Sometimes life is really hard. I’m not here to pretend life is just sunshine and daisies. Yes, I believe there are tons of those happy moments, but I won’t pretend there aren’t tons of unhappy moments. Sometimes it just sucks.
When I was 17, my family moved my senior year to a town I had never even heard of. I grew up moving around a lot, so I didn’t think that this would affect me much. It was just another adventure, right? I quickly realized that this was not the same as moving in elementary school.
Because I wasn’t going to school in our new town so I could graduate back in Minnesota, friends were hard to come by. Some people reached out to me, but I was so overwhelmed by the changes that I didn’t reach back. Eventually, they didn’t put as much effort into reaching out. I felt completely alone.
That lasted for eight months. I kept telling myself, “Pull yourself together, Annah. It shouldn’t take this long to adjust.” But for some reason, it did take me that long. I found that when I had an especially rough time, the only thing that could really keep me going was perspective. I knew it wasn’t the end of everything. Despite the hardships, life would go on, and I would change. Life had the potential to get a lot better.
Four ways to keep perspective
Here are four ways perspective helped me during my hardships.
- Remember that whatever is going wrong isn’t going to last forever. Life will get better again. At times, I thought the loneliness would never end. In the middle of the dark moments, it definitely seems that way. There seems to be no light or even an end of the tunnel. Knowing that life would get better gave me courage in the darkness. I didn’t always see the light, but I knew it was there.
- Count your blessings. While some things may be bad, there are always blessings to be counted. Always. I have the belief that even in the darkest moment, I can still choose my attitude. I can find blessings in anything. It has taken a lot of work and creative thinking to find the blessings in some areas, but there always are. A blessing I found myself repeating over and over again during this time was how close I was growing to my family. They were my lifelines. While I didn’t have friends, I had them, and I knew they would accept me no matter what.
- Imagine your life 5 years from now. I think most people imagine good things when they think of the future. Imagine the best life you could imagine. Let that carry you through the hard times. Start working toward that life today.
I started working on goals. I got more crafty and got outside more. When it came down to it, I tried to live the life I wanted to. I couldn’t achieve all my goals, but just working toward them helped me to see that the happy future I was imagining was possible.
- See which life lessons you’ve already learned. The best lessons I have learned have been after a huge hardship. Sometimes you have to go through pain to feel the joy. I’ve found also that the deeper the pain, the more your capacity to feel joy. You know what it’s like to be unhappy, and when you have those moments of happiness, you appreciate them so much more. I’ve learned that you don’t get rainbows without a little (or a lot of) rain.
You’re never alone
You’re not alone. No matter what hardships you are going through, you aren’t alone. You can turn to friends or family. If you don’t have anyone, choose to reach out to support groups or coworkers. Some people have bigger hearts than you think.
Accept that you’re not going to be happy all the time. Remember, there has to be heartache sometimes.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny,” C. S. Lewis.