This archived article was written by: Shala Jo Osborne
When I was a freshman, life was extremely tough. I was away from my parents for the first time, was struggling with classes because I stayed up too late partying and dates sometimes did not call back. Sometimes I would get so depressed when a guy would not text or call me, it made me feel like I did not really matter.
I realize now, five years later, that I had it pretty easy back then. I did not have bills to pay, someone else to take care, of or any big responsibility. Though life was easier, I am happier now and believe it is because of perspective, deciding what really matters.
What constitutes a big struggle? We never know another person’s complete circumstances, but why does it seem like some people have it easy and others have things hard?
Last week I got a call from my aunt saying that my uncle, who six months earlier had been declared cancer free, just found out that his cancer of the esophagus was back and spreading to every major organ. The doctor gave him six months to one-year survival with chemo treatments. Even though he was declared terminal, he has chosen to fight and take the treatments.
On that very same day, I overheard a young woman on campus crying and complaining that a guy had not sent her a text that day. I was appalled. Doesn’t she know that other people are suffering? Then I realized I was that girl once. I once made huge deals over things that had no real affect on my life.
I learned a lot from one of my bosses. She was working a full-time job, while at home she had one child who was paralyzed, a husband with Alzheimers and a 23-year-old daughter who needs both a heart and liver transplant. This woman was given more trials than any other person I had ever met; yet she was the most positive woman I had the privilege to be around. I asked her how she kept such an optimistic outlook on life, she replied simply by smiling and saying, “Why should I dwell and be depressed about things I can’t change? I’m just happy I have a family who loves me.”
I realize that I dwell on things that do not matter in “the big picture,” and think that many of us do too. Life would be a happier place for those around us if we all looked at the good and not the bad. As a freshman, instead of feeling like I did not matter because a date did not call the next day, I should have been happy that I was asked on a date.
The things that mattered then, don’t matter five years later. So many guys overlooked me, but in the end I got a man who only looks at me.