Art by Peau Porotesano
It is absolutely not an understatement to say that this school year, and this semester in particular, have been by far the most difficult for me. It has reflected in my anxiety levels, sleep schedule, diet and relationships; I have spent countless hours venting to friends and sacrificed sleep and sanity to check one more thing off my to-do list. This season’s effect on me is a difficult thing to admit for someone who is really practiced in the art of pretending to have it all under control.
For a long time I was desperately trying to find some purpose within the challenges, some lesson I could recognize that might provide the perspective I needed to feel better about everything that was happening. Truth be told, I still have no idea what that lesson is supposed to be, and I’m starting to learn that’s OK.
In the midst of everything I was and am dealing with, I began to notice that the people I am closest to were going through immense challenges of their own. Some of my family members have cancer, friends have had health issues and relationship struggles, and other loved ones are buckling under the weight of expectations. None of them are completely confident in what it all means, in exactly why they are confronting these issues. Maybe we just haven’t figured it out yet, and maybe that’s the point.
No matter how many years we live on this planet, we will never have all the answers; we will never understand it all. Robert Frost once said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” As cliche as it might sound, that is much of what it comes down to. Whether you believe everything happens for a reason or it all just comes down to chance, we can’t escape the fact that life continues to move on.
We can choose to chase after it or wait for it to come to us, to seek answers or be content with the unknown. But no matter what happens along the way, we can always keep going. In the end, one of the biggest lessons we can learn from life is that we can keep moving, keep going and help others do the same.
We are not alone; there are always other people going through struggles, and it is our responsibility to help them and to let them help us.
Follow Rachal Marquez on Twitter: @rachalmarquez23