There must come a point when we stop
That foot stamping thought that life is unfair
And just come to know that being a human
Is hugely uncomfortable. Perhaps
It’s when we leave childhood behind,
Those painfully heavy teenage years?
Or maybe it’s when the heart first breaks?
I can’t remember the day, but I wish
That I could go back and whisper in her ear
That life is real hard, and it’s the same for us all;
So take a deep breath and smile for the world,
We’re all breaking up somewhere inside.
I sometimes wonder when it was that I realised that life was hard. I do remember thinking that life was awfully unfair and that it would be great to be anybody else but me. But there must have been a moment when I realised that being human is really painful.
Becoming an adult seems to go hand in hand with the understanding that we have human emotions and experiences that we are all going to have regardless of where we live, what job we do or how much money we earn. No amount of money will ever get us out of the crushing feeling of a heartbreak or two.
I don’t even really remember the time that I realised other people had feelings. I know that while I was drinking it was hard to understand this. I couldn’t watch a movie and sympathise with any of the characters. It feels like it’s only in the last few years that I have realised other people hurt too. I genuinely thought that my pain was the worst in the world.
There must be a point when we see that life is difficult and uncomfortable for everyone and I don’t know if it’s better or worse to know this. I wish that I had understood earlier on, but it’s definitely made me a lot more cynical.
Growth is important, but that childlike innocence numbed a lot of what we feel as grown ups.
3 thoughts on “when do we realise that life is hard?”
You make a really good point, Rachel. At some point, as you say, we do understand that life isn’t fair, and that if we expect it will be, we’ll be disappointed – a lot. Accepting that, I think, allows us to take the pressure off and deal with life’s unkindness. It also, I think, lets us learn strategies for coping when things happen to us (instead of railing against things). There are ways to speak up, insist on action in the case of injustice, and so on, and still understand that we don’t get everything we want.
Such a good question. When do we know that life is hard? What comes to mind is when I was a child and thought that cutting the grass would be fun. My father gave me the mower, and I pushed it uphill for about five seconds before realizing there was nothing fun about the chore at all. I was probably too young with too-young muscles, and I had to keep going.
Yes, and pushing buttons for lifts and road crossings. Kids love that. When you don’t enjoy pushing buttons you have officially become an adult!