“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.”
– Jack Kerouac
Too many of us, from the get go, only relish the glowing empty page when we are greeted with opportunity, pure happiness, or moments of revelation.
When a tiny gust of annoyance blows down our house of hay, why do we crumble with it?
Or when mild disaster strikes the stick, we let it conquer our thoughts.
And mostly, when a furious hurricane of misfortune rattles our brick walls, we break down in disbelief, questioning or cursing the god of our choosing while wallowing in our new found pain.
It’s easier, isn’t it? It’s easier to just let it beat us; to sit down and complain. Complaining is our go to — why me? Why can’t my shirt just iron itself? Why did my car tire have to be flat of all days? Why, out of the millions of people around me, did I contract a terrible medical condition?
Shit happens. Some of it truly is worth a good cry. Things can ruin a perfect day. A diagnosis can change your life. The way people treat you can rattle your emotions.
Those things affect you. But then, let it go.
We, specifically the inhabitants of the United States, cling on to that act of complaining. Our day isn’t complete without an indulgent whine, or a slight, unnecessary bicker. It makes our lives easier to live out.
Well, I say you are wasting your vast glowing empty page.
That shit that happens, happened. That nail broke. Oh well. That first date bombed. The world is still turning. You’ve been diagnosed with cancer. You have a hard road ahead.
All of these, everything bad that happens in your life, is part of that vast glowing empty page.
You have two choices: To let those things overwhelm your life to the point that you only see the negative and become a jaded soul
You allow the glow of your page to give you hope and understanding that, though the world has much suffering and grief, it also has a constant realm of opportunity. Opportunity is what we miss out on while we complain.
Turn all the negative into positive.
Take my circumstance. I am going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal. It’s a condition where my body is basically turned upside down. I don’t work, and many others in my condition also can’t hold a job. You are plagued with restless nights, itching, red-burning, cracking skin, and ooze that will blow your nostrils to the moon.
Sounds intense right?
It’s that shit that happens.
I could be a ball of depression, dropping farther down the rabbit hole of unhappiness. But where does that get me? NOWHERE. Who wants to travel to nowhere? Who wants to dirty their vast glowing empty page with nothing of value?
I try to keep my thoughts on things I love: family, friends, writing, my future. I focus on all the things I will get to do once I am healed, not the things I am unable to do. I could be irritable due to lack of sleep, but I choose to use my time more wisely. I could curse this confounded condition and hate my life, but I’d rather see this time as a cocoon — a fresh bloom to better health; a time to write and value my family. I am embracing this low to appreciate life after I am through the withdrawal.
I think you should embrace your life, too.
Take everything that is ailing you, worrying you, bugging you, and let it go. Learn to work with it and around it. Find the greatness in it, even if it seems impossible.
And guess what? It gets easy. It’s just as easy as complaining.
And it feels better, too.
Love, B. R. Wren