Stress. It seems like the plague of our times, right?
But what is the key factor that causes our stress? Money problems? Relationships trouble? Is it society? Or is it really ourselves making the hill, a mountain?
My bet is on the last two. I am a very stressful person myself. And while I have the unusual “clarity” moments here and there that I contemplate my life and decide to just take it easy, I keep making the same mistakes, and lose my precious few hours of sleep over things that I have no control of and thinking about possible solutions–something that could always be done tomorrow–but as I said earlier, I keep making those mistakes. I am not perfect. And it’s that imperfection that we should learn to accept and manipulate. Life should be what we want it to be.
For me, stress has made me lose my sleep, lose weight, bite my nails and occasionally make me itchy all over my body. There is not really a cure for it other than our mental power over it. The decision to say: “enough is enough!” Money will always be a problem to almost everyone. We will lose jobs, we will have to pay our bills at a later date because of it and of course not pay the rent for a couple of months. But what can anyone do, really? Yes, the parties asking for this money will be a pain in the behind, but with calm discussion over the matter, they will understand your problem and provide for a logical payment window for you, because let’s face it, they can’t and won’t come to your house and start taking anything they want for compensation–except banks.
As for relationships hardships, we will get hurt and we will learn to assess the situations and create the usual barriers until that one person comes along with the ability to penetrate the walls. It’s all part of the game.
Society of course is another problem. It creates the critic in our lives that nobody wants or needs. Fear of the gossips or bullies in our work, the judgy friend that does the same thing he/she judges, or the evil stereotype that tells you what you “should” or “supposed to” do…
I have learned but so far failed to apply in my own life that no one is supposed to do anything. I had a friend that was a virgin until his mid-twenties, he never was that much interested in relationships and wanted to do this the right way with the right person. Some would say to him that this is a fairytale and maybe it is but I think he is the bravest and more focused person I know. Society broke him, he even started thinking he is gay and maybe he couldn’t/wouldn’t have sex because he was simply not interested in women. See, this pressure that the stereotypes and the society apply started to make him feel that he was supposed to have a lot of women pass from his bed until his mid-twenties.
I watched a movie a few years back, titled “One Week”. For some, it is the usual cliche of a guy that learns he is going to die soon so instead of therapy goes on a roadtrip to blow off some steam. That’s not the case. That movie pulled all of my heartstrings and maybe even changed my view of life forever. It speaks of a guy spending all of his life doing what he was “supposed to” do. Getting a secure job. And marrying a girl that he didn’t love enough. In other words, settling.
But his cancer made him realise that he didn’t want to do all those things. He didn’t want to follow the safe road. He wanted to be a writer and follow his dreams. He wanted to roam around and write about it. He wanted a life free of the stress and failures that changed the core of his being. So he went for a road trip in search of Grumps, -a creature so rare that if you witness it you will be lucky forever- a metaphor for finding himself and the answers that only he could answer.
That movie made me realise that we should all focus on what we want and not let anyone change us. That life is short and settling is not what is cracked out to be. We should not settle for a life that ends up make us lose our sleep and stress about what tomorrow will bring. We should just embrace the new beginning it brings.
Of course as I already said I haven’t found the courage to apply all those things in my own life. I am just an ordinary guy that has the same problems as the next one. But that shouldn’t keep me from focusing on what makes me happy. Personally, I want to have an adventure like that guy in the movie. I want to roam and then maybe write about it. Or just sit and wonder at the wilderness at what God has created. Just a moment of peace without anything holding an axe over my head. Just a moment. Maybe it’ll be enough to go on. So I/we should all chase this moment, whatever it may be.
There isn’t a cure. Only the one we create for ourselves.