(Or as my students would say, the struggle…is real.)
It’s a word that we often associate with times of hardship, feelings of hopelessness, desperation, and sometimes, depression.
Everyone struggles. Perhaps not with the same things (i.e. 1st world vs. 3rd world problems), but I think you and I would be hard-pressed to not find someone who doesn’t struggle, at one point or another, in one aspect of their lives or another.
Take this Ted Talk by Cameron Russell for example. A beautiful, famous model describing the modeling industry and the most insecure women in the world (models, of course). I know girls (and women!) who would die to have a supermodel figure (myself one of them, way long ago). It’s a great reminder that people whom we have deemed to have “perfect” bodies, are no happier than the rest of us love-handle/muffin-top/saddle-bag/cellulite-ridden people.
And what about social media? We post things when our lives are going great, when we are filled with love and happiness, and experiencing exciting times. Sometimes we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others on social media. A dangerous game when you are comparing yourself to someone who gets to choose what they display about their life.
Struggle. It’s what makes us human. (And the beautiful opposite of struggle, triumph.)
A former student of mine posted this on Facebook the other day. It rings true to my heart, and is a reminder to be more gentle with myself when I’m feeling, well, the struggle.
All summer I’ve been studying for this Series 7 financial exam. I can honestly say this has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. While I consider myself relatively smart, this in no way compares to anything I’ve had to do yet in my academic career. Struggling through the material, earning less than passing scores over and over again; it can sure bring a girl down. Although the hubby and I have had a pretty great summer (I mean we did get married after all!), this is also the most I’ve struggled with my self-confidence in who knows how long. All because of a stinking test! (Which of course, is much more than that. It’s also necessary to start my job and get paid.).
The test is on Tuesday and although I’ve only earned one passing score (out of 13 tries) on a practice exam, I’m still feeling O.K. Maybe it’s because I’m ready for the experience to just be here and be done with. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling like the universe will take care of me and it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Either way, if I do fail, I can always try try again. Even if it doesn’t pay off the first time, usually, we get more than one chance to make it right. And because we are miraculous beings, it’s often if we put our mind to it, that we do end up succeeding at whatever it is we were struggling at (or we find something else to struggle and eventually succeed at!). And therein lies the beauty of struggle. The sweet sweet reward knowing our efforts, pain, suffering (or in my case, serious lack of self-confidence) was indeed, all worth it.
And speaking of struggle, let’s talk about clogged drains (ewww, right?!). We have had a clogged bathroom sink for a few days and totally forgot the Drano while at Target today. So, I took to the internet. Did you know you can clean your drains without harsh chemicals? Here’s what you need:
All Natural Drain Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
1 qt. boiling water
Pour the baking soda and vinegar down the drain (or over if you cannot remove plug) and cover or plug back up for roughly 30 mins. Then pour boiling water over. Taa-daa! Clog be gone.
You may have to repeat the process several times, but it did the trick for our nasty bathroom sink.
And that my friends, is my take on struggle (life and otherwise!).
Here’s to hoping you have a very struggle-free week!