Sunday, March 4, 2018

"Sometimes you have to get sicker before you can get better"

1: “A little chocolate a day keeps the doctor at bay”
Marcia Carrington
2: “Sometimes you have to get sicker before you can get better.”
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
3: “Save the Planet...Buy Organic”
Nancy Philips
4: “To wish a healthy man to die is the wish from a mind of sickness. To wish an ailing man to die is the wish of the ambitious.”
Roman Payne
5: “the body is wiser than its inhabitants. the body is the soul. the body is god’s messenger.”
Erica Jong

Jeannette Walls once said "sometimes you have to get sicker before you can get better". I can identify with this notion, through my personal experiences. To me, those words translate to the idea that one must make sacrifices or suffer hardships in the pursuit of anything great. That might be at work, school or even in relationships. The hardest or most challenging endeavours are often the most rewarding and inspirational. At the same time, I can see the point of view that chasing overly ambitious dreams can take away from life and enjoying the present moment.

When I was in high school, we'd sometimes be introduced to an inspirational speaker. I remember clearly in the 9th grade when I was on placement that aimed to enhance cultural, creative and practical learning. One time we had a speaker who was of Indigenous background. I recall being moved by how he was able to overcome the struggles of being a minority and a social outcast amongst those around him to achieve his personal goals.

It's through facing harsh realities and coming to terms with our unique situations that help us find a reason to break out of apathy and stasis. "The night is darkest before the dawn" is one of my favorite quotes from Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" and I feel it is relevant in this context. As we take on every challenge head on and avoid procrastination, we realise that we are capable of much more than we anticipated.

I reflect back on what I've been through and the difficulties I've tackled personally. I remember the countless failures when I played tennis and becoming frustrated at serving the ball correctly. Over the years through continued practice, my serve has improved vastly although I certainly wouldn't consider it competitive! That wasn't never my goal however.

On the flip side, I've also observed the brutality of intense dream-chasing where someone can be entirely consumed from being so focused on a goal they may never achieve. It's important to know one's limits. I remember a friend who would speak of big plans they had - dreams so wild and fantastic that it would make anyone question its plausibility. With goals set so high, failure is almost guaranteed. It can take away from life experiences and drain the soul.

But ultimately that is the price of success. We need to be smart about our goal-setting for it has to be both awesome and achievable. If there's a meaning to life, perhaps it's to learn not only about the world around us, but its inhabitants too. If our goals divide us from people or reduce the number of opportunities for new experiences, we should reevaluate them for life, in my eyes, isn't truly being lived.

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