30 January 2009

Survival of the fittest

It’s amazing the things we humans have to survive. And I say “have to” and not “can” because, well, we can survive some pretty amazing things, like being buried in an avalanche and falling 20 stories. But we don’t “have to” live through those things – it’s not necessary for the species to continue on if a select few humans die in these and other unique disasters. What I’m talking about are the things that nearly everyone on the planet “has to” live through; the things that when we come face-to-face with them we really don’t know how we are going to keep on living, but, miraculously enough, we actually do.

Death of a loved-one; heartbreak; physical pains of childbirth*; making a really huge, really wrong decision and having to live with the consequences; knowing that you severely damaged a person you deeply care about, are just a few examples.

At the rightful old age of 25, I can put a checkmark next to every one of these, except childbirth (thank God). What happens when you hit this age, the confusing mid-20s, and have never had to deal with any of these emotional roadblocks? How is it when your life sails along in a seemingly undisturbed, smooth way for decades? What is it like to be 25-26-27 and never really feel the lowest one can feel?

It’s my personal belief that 27-year-olds who are sheltered from these dramas become like those children whose parents keep them in a virtual bubble, never allowing them to play with other kids because of the potential transmission of germs and bacteria, so that when they do join the ranks of other public school first-graders, they become violently ill for weeks and weeks because their previously protected immune systems were not exposed to the evil germs carried by other six-year-olds and spread via snot, sneezes, unwashed hands and a fascination of cigarette butts and other bits of trash on the playground blacktop. [Now that was a run-on sentence.] While these childrens’ bodies go into exposure overload, the mid-20s’ minds are supercharged by scary emotions such as dread, hatred, sadness, depression and un-diluted fear. These individuals also are, in my humble opinion, not likely to realize when they emotionally hurt others. Since they have not had a broken heart or had to live with a horrid decision, they don’t really know how it feels when the emotional pain far succeeds that of any physical pain they have ever experienced.

Taken bit-by-bit and on a one-at-a-time basis, the previously mentioned devastations can be handled. Learning how to manage supreme disappointment throughout two or three decades allows one to grow and mature, as emotionally growing as a human being is the result of “having to” survive things like heartbreak and the death of someone you love. And so, I think it is safe to say, that people who don’t have to learn how maneuver through these emotional hardships are not as mentally mature as those who do push through the shitty times.

Or maybe I’m wrong. I mean, I haven’t checked off everything on the list yet, so maybe after I give birth (hopefully years from now) I can claim to know what I’m talking (or writing) about. Or, maybe I am right.

Regardless of whether I am right or wrong, I do make a point in saying that we humans “have to” survive some pretty heavy stuff AND I know I am right in saying that the things we “have to” endure are nothing short of emotional earthquakes and mental monsoons, causing devastation and wreaking havoc in our front lopes and synapses. But look at it this way, we become better people after surviving our own emotional Hurricane Katrinas. We become better friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, mothers, godfathers, sisters, subway riders, pet parents, writers, community citizens and daughters. So push through the pain people. It will eventually subside enough for you to realize that that pain was actually worth it…

*only half the population, duh

1 comment:

C said...

Um you frickin forgot buying a house.... this shit is painful!