There is a difference between knowing something and accepting something. Every time we as humans are confronted with pain or sadness or emotional distress, we experience this difference. Because there is a difference between knowing that overcoming those emotions will take time, and accepting that same fact.
No one reading this right now has ever not been through a painful experience. In fact, more than likely, if you are like me, you’ve got a couple truck loads full of them and maybe even a public storage unit rented out for the extras too. There are small ones like getting a shitty grade on a paper that you definitely could not afford to fail. Bigger ones, like getting turned down by a school or a girl or a job. And the biggest ones of all – loss. Loss of a family member, a friend, a lover, whether literal or just lost from your life. All of the former have happened to most of us in our lives, and all of these events caused us anywhere from sadness to unspeakable anguish. But, I wonder, as you read this now, do you still feel that pain the same as you felt it at that time?
The answer is almost definitely no. Because with the passing of time, our emotional reaction to pretty much everything dims and fades. And this isn’t because we don’t care. Its not due to a cold heart or a mental block. The fact is that life is always about more. No matter how much is lost, no matter how much is taken from our lives, all we need to find more in life is to still be able to draw breath. That is it. And as time goes by, as the days turn to weeks and the weeks to months, we involuntarily and unintentionally find something more in life to occupy the space where the pain is supposed to be. And it starts to subside. And we start to feel okay again.
The question is this. This has happened to all of us, and will happen to all of us again, so why don’t we embrace it? Why don’t we accept it? We know, we know that “time heals all wounds” and that whatever pain we are in now will disappear, no matter how bad things seem. But, as I mentioned, there is a difference between knowing and accepting. If only we could accept the fact that the pain will pass, maybe it could pass sooner. Heartbreak and loss and despair, they all fade with time. I know that. But I still feel the betrayal, the sadness and the abandonment.
One day I will look back on these last few weeks and recount it as a story that put me onto the track that I will undoubtedly end up on. But today, today the days seem like eternity and the nights like I am alone on a raft, adrift the rough waves of the Pacific. It’s funny really, because there is no question that this is not the worst that life has in store for me. Future Nick will look back on these weeks as simpler times, ones I should have cherished when I had the chance.
But simpler times never feel simple when we are in the middle of them.