A couple weeks ago, my Mom and I were driving to Toronto. We were catching up on life and in typical Channy fashion, I was asking her a million questions about a million things. I was specifically fixated on the topic of “dealing with the shit you have to go through in life”. In more eloquent wording, we were discussing how the way we tackle hardships speaks more to our character than anything else.
I turned down the music in the car, faced my Mom and asked her: “Have you ever realized that the people who have experienced the least amount of hardships in life seem to complain about the smallest things the most?”
I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that made me word vomit that question, but it got me thinking about the significance of trauma in our lives and how we all experience it on varying levels.
To my surprise, my mom told me that this is something she often thinks about too. I won’t reveal too much information, but my Mom has experienced her fair share of trauma. It’s funny because you would never know that someone like my Mom has been through the harrowing, life-changing events that she has.
As she grew up, she told me that she started to realize that the people who had never experienced hardship were always the most likely to dwell over the smallest of inconveniences.
To her, a family member not emailing her back doesn’t merit a downward spiral of anger and pettiness. She gets that people are busy and won’t always have the time to reply quickly. What’s the point in starting a fight?
To dwell over inconveniences is not only mentally exhausting, quite frankly it’s a waste of your own time.
We treat missed busses, cancelled plans, detours and exams like they’re the worst things that could possibly happen to us. When in reality, we know that in a few weeks time it’ll all be in the past. To dwell over inconveniences is not only mentally exhausting, quite frankly it’s a waste of your own time. Whether we notice it or not, complaining about the small things in life makes us seem incredibly ungrateful for the thousands of other things we’re more than privileged to have.
From a student’s perspective
As a student, I’ve noticed that complaining has suddenly become such a normal thing to hear around campus. At this point, I can feel myself almost becoming numb to it.
“Urgh, f*ck my life”, “This assignment is dumb”, “Honestly, I wish I could just drop out”.
In a way, I feel like I’m digging myself a hole here because I’m not innocent in this. Also, I’m not here to preach at you. Besides, I’m only 20 years old and my favourite topic of discussion is still “Making a Murderer”. I understand that more often than not, these are just jokes. I just worry sometimes that the wrong person is listening in and thinking to themselves that we’re ungrateful to be in a position where others will never be.
Rarely do I ever stop and think “Holy shit… I’m pursing a degree that I’m passionate about AND I’m able to afford it”.
More than that, in the unfortunate case that something traumatic does occurs to us, it’ll be that much more difficult to endure.
If all we do is complain and complain and complain about the small stuff, when are we ever going to find the energy to be grateful that we even get to complain about all of this in the first place. Y’know? (Is that too deep? Should I stop now? Who am I?)
I want to be clear here. This is not to say that the inconveniences we face are not inconvenient and downright frustrating. Sometimes we face our biggest challenges when everything piles on top of each other and suddenly it’s all too much to bare. Your feelings are valid and the way you deal with that frustration is personal to you. There’s potential, however, for you to look at this in the grand scheme of things and think “these are only minor problems that I will overcome and in the end, it’ll be okay”.
A side note about this topic. You don’t need to read this. Actually, please read this I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time. Okay, thanks!
Two weeks ago, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed into the Supreme Court. In the weeks leading up to this decision, there was severe backlash in regards to the legitimacy of Dr. Ford’s statements. I’ve been bothered by the fact that President Trump mocked Dr. Ford at a public rally and more specifically, that she was made out to be a liar. More than that, I find it disturbing that somehow in all of this, her personal trauma was rendered completely invalid.
I can’t speak to Brett Kavanaugh’s past. I know nothing about the dude, nor can I speak on behalf of Trump. What I can speak to is their destructive pattern of turning someone else’s hardship into an inconvenience for themselves.
Let me put this more concretely. Dr. Ford releasing a statement that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her comes at a time where many women have come forward and revealed that they too have been victims of sexual assault. Rather than believing the women that came forward knowing the backlash they are walking into, President Trump flipped the switch and stated that “this is a scary time for men in America”.
HUH?! Not only does that diminish the trauma that Ford experienced, but it turns her trauma into an inconvenience for other people (in this instance, men specifically). Imagine having been through years of therapy only to be told by THE PRESIDENT that your personal issues are a nuisance to everyone else. See where I’m getting at here?
The whole topic of hardships and inconveniences has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time and I guess it was only a matter of time before this post escaped my brain. The past few weeks have reminded me that we have a long way to go before we become more aware of the way we react to negative situations and more importantly, how we treat others going through them.
- Be mindful of the way you speak to yourself and others when you’re inconvenienced by life. Admit that it definitely sucks, but it’s something that will be fixed.
- Don’t interpret someone’s hardship as an inconvenience to you.
- We all deal with sh*t differently. Your feelings are valid.
- Trump is not a friend of mine.
That was a mouthful, but I think it had to be said! I should go for a walk.