see the signs looking back, don’t beat yourself up for not seeing them at the moment.

I’m a failure

I set up to do something, I set up to take on a task, to have a lasting relationship with someone, and I failed. Therefore, because I failed in this one aspect of my life, I’m a complete failure in all areas.

This is self-destructive thinking, yet, it came to me anyways. And you know what? It’s really hard to push it away.

How do other people do it?

We live in a cruel social media-driven world, that’s not news. However, we still get caught off-guard by how perfect everybody else’s lives appear to be online.

It’s natural to put our best selves forward on the internet. It’s natural to highlight our accomplishments and hide our failures. We do it all the time.

And then we forget that other people do that too.

So when you’re in crisis, it’s easy to glance at Instagram and think that everyone has their life figured out but you. Just look at your friends. They’re working in fun jobs, traveling the world, getting married and starting beautiful families, and you’re here, with your face on the floor, still trying to figure out why you didn’t see that giant rock on the road before you tripped on it and it sent you spiraling towards the concrete.

Not falling into the “everybody has it easy, why don’t I?” trap is hard. Like really, really hard. But you must attempt to escape it at all costs. Problems are a part of life, everybody has them. Say to yourself 100 times like a mantra if you have to: everybody has problems.

Everybody has problems.

Everybody has problems.

Everybody has problems.

Learning a life-transforming lesson isn’t fun, but once the shock is over and you start seeing what you can actually do better in the future, it becomes a worthwhile, even if painful, experience.

Do you feel ten years older already?

I know I do.

Written by

Life explorer.

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