It’s been a boring day, a tough week and a sad month. All I needed was chocolate and an inspirational word – don’t we all have those moments? – and I would like to pass on some insights. Not from the chocolate, but from the inspirational words that made me feel a little less of a failure. So Charlotte, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing this. Because I need it.
“You know when a baby is born and they grow up in to small humans and they have accidents? They might scrape their knee or bump their head or have something chucked at them by an irate sibling. Have you ever thought about why they cry so hard? We get confused because as adults, we’re like “Dude, chill, it’s just a graze” and they’re freaking out at a pitch only bats can hear. They freak out like that because to them, it’s the worst pain they have ever felt. We’ve had a lifetime to break bones and break our hearts. They haven’t. For them, it could seem like the end of everything.”
What this made me realize, is that pain is relative. It’s impossible to live a life entirely free from pain, and it’s equally impossible to know how someone else’s pain feels, or has been felt. You are not one to decide how much a person suffers from their heart brake. You can’t decide how much it’s worth, that it’s “nothing” to you doesn’t mean it cannot hurt them.
And it works the other way around.
I’ve often felt bad, complaining about the wrongs done against me or the lacks in my life. I’m so awfully privileged, in so many ways. Feeling sorry for myself is a waste of tears.
The truth is, my life isn’t such a fucking privilege. Not compared to those around me, they too have clean water and a fully functioning body and parents and money and a home and freedom of speech (although the limits on that one can be pretty harsh, at times) and the right to a decent education and free healthcare and sanitation systems and whatnot. This is ordinary life to us. I know it’s not like that for most of the world, but we don’t see most of the world. I’m still a boring bookworm. I’m still ugly and unathletic. I still haven’t figured out what happened with a no-longer-a-friend. I’ve still hurt people without any intention to do so. I still have social skills comparable to those of a mud puddle. I still miss my guinea pig. I still have someone to make decisions for me, including decisions about my own free time and life. There’s still that boy…
And I realized that I’ve never felt more pain than those things (and others, worse, that don’t fulfill my requirements for being publishable). Ever. And I’m not going to apologize for that.