Phan Trinh

Reminder: You Deserve A Second Chance

Sometimes there are moments in life when you are in utter despair. Nothing seems to make sense and you don’t even know how you got to this point. You’re lost and a little sad and yet a little hopeful still. After all, you tried your best even if your best didn’t get you where you wanted. Unfortunate events happen. People change. You change. Your health takes a turn, whatever you name it. Life has this funny way of surprising you and keeping you on your toes. One thing for sure is that your life can change in a blink of an eye.

We start our lives with hopeful hearts and wide eyes, thinking that we’re always going to be supported, hugged, and saved from the turmoils of life. We think it will always be just fine and we jump headfirst at life, hoping we will land safely. It’s that playful and exciting child-like nature that granted us some of the best moments of our lives. And in this sense, our innocence and naïve nature give us a shot to truly be alive. It gives us a chance at truly trusting others, at falling in love, at applying to that job, and many things that could either mend or break us.

We end up leading experiences that shape us to the core. Some moments end up to be truly mesmerizing and others perhaps traumatizing and we keep slow dancing with life in that way for quite some time. Out of this crazy mixture, your persona is being created one day at a time. Your thinking, your emotions, your life’s narrative, and all the steps to come that you have to take. We find ourselves challenged, perhaps lost, and unsure of what to make of things.

We were told to absorb the happy moments and enjoy them to the fullest. But were we ever taught to deal with the unpleasant tides of life and all that they mean for what’s to come? We aren’t always trained to be let down. We aren’t trained to deal with the sad truths that will come, and they will come. Pain is an inevitable part of life. We need to know how to handle our emotions. We need to develop emotional resilience. We need to overcome being paralyzed when things don’t go our way. We need to talk about our emotions. We need to channel the pain and eventually heal. Life is not picture perfect. It is messy. We need to put one foot in front of the other and have a spine of steel. 

We need to be okay with the fact that sometimes life will not shelter us from its troubles. Sometimes we will cry for hours and days and months but we will not let that sadness rob us away from life’s pleasure. Our hearts will break, but that doesn’t mean we should stop loving. We will get disappointed, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trusting in the good side of people. It’s okay for life to sometimes be a shitshow, and no, it’s not always your fault. It’s okay to be utterly devastated about it, but I refuse to let my tears take away my remaining happiness.

It’s true that in the darkest of days, you only see the mud. Forcing a smile indeed sometimes ends up with involuntary tears. But despite how things might be now, or for a while, I know that deep inside that sky of gloominess, there is one thing in your life that makes your heart smile, and that’s your little thread of hope. That’s the little thread of hope that reminds you that nothing is a constant, even if you can’t unfathomably know how this might happen when things are the way they are now. Your sadness doesn’t have to overshadow your shiny and heartwarming moments. And how do you do that? 

You start by trusting. You start with your attitude. You start by knowing that some heart-rending events do not mean a bad life. You start by taking any step forward. Maybe you’ll need to start over. Maybe you’ll need to go to therapy. Maybe you’ll need new friends. Maybe you’re going to feel lonely for a while. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.

But you always have the chance to fix your painting, so fix the way you hold that brush. Add some color to it. Your canvas is yours, one day it could be completely black and the next completely white. Now take a deep breath. Tomorrow the sun will come up; imagine being held and loved. Start your day there; gently pick yourself up. You deserve to laugh again until your stomach hurts. You deserve tears of happiness. You deserve a second chance. There’s life waiting for you, darling.