Tag Archives: difficulty

No answer to suffering

I thought I’d ask the age old question: Why do we suffer?

This question came to me tonight after talking with a friend who’s recently lost his mother to cancer, who’s father is a survivor of cancer, and whose uncle is slowly dying from cancer as well.  They were all healthy, good people.

My friend is struggling for meaning in his life, for hope, for the energy to cope with the pain that’s been unceasing the past few years.  He simply cannot comprehend why this tragedy has struck his family, and it’s lead to his declaration of atheism and his overall indifference toward the joys of life.

My friend is a good man, in no way deserving of this pain, of these hopeless circumstances.

People have struggled with the problem of suffering for thousands of years.  Hindus credit it to bad past lives, to Christians it’s the ultimate mystery.  If God is so great, why is there so much pain? So much doubt? So much terribleness?

I, for one, have no idea, and will never claim to have the answer. It’s plaguing me this evening though, and I wish I had something better to say to comfort my friend.

I know that one should treasure life and live each day to the fullest, yada yada yada, but that’s not good enough. Not when so many people feel their mortality approaching faster with every breath.

Why is there so much pain? Why are entire families wiped out by this silent, painful killer?

How can one remain hopeful when so much despair looms in every facet of their life? How can one confront and challenge such despair?

All I know to do is, hold on. Hold on and surround yourself with goodness. And breath.

We don’t know why life can be so egregious, but I do know that if we still have breath, we should savor it, take it in deeply, and feel it.

Hold on.

A line from a script I read in theatre camp went something like this,

“Life is like a swing. It goes up, down, back, forth. We can just hold on and wait for life to swing back up, that there will always be highs and lows and they are in constant flux.  Hold on to the swing.  Hold on. ”  

 

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Do people change?

Do people ever really change?

Or do we just evolve, learn and grown in small ways while remaining the same essential person?

I mean, even after a tremendous heartbreak or the loss of a loved one, do we ever truly change from the experience?

Does our essence ever change course or are we destined to have mostly the same thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and attitudes for the rest of our lives?

Even if these things change, will we act differently? Will we see the world anew?  Will we be better people after such change?

Will we stop making the same mistakes?  I’d like to think that people can actually change, but I just don’t know. Evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

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If I could change one thing…

“If you could change one thing about our life right now, what would it be?”

The answer to this question eludes me. I have so many regrets.  I wish several things were different.  I would change the way I’ve treated people. I would change how I’ve let other people treat me.

I would wish I had a good-paying job. I would wish that the dog I care for could be truly my dog.

I could change my occasional shitty attitude. I would change the way I tend to judge people right off the bat, and harshly too.  I would be more social. I would change the fact that I procrastinate.

I would change the fact that I’m lonesome. I would  prefer to not secretly wish that I had a significant other as the nights get darker, colder, and increasingly desolate by myself.

I would change to be nicer. More patient. More kind.

I would change and take a bit of my own advice.

I would not live in this house with people that increasingly piss me off. I wish I didn’t get so pissed off.

There’s an awful lot that I would change…

The big one that keeps popping up in my head is my wish that I had treated people better in the past few years. Hell, the past decade. I was a shit head to my parents for the longest time. And then I had a high school sweetheart whose heart I essentially broke. I was a crazy person for a years that followed. Failed a couple classes and got involved in bad stuff before hitting rock bottom and finally learning that my actions have consequences, for myself and others. I could take away that year and be a bit happier, that’s for sure. Later I met a good man. An impatient, grumpy asshole to be sure. But overall he was a good man. That ended horribly. And I often look back upon the way I handled situations and wish I said or done something different to change what I know now was an inevitable outcome.  I haven’t always been kind to one of my best friends. And I’ve been too hard on my mom. Shit… now the thoughts just keep rolling in. There is a lot I could change.

But, at the same time, I guess I’m this person because I’ve messed up so many times. I mean, if I didn’t have these regrets or realizations of my own flawed, wild, sometimes stupid, simply wrong, and utterly plagued self, I wouldn’t have learned a damn thing. At least I’ve got some experience under my belt.

So I guess if I could change one thing, to get this ordeal over with, I wouldn’t change anything about myself. I’m fine right where I am.

Instead of me, I would change something for someone who really deserves it.

I would change the fact that my folks aren’t rollin’ in the dough any longer and secretly grant them a bunch of money.  I don’t know how much is a ‘bunch’, but I want them to have all their debts paid (my college loans especially), and I want them to take an awesome vacation for their 25th wedding anniversary.

My mother and father have put up with a lot of shit because of me. From my overall crazy, rebellious, stubborn, center-of-the-universe attitude to the actual trouble involving the law, police, and the ridiculous amounts of stress that occurs as a result of dealing with our glorious criminal justice system, they deserve a lifetime of vacations.

They have saved me in more ways than I can count.  Financially, emotionally… they’ve stuck by me through thick and thin. My parents love me despite things I’ve done that I don’t share with anybody.

So screw changing my situation. I just want my parents to be happy and comfortable for the rest of their lives. I want to fill their bank accounts and shoo them off to Hawaii where they can eat bon bons and snorkel and hike… anything they want to do. God knows they deserve it.

My folks. They rock. And they deserve a vacation.

 

I don’t know if that’s the answer the prompt was looking for, but that’s all I can come up with.

 

 

 

 

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How to be depressed

These past couple weeks I’ve been feeling quite depressed for no specific reason at all. I’ve been irritable with friends and generally impossible to please.  As a result, I’ve decided to compile a list of a few things that will teach you how to be depressed and cranky just like me.

1.  Drink a bottle of wine to yourself and watch a heartbreaking romance movie.

Not only will the wine make you feel loopy and completely alone, the movie will make you cry and sob your heart out over the lost love, the high school sweetheart, or the imaginary boyfriend waiting outside your front door that never shows up. Guarantees a headache, puffy eyes, and malaise for the entirety of the following day.

2.  Quit every healthy regime you’ve worked hard to implement into your life.

Screw going to the gym three times a week.  And chose the hamburger over the salad.  Skip the vitamins, skip the fresh air for a strong cigarette.  Drink multiple kinds of liquor in an evening at the bar. Forget showering and brushing your teeth.  Bask in filthy clothes and beer breath. Don’t get out of bed for anything.

3.  Harbor resentment.

Let every little thing that annoys you fester inside until your blood is boiling and you’re imagining great insults to spew at the unlucky roommate who doesn’t rinse their dish.  Dig up old drama with a friend and insist on always being right.  Bitch about everything and everyone who isn’t perfect just like you.  Read old diaries to stir up anger from years ago.  Blame parents, friends, ex-boyfriends for your piss-poor mood.

4.  Look at everyone else’s pictures online and see how much fun they’re having and how happy everyone is but you.

Your ex has a beautiful new girlfriend and they’re getting engaged! Yay!  Your girl friend went to a party without you and obviously had such a great time.  That one friend has lost weight and is so cute in her pretty little dress.  I wanted to buy that dress but it didn’t fit me…

5.  Don’t make any effort whatsoever to cheer up or engage with humanity whatsoever.

Don’t go out. Don’t even go upstairs to fry an egg. Stay right there on the couch or the bed and eat those cheetos. Don’t shower or put on a cute shirt. Whatever you do, do not accept an invitation to grab beers at a once-favorite brewery. Don’t even answer your phone. Don’t look at movie times. Going to the movies is your favorite thing so don’t even consider it.

6.  Do not investigate your sadness or express your sadness in a healthy way.

Don’t write a poem, don’t paint, don’t journal, don’t dance, don’t exercise. Don’t call a friend for comfort.  Don’t express any angst effectively. Complain, whine, and bitch, please.

There you have it. This is a preliminary list of things to do/not do to continue being a bitchy little victim of the evil forces in the universe. Now wipe off that smile and start crying, dammit!

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Dogs and Life

Today at the dog park my pup was injured.  He was slammed against a cement cylinder whilst running full-speed chasing one of his girlfriends.  I rushed him to the vet, who determined he either got a bad sprain or a slight tear in the dog equivalent of the ACL.

I’m ridiculously relieved that my pup didn’t fracture his hip or knee, and as he lays here next to me I’m grateful to have the resources and the heart to rush to him the vet for help.

With the stress and cost of the veterinary medicine I’m taught what a serious responsibility it is caring for another life.  This lesson is a harsh reality check but it’s made me more realistic and responsible in regards to serious matters of health and well being of others.    Without the experiences of caring for the many dogs, cats, rats, and sugar gliders that I’ve fostered at different times, I would not be nearly as conscientious of the emotional, physical, and financial commitments of being a caregiver.

I am a very maternal young woman.  I gain a unique satisfaction and love for the world when caring for animals or even people.  I believe many women get similar maternal urges when they get to their early or mid-twenties, and several women choose to get pregnant and start a family as a result.  I know a handful of women who have done just this, and that’s awesome for them.

Through the many experiences of taking animals to the vet, paying vet bills, dealing with dog-sitting, dealing with troublesome animals, worrying, feeding, loving all these creatures, I’ve learned the serious nature of being wholly responsible for another life.

For this reason, I’m waiting until I have money, education, and time to make human babies.  I want to have a child or two, but I understand how much of a commitment it can be.  If my kid has an attitude problem I can’t take him back to the pound.  If they get sick it’s horribly worrying and expensive, and we can’t just euthanize the poor bastards like many pet owners chose to do today.

I think it’s great that many women have found security enough to start a family, but I am not ready.

My heart pounded and I had to swallow tears because my pup injured his leg, and the vet put me out almost two hundred dollars.  If I didn’t have the money, or if I didn’t have a car or nerves, I would have been totally screwed.

It’s hard for me to imagine having a little darling baby, so fragile and precious, who may need health care right off the bat.  Not too mention clothes, diapers, education, food, housing…

Babies are no picnic!

I’m thankful to understand the seriousness of caring for another life and to have had so many wonderful animals to teach me this lesson.

I’m happy taking care of my doggie and taking him to the vet, and as a result I’m waiting quite a while to have a child.

Bernard, my love

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Good Things This Morning

So today as been surprisingly awesome so far.  And I should mention that having a good day that starts first thing when I wake up is extraordinarily rare.  Usually I wake up late, have to take care of a hyper-active puppy whilst getting myself to look presentable before rushing out the door cursing with a granola bar in hand.

Today was a lovely exception and I thought I’d share just because there’s no one else is here besides the pup to brag to.

So for today I’ll mention some More Happiness .

Note: A couple of these things occurred last night. I usually don’t drink in the mornings, not heavily anyways.

Happiness is…

Weird, captivating dreams.

Two, perfectly fried over-easy eggs and perfectly toasted toast.

Bernard (my doggie) when he’s not being a whiner, beggar, or turd-burglar.

A white russian and intriguing romance flick with a good friend.

Friendly neighbors saying hello.

Gorey, cheesy horror movies.

My Honda when it’s NOT making painful noises.

Two surprise tickets to an AWESOME Halloween concert.

Plans for pumpkin carving.

Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” while I apply mascara.

Good things happening in the morning.

Appreciation of those good things.

AND David Bowie, of course.

Dammit, I need to appreciate these good things more often.

This is how I usually feel in the morning

How I feel today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve had a good morning too.  If it’s been a typical cruddy one, put on a record, read a poem, jump on the bed, or do all three! Have a good weekend folks.

 

 

 

 

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A little help goes a long way

Today I woke up, groggy and annoyed by that certain I don’t know what.  I had a HUGE list of things to do. Write a resume, read a billion pages, write three papers… fun stuff.  So, naturally, I sat on the couch and watched football.

The anxiety continued and I just felt “ugh”.

I finally plopped down with bad TV on in the background and began typing up a resume I’ll be needing for several endeavors in the coming weeks.

It was being a complete pain in the ass. Do I say this? Do I add this? Do I sound too vague here? Do I sound like an egotistical turd here? I had no idea what I was doing.  On top of that, getting the format just right had me so frustrated and mad I had to open the window to let the Autumn air cool my boiling blood.

Then, like a little answer from the spirits above, somebody came home and with only a smile and a bottle beer, turned my horrible mood around.

We sat on the couch and while he watched some silly action flick, I continued to type away, and as I encountered a roadblock and made disgruntled noises, my friend would say “Lemme see. Try this, or this… that looks good, change that…”

Slowly but surely, a beer, one glass of wine, and a couple slices of pizza later, my resume was complete.  And it wasn’t awful, in fact, it was pretty alright, and I feel fairly confident in applying to a program mentoring troubled youth tomorrow.

I know I could have done this myself, but the truth is that my friend helped me more than they know.

It’s wonderful how kind words of encouragement and couple helpful pointers can truly transform a daunting and unenjoyable task.

Thank you friend, I owe you one.  And if I get accepted to this program, I owe you a dozen.

It’s wild how one person, a couple kind words, a little help, and good company can really brighten someone’s day. How much it brightened mine.

Humans really are social creatures, imperfect creatures.  And sometimes it’s not wrong to ask for a little help sometimes.

My father has always told that people depend on each other, and it’s okay to ask for help.  You’re right Dad, I have to say, you won that one.

Tonight I would’ve ripped my hair out and cursed a bunch and killed a puppy (just kidding) if I hadn’t had a little help.  So many other nights too!

Whether it’s schoolwork I need help with from a professor, man-advice from my best girlfriend, life-advice from my parents, or spiritual advice from a dusty book on my shelf, it’s there to be lovingly used.

A little bit of help goes a long way, and I am so thankful to have these resources.

Thank You.

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