Figure It Out

Life’s pretty funny. From the moment you’re born you’re being conditioned to act, learn, love, walk, talk in a certain way. Some say you’re preconditioned through genetics to have a personality that is predetermined, others believe that people act as a product of their environment; some think it is a combination of the two. I really don’t know what I believe in.

I know that some things are taught and reinforced constantly for every person. How to speak english, to prepare and work for your next job, to follow rules, to respect superiors, etc. Some listen better than others, some are reinforced more than others. But society has varying levels of conditioning people to pick up on the same traits, virtues, societal cues and norms.

Then, there are the “figure-it-out’s” of life. No one is ever taught how to manage personal finances or fill out their W-2’s when growing up, unless you took some boring tax class. There are no classes that prepare you to deal with your parents divorce. No Life Changes 101 course that allows you to learn how to transition from being treated like a kid, to suddenly being a full blown adult with a job, having to take complete responsibility of yourself and your finances. No one teaches you how to handle the loss of a loved one in your life, distance of once close relationships, or how to handle mental health problems that you never saw coming.

Life has so many figure-it-out’s and it’s funny to me that there isn’t any class, book, or form of conditioning that can prepare you for these moments. Not to mention, these moments are some of the most pivotal in people’s lives. I believe partly the reason there isn’t a Life Realities 101 course is because you can never truly prepare for these inevitables of life. There aren’t any concrete answers or flawless formulas for how to deal with the emotions, memories, coping mechanisms, and thoughts that occur during and after these events.

Loss of life is something that we know is one hundred percent certain since we are old enough to watch the news. Yet, we never are truly prepared for it are we? No one ever thinks about how to handle life without someone or what life will look like after losing a loved one. No one even knows when their time will be up, how long they have, or anything pertaining to an end.

So what’s the significance of all this?

Over the past five years, I had life changing experiences all around me. I’ve had to witness, feel, support, endure, and grieve through all of these losses. It’s taught me life isn’t guaranteed everyday. Life truly is the best gift that you receive each day. It’s taught me to love the life you have because someone out there would do anything to swap places with you. It’s made me realize that your problems, though ginormous to you, are of the smallest significance in the grand scheme of things. That life is about how you touch other people and how genuine you are being with your love and your words. It’s taught me to love hard and love often, to reach out, to do your best while also being forgiving with yourself, and so countless other things.

To lose is to learn, and to lose is to have loved. I’m learning day after day to love this life more and more because I’d hate to wake up and look back one day in fifty years and realize that I never took the time to enjoy it. So, if you can take one thing from a heart wrenching loss, it should be to enjoy every moment because so many people would give anything to have another with someone they’ll never see again.

Zack Venesile

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