Thursday, 16 September 2010

Good Points and Bad Points

Image thanks to lenaah

With any venture, we usually experience dual reactions; ups and downs, highs and lows. One point can be the greatest high you’ve ever felt, and another can feel like you’re sinking helplessly into the deep blue. I chose to do a year studying abroad for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons for me was the fact that it would be difficult. Yes: hard, challenging, demanding – I didn’t jump in to it with a naive gulp of breath and pinch of the nose – I knew I would struggle at times. So why did I do it? Because I think struggle matters, I think struggle is life, and, most importantly, I think struggle is a teacher.

Struggle has taught me lessons that simply towing the line never did: confidence, a sense of my own ability, my great characteristics and the ones that are kind of shitty. In our day to day, our routines, our ‘normal’ lives; we tend to maintain a sort of shell around ourselves, a shell made up of all the abstractions we, as humans, try to bound up our lives with: equilibrium, definitiveness, assuredness, exactness, a sense of total knowing and of comfort in that knowledge. That’s why we form tribes, we stick at the same jobs, we (sometimes) stay in the same relationships – because we know them, inside out – and knowing is always better than not knowing... isn’t it?

When you break out of your norm you simultaneously break out of that shell, you lift the veil; you step out of your boundaries and turn back in to look at yourself. I know that, if I didn’t push myself to act out these experiments in struggle and self-analysis, I would be half of the person that I feel I am today. Next year, I want to be double the person I am now: I want to possess double the strength, double the confidence, double the ability to actually live out life as I dream I can. If that takes a bit of heartache, a few tears, moments of feeling powerless, moments of feeling scared, then, heck, I can take it!

Good points are great, but maybe bad points are just sort of... necessary. What we must do is ascertain what defines the experience: the highs or the lows? Because that’s the whole point; that’s where the real value is. What will you remember? What will stick? What are you ultimately taking away from it: good skills, or bad habits? Positive actions or negative reactions?

Hopefully, what you will find is that your conscious will remember the good times, and your subconscious will learn from the bad. You’ll walk away qualified in the negative, which will make you all the more qualified in the positive. Good point, bad point – if we think of life as a map through which we must plot a course, then any point is one that moves us forward. And, if our ship can weather one storm, it will be all the better equipped to weather the next (or avoid it altogether).


blackdahliadesigns said...

I couldn't agree with this more! Its like the old cliche "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Not everything is going to be rainbows and candycanes all the tim. Even when we live in our bubble of comfort and knowledge, theres someone out there running around with sissors inching closer and closer to that bubble. I've always thought the best way to really find yourself is to put yourself in a situation completely unfamiliar, like you did with going abroad. When you don't have that bubble, you learn your own ways and forge your own path. Even if you feel like you had nothing but downs, you win in the end because of the experience and you gain a whole new self: one that is brave for taking life head on, strong for weathering the storm and courageous for keeping your chin up. Yup..sounds like a win to me!

Merry said...

Wonderful post! I really need to hear this. :D

Euforilla said...

You're so young and so wise!
Erasmus changes your life, usually for better, I've been there ;)

Sunsa said...

I needed this post too, now that I'm going to college and I'm scared of it all. But that's life! :D

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