When I was a kid, my mom always would yell, “Put your shoes on!” from the kitchen before I had even unlocked the deadbolt. Well, being a kid, some days I listened, and other days I didn’t. This particular day, I decided to go against my mother’s word because it was such a sunny day outside, and I thought, “Why not?” I lived near a picnic area, where the little woodchips served as the deck of the tables and fond memories. Being raised on Indiana Jones, I was that monkey kid that loved to leap from table to table, pretending the ground was boiling lava. On one of these ‘death-defying’ jumps, I found myself laid-out on the ground with a sharp pain in the bottom of my foot, and a woodchip which was seemingly lodged in the bone. I hobbled home with tears welled up in my eyes, and my mom pulled the woodchip out saying, “I told you to wear shoes, next time, listen.” So, for about three days ensuing, I listened. But, as soon as I didn’t have to wear those superhero band-aids anymore, I was barefoot again, jumping from table to table and avoiding the ‘lava’.
This behavior could be perceived as stubborn, or even ignorant, but I perceive it to be one of life’s most valuable lessons. I believe that my behavior demonstrated that you should never shield yourself from life, even when it hurts, and when it does hurt, you have to let it go, so you can experience life to the fullest.
Now, more than ever I am heeding my own advice. High school is on of the most significant trials in one’s life when hourly break-ups, bad grades, and losing a game are momentous occasions, and are usually harbored against yourself and others longer than necessary. But, my philosophy is that although these experiences are troublesome, they are what life is. Essentially, life is just a bunch of ‘good’ times and ‘bad’ times strung together by perception, from which a lesson can be learned, and by shielding yourself from the ‘bad’ times it makes the good times seem less magnificent.
Hard times are inevitable, and if anybody tells you that they have never had a tiresome experience, they’re lying. Although optimism is a sound attribute, optimism in the extreme does not teach how to let go and deal.
Like the child wearing superhero band-aids, you should deal with your injuries, but don’t let them take away from experiencing things surrounding you, and once you are ready to remove the band-aid, you should get right back into jumping back and forth on the tables, a new relationship, the next quiz, or the next game.
Shielding yourself from the hard times in life is like wearing shoes, a layer of blockage between you and the world, and you should never wear shoes on sunny days.