Life (Written April 9, 2013)
Life is more than just the day,
Than things that last forever,
More than just those things that may,
In some way, stay together.
A life is made of everything
That touched it on its way,
Events and thoughts with what they bring-
Each with its piece to say.
It isn’t just the now and here,
Nor is it just the then,
Nor just what might some day appear,
Though we won’t know when.
It’s in the passing moments,
Which soon are done and past,
And those with whom our time was spent,
Yes, those times that did not last.
It’s in the friends we never had,
And in the friends we do,
And in those foes who make us mad,
And in the strangers too.
It’s in the books and films we see,
And in the games we played,
It’s what we were when we could be
And in what we have made.
Yes, everything that comes to us,
That stays or leave or keeps away,
Each of these is life for us,
So greet it, come what may.
(So, yeah, I am staying away from the second half of that poem. Though I told you I’d post it the next day. I am a liar, I apologize. I am also a procrastinator, so I apologize if I am brief, but I have a term paper due in a few hours, and I still haven’t started it.)
Life is what you make of it. You here that a lot. Mostly, when people say it, they are spouting absolute nonsense. If you are a cancer patient by the age of ten, and can’t be cured, you can’t be an NFL player, no matter what you try to make of your life. When I say that life is what you make of it, I mean exactly that life is what you make of it. If you have the absolute worst life on this planet, you don’t have to be miserable. You can take what comes your way and be grateful that it isn’t worse. You can curse God and try to end the life you were given. Yes, there will most definitely be punishments and rewards according to those choices, but it is up to us to make those choices. Will you allow your life to be miserable, just because you don’t have some material comfort? Will you allow yourself to be intimidated by your local bully? Will you allow yourself to wallow in your own misery, just because you have it tough? When I say that life is what you make of it, I mean that there is no such thing as a ‘miserable’ situation. There is a hard situation- I won’t ever say that people on the streets have it easy, nor would I say people who have abusive families do, and of course I know that there are things people would deem even more miserable than that- but that isn’t the same. Everybody has something they suffer from. That is something else you hear a lot, which is typically absurd. But really, you think you get to just be rich and not have any troubles? How frequently do you hear about a millionaire committing suicide? There are obvious hard situations- poverty, illness, abuse, lonliness– and there are the unfathomable ones- rich people who can’t understand why they are miserable, for instance. But, in the end, it all comes down to how we handle it. It is your choice to be dominated by the situation you have been placed in. I can guarantee, though I don’t really have proof of it, that you can handle it. You will never be faced with something so bad that you can’t handle it. I don’t mean you will win, and I don’t mean you won’t suffer, but you can make it through. Everything happens for a reason. If you can always remember that, then every situation is one that is there to benefit you. Every trial is there to make you stronger. Every bad day is just a challenge to face to make the good days better. It might sound stupid, and it might sound foolishly optimistic, but just try it. I’ve thought about this for hours and hours and hours. I don’t have a hard life, not at all. But my family was, a long time ago, given the motto “Crux mihi gratia quies”- “The cross gives me peaceful rest.” You might not have heard the terminology before, but it is saying ‘my suffering gives me peace.’ I didn’t understand that. So I thought about it for a long time. And, while I still have no answer, I did come to the understanding that each suffering and sorrow that we go through is just there for us to get better. To get stronger. And that means that we absolutely can take it. And how we take it will determine who we are. Will you let yourself be made miserable just because life is hard? Or will you be happy, because you can? It is all up to us. It is our choice. Don’t you ever try to say you are what someone made you. You are what you make yourself. It will be hard, sure, but you can do it. We have friends to make things easier, and stories when the friends aren’t there. And I’ll always be here, writing poems. That is why those constants are there. Because it is easy to forget how strong we are. So we run away for a little bit. That is fine. Just remember to come back, and always come back eager to live well.
Ah, yes, and with that thought in mind, I apologize for my failur to post a poem yesterday. It was pure laziness. I try, in accordance with the thoughts I just wrote for you above, to never excuse myself. There are reasons for things, and then there are excuses. I will always try to avoid the latter, and try to only give the former when I must. Note, I say try. I am not very good at it yet, but I hope to get better. That is my choice.
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