David Reid

Why Is Life So Hard……

It funny how some days you wake up ready to take on the world. You had a good night sleep, you feel rested and ready to kick the worlds ass. Other days you drag your ass out of bed, dead tired, eyes bloodshot, and just want to turn back around, pull the covers up and sleep the day away. Those days are the days you have to grind your way through. See, there it is, that damn word again. It’s like I said, life is a big ass grind! In between grinding, you get some really nice moments. Those are what define your life’s journey. Its the sunshine between the rain. It’s character defining to get through the grind. The bright spots are the fond memories, and getting through the grind builds your character. If life was easy, you would never have the appreciation of those sunshine/bright spots.  Everything is polar, you have yin and yang, light and dark, good and evil. These dramatic differences are how we define our parameters. If you have never been in a pitch black room, you would never know how bright a blazing sunshine can be. If you had never seen Charles Manson, you couldn’t fully comprehend the goodness of Mother Theresa. The parameters of life are the polar opposites, and life is all the varying degrees of gray in between.

If you consider life like a two lane highway, so long as you’re between the ditches, you’re normal. 95% of people are within a foot either side of the center line (the herd), and then people like me who are more extreme, live close to the ditches. So the people who like the safety of the herd have a small amplitude wave while people like myself have a large amplitude, like a tsunami. That doesn’t make me better, I am just comfortable operating in the extremes. I feel claustrophobic being in the herd. I like blazing my own path; hence my 20 years as my own boss. Again, I am not better or worse, just different. I am not risk adverse. My best friend Rich’s Mom said “David jumps into everything feet first. Half the time he ends up smelling like a rose, the other half, shit!” Rich is much more cautious, he thinks things through. Neither way of approaching things again is better or worse, just different. Sure I have more polar results and he sometimes would miss opportunities because he is busy weighing the possibilities. So in essence, our friendship is based on the idea that opposites attract. So I understand how messed up I can appear when I consider Rich’s way of approaching things. Because I was raised in an unstable home with rampant alcoholism, I learned to cope with instability and uncertainty at an early age. Rich had a much more stable family so he perhaps thinks of safety first. Both are viable ways of living, just extremely different.

So, back to life being hard. It almost feels like life is one big exam. Your mettle is being tested every minute of everyday. I used to hate my life as a kid because I was embarrassed of my parents and their disease called alcoholism. I became tough because if I didn’t, I would literally have been ground into nothingness. I am a strong leader because I realized I had to become master of my own destiny. If your parents are running your family into the ground, and they’re the ones who are the leaders of your life, you need to learn in a hurry who you can trust. It came down to me doing for me. I loved my parents dearly regardless of all their flaws. They were busy battling their own demons, so they did the best they could. Part of the reason why I have so much drive is because I used to play games with myself. My parents would get drunk and fight like mad. I hated it so I would leave and walk to elementary school and shoot baskets sometimes ta 11 p.m.. I would shoot 100 free throws before I would leave. I convinced myself that if I could shoot 90 or better, I deserved better things than I was receiving. If shot under that, I was getting what I deserved. More often than not, I would hit 90+ because I hated the idea of losing and accepting that lot in life. I knew back then how I wanted to be in life and I told myself that I would be damned if someone was going to grind life out harder than me. I vowed to be far different than my parents. They were good people who were broken by a nasty addiction. The only thing I really carried forward is their indomitable spirit.

Life is hard because it’s just the way it is. Surviving in this world was hard enough a few hundred years ago, but it may be harder now. Due to advancements in technology, life is much more complicated and stressful than it was back then. Sure the environment was unforgiving then, but it isn’t really different today. Today, life travels at breakneck speed. Information is passed back and forth that would take months to get to the other side of the country 100 years ago. Just like then, the only way to survive is to grind through it. There is no magic pill or potion to make life easier, although some might argue that Prozac or other SSRI’s make life easier. I hate the idea of dulling my senses even a little bit. Pain is the barometer by which pleasure is measured. Take life as it comes, take on all challenges, never let life grind you down. You have a choice to be the master of these circumstances or be a victim. I prefer to always sink or swim by my own hand. That way if I fail, I have nobody but myself to blame. It sucks to be stuck on a ship with a captain that runs you aground. If you are the captain, and you scuttle your ship on the rocks, well that’s on you. Life is hard because it just is. Whether it be work, parenting, marriage, or any other relationship, it will be challenging. That is the beauty of it. If life was easy, everyone would just breeze through it. It’s not easy and never will be. Be thankful for this. Without misery, their is no joy. Without cold, there is no hot. The whole world is polar. Set up a scale in your mind. At zero put misery. At 100 put ecstasy. Life is lived between 0-100. If you live always at 50, you are just existing. Sure, it isn’t hard but it sucks. It isn’t truly living, it’s just existing. To truly live, you have to take risks. To truly live, you will have to endure the grind!

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