Life Is What I Make It

Taj - Naperville, Illinois
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Bad days are bad days. Bad days happen to the best of us. We all have had days where we just wake up in an awful mood and go to school or work feeling a little under the weather. I know I have.

It seems as though everyone is out to annoy me. Next thing I know, I lash out at the person next to me and do not even know why. All I know is that I am having a terrible day and want it to end. I do not want to be surrounded by people. I do not want to do work. I do not want to put up with daily tasks. I just want to be happy again.

Whenever I think my day is rotten and things could not get any worse, I believe it is important to take a look at how horrible some other people have it. I eventually realize that my problems are insignificant compared to what others face each day.

We are all fighting battles of some sort. However, some battles are more significant than others. As a society, we spend too much time reaching for more, reaching for better, reaching for something, and not enough time stopping to appreciate what we have. I am guilty of this.

A few weeks ago, I found myself having the worst day imaginable. I was having a discussion with my parents about buying a new car before college begins. I found myself on my knees begging for a smaller, faster, more lavish ride. I never stopped to think how desperate and immature I looked. I never stopped to consider the fact that I am fortunate enough to even have a car right now, where as other teenagers can not afford one and have to walk in the bitter cold to reach their destinations. After arriving at this realization, I suddenly felt dirty and undeserving of such luxuries.

Although my battle is seemingly small, it is one of several that has helped me open my eyes and understand the world does not revolve around me. I live a peaceful life here in Naperville, whereas the people of Gaza live in fear. I go to bed each night knowing I will sleep safely in my home, while the civilians in Gaza lay awake in torment of what tomorrow may bring. I am fortunate enough to have food on the table, whereas children in Africa do not. I eat three satisfying meals a day without having to think I should savor each bite as though it may be my last for days. I am privileged to have bad hair days now and again, whereas cancer victims may never.

In short, my problems are nothing compared to what others are forced to deal with each day. I might be having a rough time right now, but someone out there is having it worse all the time. Despite how nasty my mornings begin, I believe life goes on, and my day will be better tomorrow. No matter how unpleasant and unwanted my present circumstances may be, I hold the power to not only change how I feel, but to change what is going on and carry forward. Life is what I make it.