Lately over the last months I’ve spoken with a few friends, and some people who were just reaching out to me, who have been having a difficult time in life — some a lot more difficult than others. But that isn’t the reason I felt the need to write about it. What’s most disturbing to me is I’ve began to notice how easily people are willing to give up on life. Just completely throw in the towel and in some cases attempt suicide. Even more disturbing is the fact that these are people under the age of 25 years old.
After my many conversations with the people I’ve spoken with I’ve decided to share my words and thoughts in the hopes that they will help someone else who I may not know.
I’ve heard countless people say life is hard, life is unfair, life is this or that. The follow up “life is” a a number of words to describe what life is to them. But the fact of the matter is life is all of those things and it’s also none of them. Life just is. Because what life seems to be is completely relative to the person having the experience. And the reason that’s such a great thing is because that means whatever life is to you right now can be changed for the better.
For the Wall Street executive with the seven figure bonus, life is great. For the person who lost their home that paid for that bonus, life is hard. But things weren’t always that way. We live in a world of cycles. Things are up and then they’re down and all of a sudden back up again. But why is it that when we fall into a slump we forget that the ups do exist? To play devils advocate to myself, some people have said, “well I’ve never had ups in my life, it’s been a struggle from childhood into adulthood”.
For some this may be true and I know some of these people as well. However, the same rules apply. Change is inevitable and just because it’s been bad as long as you can remember doesn’t mean that’s the way it will stay. I believe we all deserve the best in life but no one ever promised us that life would be easy or a bed of roses. But being alive is worth fighting for, especially if you were blessed enough to be born in America.
I’ve had my fair share of very tough times and lowest of lows but what gets me through them to see my way back to the top is the fact that I know I’m not the first person to have that experience and I wont be the last and if millions of people who came before me made it though even worse experiences and tougher times, I would have some belief that I could get through whatever it was that I was going through. Because life happens in cycles.
It can be tough and the trials of life can seem unbearable, but if there is breath in your body there’s life to be lived and the opportunity for change. And it can happen in the blink of an eye.
A perfect example of this is how as of two weeks ago I was scraping the barrel of my bank accounts not knowing where my next job was coming from as an actor and every job I applied for to make some money between finding my next gig was turning up nothing. Bear in mind I have a great resume with a college degree. My rent was approaching 3 months behind and I had no clue what I was going to do. Then on Wednesday night February 23rd, my phone rang. The person on the other end of the line asked if i was available to work on a huge blockbuster movie (that I can’t name here for legal purposes) and I think I said yes before she could finish talking. As of today I am still employed by the studio as an actor working on the film. My bills have been completely caught up and I can actually buy food now which seems trivial but every starving artist knows the feeling. Life can change in the blink of an eye.
I tell you this story just to remind you that there is always hope. I’m 25 years old and though to some it may sound old it is extremely young. I’ve been an adult for eight years. Eight freaking years. We all have so much life ahead of us if only we would realize that what we go through now only prepares us to have the strength to handle the things to come. If we allow life to flow through us with the trust that what is happening and where are life is right now is where it’s supposed to be and is working in our best interests, the aspect of struggle will begin to fade away.
Even if there is only one person in the world you can call a friend or who loves you, that’s still one more than the person who has no one. If you’re sleeping in your car you still have the advantage over the guy sleeping on the ground in the alley. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone has it worse.
A good friend of mine and world famous comedian Russell Peters, tells a story during his stand up routine that I don’t recall word for word but the message applies. I believe the story goes there was a guy in India who had no shoes and tattered clothes, walking around a very dirty area but the guy seemed to be carefree and happy. He asked the guy how he could be so happy with not shoes and he replied, “because I may not have shoes, but that guy down there, he has no legs”.
You think your life is hard? In some respects, yes it may be. But if you have a healthy and able body, a roof over your head, a place to sleep, a friend who cares, food to eat, or the fact that you are still alive with the chance to change things, you are still ahead in the game.