Slapped by an Epiphany

Slapped by an Epiphany
Photo by Agustin Fernandez / Unsplash

This is a pretty weird time in my life. 2022 feels like a year where I've experienced so much growth in the span of, oh say, 5 months, compared to the past 3 years.

It feels weird because the person I was in December, 5 months ago, was a totally different person from who I am now. He was way more emotional than I was. Lonely, a bit disgruntled, but perfectly content with his life revolving around "calling the boys" after work and playing this first-person shooter game. Despite all the troubles I've faced, I wouldn't want to be him: blissfully unscathed.

Even if I've cried to get here, even if had to suffer some anxiety attacks just to get to this point, I'm still glad. I just wish I didn't have to go through so much pain or stress just to learn 1 life lesson, haha! As it turned out, today was one such day.

There are some major political changes going on. After being dismayed with the current state of affairs within my country, I turned to news elsewhere. So I listened to this show on global political issues. I was just listening to this show I often watched even before college and one line had hit me.

Progress requires a consistent, sustained struggle. A willingness to disrupt everyday life.

Huh. A lightbulb went off.

It felt as if my face had been smacked with a pie. Or a stranger walked up with a bat and swung it against my head. I had an epiphany right then and there and it feels like all the things I've learned these past few days amounted to that phrase above.

When I think about it, yeah, progress can be defined by that: a struggle, a disruption of everyday life—a change. My life since December has just been rife with struggle and changes, both in my mind and with my current home situation.

As I move forward in life, I'm looking to usher in a new brand of progress. For one, I'll disrupt my weekends spent alone or with friends for some time in the archery range and then improving upon my skills in it. There's also someone else that's disrupted their usual routine for me and has seemed to make progress when I came into their life. Now I have to make sure that I keep my progress with them as they go through their own set of challenges and busy schedules. So, you know, there's a lot of progress to be made.

But I circle back to that word again and again: struggle. For the past few months, the phrase "meaningful struggle" has been etched into the deepest parts of my soul. I'm often kept reminded about how nothing in life is easy, as deceptively "easy to win" challenges may appear to be as. Things in life are always a struggle and, looking back, I have struggled just to get this job after dropping out, I've struggled time and time again to get to where I am now.

It's sad that there are some struggles in which I know I've fought and have lost. I can name one paramount struggle that I've failed by now. I tried my best, I gave my all. I've dedicated time, energy, and willpower. But the situation hasn't changed. In fact, it may have only gotten worse since, despite trying. I've slowly realized that, once I can't change something external anymore, the only move to make is to make a change within myself.

Sure, yeah, sad to see myself try my best and still fail. But I did learn something. That's all that matters, right? We tried and we learned something in life. It shouldn't matter to me anymore what the outcome was.

At the end of the day, there are always new struggles! New things to fight for. The best I can do is ready up, wipe the dirt from my knees, and struggle once more. Progress does require a consistent, sustained struggle, after all. I'll fight another day.