Finding encouragement for a hard life.

Hello, world. I’m Buddy and I’m here to say life is is full of fucking hardship and heartache. I grew up poor in the US with a single mother working in gas stations. The kids in my neighborhood were all troublemakers and thieves. I was bullied, a lot. I moved out by the ripe age of fifteen. By the time I was seventeen I learned the value of reading books. It’s been an uphill battle ever since. Now, I’m a divorced father of two. And guess what? I’m a privileged white male.

Since my teens, I’ve been on a mission to improve myself and thereby my life. I’ve studied logic, rhetoric, psychology, philosophy, science, computer science, and religion. I’ve also acquired skills such as Acroyoga, rock climbing, hiking, drawing/sketching, writing (and I love fantasy.)

These days by all outward appearances, I’m successful and decent looking. I’m paid well and I’m good at my skill-craft. Also, I really like the word, “skill-craft.” But here’s the rub, there are moments when I get emotional and have a good cry. A cry at how hard my life has been. I’m sure you’ve had your share in life’s difficulty and maybe you’d admit to a good cry or two.

That’s my point: life is just really fucking difficult. I have a friend who became addicted to prescription medication just because they wanted to do a better job at work. It’s taken so long to repair the damages caused by that addiction, more than anyone expected. We all have social pressures making it hard. We have desires pushing us, telling us we are not enough, that we are not living our best lives. We have a limited energy supply and more demands than we can possibly carry. The pressure is vast and weighty.

I’m supposed to give my best at work. I cannot forget to be a great father. I have to constantly improve my knowledge through near constant study. Don’t forget to call friends and hang out. Oops, drank too much. It’s Monday morning and I want no part in it. I think many of us have experienced that one. Laundry. Dishes. Looking in the mirror, my belly is bigger than I’d like, guess I better count calories again. I’m tired in ways that I cannot express. I can understand why some folks give up the American dream for a life on a communal farm (which is also hard.)

Folks, it’s time to take some pressure off. It’s time to cut yourself some slack. If you feel pain just know it’s likely that someone else is feeling it too. In fact, that “someone” is likely thousands of people. Does that help? I guess it kind of does. There’s more though. Here’s my prescription for your Monday blues:

  1. Take some pressure off yourself. Take some pressure off others. Man, we are all out here riding the struggle bus. We’re in this together.
  2. Talk to yourself about what you’re grateful for. Literally, say it aloud, to yourself, to a friend. Man, I’m grateful for my girlfriend. I’m grateful for my Acroyoga community. I’m grateful for my co-workers.
  3. Find the smallest step you can take. This is a life-hack for “activation energy.” I use it everywhere. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with super small steps taken consistently.

I hope you feel what I’m trying to say. Your life is hard. Their life is hard. So many environmental factors pushing and pulling us. Let’s take a little rest today. Let’s find those pockets of beauty. Let’s appreciate what can be appreciated. Let’s love on those who need our love because life is fucking hard!

Part time mad computer scientist, full time lover of the extraordinary.

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