We spend our whole lives training in preparation for the challenges that lie ahead. Our teachers, our parents, and our friends all impart nuggets of wisdom that we likely are able to internalize for a slightly less rocky road down the line. But, sadly, sometimes there are life events that we as a species are completely unable to prepare for. And no matter of training will lessen the blows that life’s hardest hits will land on you.
Below are some of life’s heaviest hitters…
The death of a parent. No matter how young/old.
Tyranny of the majority.
In school, if you got a question right that most of the other people got wrong, you were praised for being smart.
In real life, if everyone else around you believes something wrong, it simply becomes right.
“We need to talk”
Finding out your SO is cheating on you.
That sort of betrayal of trust is brutal and even if you suspect something, you still want to believe it’s not true.
Coming to grips with your own mortality. It just hits you someday that you’re going to die, and eventually will be forgotten.
Aint nobody ready for that.
Childbirth. I just had my daughter five days ago. I thought I was prepared for labor, but holy s*it, back labor is the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life. No amount of mental preparation would have made me ready for that. On the plus, my husband finally won the argument of two kids (our daughter is his second) vs. three kids. Because I’m never doing that shit again.
Also, the never-ending anxiety of “can I keep a completely vulnerable and fragile human alive today”?
Realizing that making and keeping friends is extremely hard. People drift apart pretty easy.
The first time you go to jail. Aside from the ‘oh shit’ feeling you have about whatever landed you there, there’s the realization that you can’t leave. It sounds really obvious, but think about it: in the vast majority of places and situations you find yourself in, you can leave. It might not be wise, it might not be right, and it might have consequences, but you have that option.
You’re used to having so many possibilities in your day to day that you don’t really think about it. Until it gets taken away. You mostly get used to it with time, but nobody is prepared the first time.
The lifestyle change from becoming a full-time student to full-time worker. It’s been a year, I feel as if I’m still adjusting.
Unexpected layoffs. You’ll never feel safe at work ever again! ?
Winning the mega-millions/billions lottery. I’ve read many stories about how it ruined people’s lives.
When you don’t see your parents often anymore and they get noticeably older each visit.
First apartment. Not that it’s a bad thing, but all the reading in the world, and you’ll still forget to buy one random item that’ll f**k your night up.
For me, a can opener. Didn’t have a goddamn can opener!
Winter. It happens every year and people always forget how to deal with it. I live in Alaska and people have been here for years and don’t even have winter costs or boots. Don’t even get me started on driving when it snows that’s a whole different can of worms.
Alzheimer’s and Demetria. Now imagine that you didn’t know anything that you knew before. It all suddenly is just so far away for you to remember. What if your mother, someone who gave birth to and raised you suddenly forgot who you are or confused you for someone else. That honestly scares me more than death.
The sum of everything that people did with their lives is really held in your memory, material is temporary and can easily be destroyed or taken. But imagine you’re on your death bed and you die only knowing a few of any details of your life. Imagine if your child came up to say hi and you couldn’t recognize who they were and you thought they were a stranger. Imagine the hurt they would feel. Alzheimer’s is one of those things that really hurt everyone around you. It’s like your body is there but a whole other person is occupying it and your not their anymore. You’re not you anymore.