Perseverance and a Reflection on Hardship

2020 has been a trying year so far. As usual, the year is, without hesitation, throwing at me many challenges that could appear to be insurmountable. Then, within this chaos of keeping the mental discord of my troubles at arm’s length, I started to think about all the tribulations I’ve faced. I started to think about all the hardships that I have conquered and thought about how hard it really is to persevere.

You can never objectify hardship, though the idea of judging situations can seem all too easy. So-and-so lost a dog, how bad is that really? You’re a little in debt, try being in $x amount in debt.

It’s easy to minimize what seems to be arbitrary to ourselves. I mean, after all, we can’t possibly know someone else’s internal stuff. We can only know ours. We do it all the time, telling people to “get over it” or “keeping moving forward,” but, is that how you really persevere?

For example, one of the times I had reminisced was when I was homeless. I had to walk four miles a day from the shelter I was staying at to reach a Starbucks to get access to WiFi. Every day I walked there to invest the $100 I had in the market, to maybe make a profit, to buy food, to save and buy other things I needed so I can move forward with my life.

I think about what perseverance back then means, to survive, to escape a situation in hopes something better comes along. I think diluting the word persevere is easy. Many people are, on one end, driving away from surviving, while the other, is re-experiencing and staying in their cyclic motions sticking to their own challenges like a bug stuck in its own trap. Are they not in process of persevering?

Something is interesting about the idea of perseverance, in that the line between perseverance and negligence is very small, both in observation and in practice. It is a small line. It is small because diverged are two groups of people; one that has persevered, and the other yet to observantly become the succeeding.

Maybe this concept could ideally portray the rich and the poor. How, when you grow accustomed to persevering the world of negligence dissipates into literal non-existence. While the life, the reality of trying, struggling, getting by, seems like a growing snowball, overshadowing any glimpse of the optimistic bright side of life.

People who thrive seem to skip over these conversations, however. They are an unwelcome fog on a sunny day. People who suffer cyclic negligence the same, stuck in their story, a myriad of problems, and they can’t seem to penetrate that fog into the sunlight.

Recently, I have been experiencing a lot. My first “real” car accident that I was harmed in, debt, pain, and more hardship. I think back to all that I have experienced in my life and I am constantly finding myself asking the question, “Am I persevering, am I moving forward, am I creating what I want for myself?” It makes me think about whether I am in the negligence space or the “persevering” space.

How do we know really what side we’re on? I think the answer is really simple. I think the answer is, whatever you tell yourself you become. If you let the situations you’re walking in grip your mind, let the situations you’re walking through tell you what you’re story is, then you are in negligence. The moment we are not telling ourselves the story we want is when we are negligent and falling from our potential serenity.

Writing this I feel like I’m in this space, just a tad. The last couple of days has shown me how easy it is to fall back into cyclical negligence. I’m not sure if you have noticed, but there is something about persevering, and keeping our external reality away from the “controlling your story” button. I think this is why we see a lot of people move on from friends, situations, careers, even family. There is a time to just let go of what doesn’t need to be carried.

I think that for some people they will always stay in negligence, and come back to it more than to move on from what’s keeping them in the same mental and physical space. For others, they disappeared, as if they side-stepped into another channel on the TV, where they shifted into a persevering reality.

I think there is beauty in both worlds coexisting. Where the persevered have to walk life seeing the faint mirage of themselves in the position of negligence, to remind themselves where they used to be. Where the negligent have to walk with the preserved, and either see the fog that surrounds them, or the sunlight that overreaches their fog.

“If anything can go right, it will”

“If anything bad can happen, it will”

Two popular ideas spoke by two different realities.

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