This is not a post about the happy times, the carefree times or the good times. It’s about the bad times, the uneasy times, the confused times, the unhappy times and the invaluable lessons we learn from them.
First off I want to say I am in no way talking about suffering. No person should ever have to suffer from abuse or neglect or deprivation of their basic human rights. That is not a growing experience, that’s our world at its worst.
Lets get back to the bad times though. Lets rewind back in time about two years. I was twenty-two and freshly graduated from college. I had my entire life planned out in front of me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, who I was and what I wanted to be and that was a physician assistant.
That’s when I got my first job as a patient care technician at St. Francis Hospital, which is one of the best cardiac hospitals in the country. I was ecstatic for the opportunity. Everything was on track and going as planned. However after working there for a few weeks the train I was riding derailed from the tracks and my enthusiasm turned to extreme misery.
I hated working there. I hated everything about it. I hated my job responsibilities and I hated being in the hospital and working the graveyard shift from 11pm to 7am.
I only worked part time, three eight-hour night shifts. However I was so miserable that those three nights consumed my entire life. I dreaded going to work. I would cry on the way there, on my “lunch” break, which was usually at 3am, and I cried on the way home. (I promise this post isn’t a pity party for me, there’s a point to all of this)
It was this job, this experience that made me question everything. It made me question whether or not I wanted to be a PA or what I wanted to do with my life at all. It made me question who I was or after twenty-two years on this planet if I really knew myself at all.
It was this horrible experience that forced me to rethink my entire life and who I wanted to be. It was actually a huge factor into bringing me to where I am today. It was also an experience that despite how painful it was I am grateful for happening.
It is those bad moments, the uncomfortable moments, the painful moments that force you to grow and learn.
We try to avoid the bad, the dark. We try desperately to always live life in the good, in the light. I think this is wrong.
Everything in this universe has an opposite. It balances out the world; yin and yang, dark and light, good and bad.They not only give the world balance but they give us perspective.
Without the bad times we would never truly be able to appreciate the good moments. There are plenty of people who may disagree with this but I am certain of it.
So don’t hate the bad times as much as they may hurt. Learn from them; even try to appreciate them like you do the good. Because it is these moments that make you stronger; that make you grow.
I am thankful for my experience at St. Francis. I am even thankful for worse things that have happened to me in my life, like when I was almost killed in a car accident and left blinded in one eye when I was twelve.
That was probably one of the most painful and worse things I experienced in my entire existence. And not only the accident and the injuries but growing up in its wake. Having to go through high school, navigating adolescents feeling entirely different and incredibly alone.
I was angry for that happening. For so many years I was so angry. I let it consume me and eat me alive. But I am angry no longer, like many of other things in my life, I have let my anger go.
That accident happened in the matter of seconds. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time but its consequences, the physical and mental, have continued to follow me throughout my entire life. But that is okay because it just continues to help me grow and every day it forces me to be a stronger person.
I have let my anger go because I’ve realized how much that accident taught me about life; about how fragile it is. It taught me to be kinder and more empathic towards others even if there were times when others did not act this way towards me. It taught me to never assume and not to judge. Most importantly it gave me strength.
That is what I have finally learned. The good moments are there to enjoy and to love and appreciate. But it’s those painful times that teach you to grow, give you strength and mold you into who you are.
The good that comes out of it is a byproduct of that. So even though they still scare me, desperately scare me, I welcome them with open arms because I know behind all of them lies an invaluable lesson. A lesson that I want to learn, that I need to learn and for that I am thankful for all the times, for all the moments in life. The good and the bad.