Friday, May 20, 2011

Preparation for your worst times, not for mine.

I was having a bit of a hard time figuring out what topic I wanted to touch on today, so I asked a friend of mine, Hillary, for inspiration. She reminded me of the previous morning when her head and stomach were being less than agreeable with her morning alarm. She mentioned  how she wished she was more prepared for how she was feeling, meaning she should have drank a gatorade the night before.Or, maybe she could have done something else if only she'd known she would be feeling like a big bag of poop the next morning.

We all wish that we'd been prepared for something that came at us like a bullet from a gun. We all do. As much as we'd like to tell ourselves that we are going to live on with no regrets, I'd be curious to find the first of whom can honestly say they've been successful in doing so. As much as we would like to feel set and ready for all of the worst to come, it's kind of impossible.

We can only be as prepared as we are capable of being. Life throws curve balls at us all the time, and we are going to react only in the ways that our experiences have taught us how to. We're not supposed to be prepared for everything. If we were, I think that life would have a lot less meaning to it. As much as I hate to admit this, I do believe that the worst of times teach us the best of lessons. 

When a good friend of mine was killed in a car accident last summer, it caught me more off guard than a truck crashing through my bedroom wall could. It hurt more than anything I had ever experienced, and it still hurts to this day. As much as I wished for the answers to the endless list of questions I created for whatever higher power may be up there, I had to realize that there weren't answers. There was no explanation for what happened, and there was nothing that could make it okay.

This is why we're not alone. The people we love and trust are there to fill in the pieces that we don't know how to shape ourselves. Sometimes, we just need to be saved. Sometimes, things are out of our control and it sucks. Believe me, it fucking blows, but that's the beauty in the chaos. We need to allow ourselves to lean on those who are next to us, those who are always next to us... those who are next to us when they'd rather be anywhere else.

It's hard to let yourself believe that you deserve to grab on to that helping hand, but you do. If you're any kind of friend, you know that reaching out isn't work. It's about putting that shoulder next to the crying eyes of a best friend so they know they've got more comfort in you than they would in scratchy tissues. It's what makes life worth it. Living and sharing, and taking it in and providing.

Now, I'm not sitting here trying to hate on the Boy Scouts of America or anything, because they're right. You should be as prepared as you can for obstacles coming your way. But, to be honest, most of the time you won't be. Most of the time you won't know what's coming. Most of the time it won't be what you've learned that will get you through the toughest of times. It will be what your best friends went through, and what they learned. And, when they fall down, it'll be what you went through that will have taught you how to pick them back up.

We've all got each other, and that's why we're able to keep going. Friends create and keep each other. I know that I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am in terms of my recovery if I didn't have the amazing friends and family that I do. Sure, I've learned a lot and figured out a lot of answers for myself, but if it weren't for my best friends sitting next to me through the worst, through all of the E.R. visits and every single day of being in the hospital, I wouldn't have been able to learn anything for myself. I didn't know how to worry about myself or care enough to get better, so they did it for me. They did it for me until I was ready, and they showed me how. So just try and remember, we're not alone in the craziness of our lives, and thank goodness for that. 

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