Many of us live life as it comes. Day by day, we focus on fixing problems rather on pursuing goals. That is not a bad thing, in fact it is only necessary – especially when life fills us up with its share of unexpected problems. Usually, some of the most fascinatingly unexpected problems that I have witnessed across the lifespan of a person are:
- School – Usually the first brush with school is pretty unexpected and unknown for a kid.
- Being suddenly expected to know what an adult means and acting like one.
- High-school and university are stepping stones in life, but at this point in life we pretty much have some picture of what to expect – So these don’t fit into my category.
- Love. At first it’s love, then we get the disappointment of it, and so we “water it down” in order to protect ourselves from looking weak. We start calling it “chasing girls/boys, having a crush, having a lover, having a thing with someone, casual sex”.
- Then there is marriage – or the unexpected version of it “A shitty marriage” that leads to an even shittier divorce. Nobody imagines making the wrong decision, yet so many of us do
- Cheating/being cheated on – men and women are just as guilty of this, and it can literally happen to anyone. Funny thing though, it almost always catches us off-guard.
- Pregnancy – This is something you do with your spouse, at least that is the expected version of it. Another more surprising version in having a child by mistake and the least desirable version of it, is having a kid by mistake with someone you didn’t want.
- Being a parent, this is something that you prepare for – but once you get down to it, you see that nobody really knows what they are doing and most of us turn out to be bad parents to not so special children.
- Making a living. Unpredictable as ever. This road especially is filled with failure.
- Disease/death. This is what usually starts happening when you get a bit older – at first people were getting sick but weren’t all that important in your life. Now, as you go further, suddenly (on average) the more important people in your life are getting sick. It is a sad situation when a family is faced with the shock of not being able to cover medical expenses and it happens ever too often.
- Finding your limits as a person. Everyone eventually discovers their limits to prosper as a person. The problem arises when you come to the realization that some of those limits are not a consequence of the environment you grew up in, but a consequence of your decision making abilities.
- Loosing important connections and not investing in the meaningless connections in your life in order to make them important. At a certain point in life, we start viewing our relationships with people as limited to a certain extent. We start feeling comfortable around the people that are around us, or start fearing those that we don’t know. So, we limit how much we invest in out relationships – making them shallow and superficial, resorting to work communication or the superficial “hello neighbor”. I’m not saying you should love your neighbor (I personally despise my two neighbors), just saying that there are still people worth investing in, there are still people worth growing with.
When we get down to it, there are a few things that can surprise us badly: Sex, sickness, making a living, family and the other important connections.
Why are we so careless in the eyes of these troubles of life? Do we think, that all that we see around ourselves is just some fantasy that cannot possibly happen to us? Do we think that we are somehow special, or perhaps we see the not so distant future as a day that will never come?