Shakespeare got something right when he said, ‘All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.’ I think the guy had a pretty altruistic perspective on what exactly it means to live our lives both personally or subjectively and as a more collective whole. I think I wrote in a previous blog post just how important it is to treat others with immense kindness. I went on to talk about just how this kindness must be given not only to friends and family but to strangers above all. I bring this up here because I want to talk about walking a mile in somebody else’s shoes.
I truly believe that everyone is built to take on their own struggle in life. As we all continue to grow up and grow old, we encounter life and our journey quite, if not, very differently. Everybody plays the part they fall into playing. Some people fall into their part of the play more purposely than others, or, like in my case, one kind of builds their own path and creates their own character. What’s important to take away from all this is the idea that we are all equipped to handle the life that we have been set out to lead or in many cases handle the life that has been thrown at each of us.
As we all know, nothing goes as planned or as according to plan -- the old ‘Of Mice and Men’ adage is very real. Dealing with Bipolar I Disorder I have found that this Steinbeckian principal comes into play just about every day. I jot down things I have to do on a daily basis in my iphone and make reluctant changes constantly. For any golfer out there, I think it is pretty easy to conceptualize this old notion as every shot you take hardly ever goes according to plan.
It’s funny just how life works. By the time I graduated, I left Boston College with little to no passion for any real life job. I had a passion for golf but was not very good. In my first job out of college I ended working at a golf course as the driving range and cart cleaner. It was for minimum wage and far from glorious for anyone with a college degree. However, I formed a plan. A plan that has still today yet to come to fruition. I decided that I wanted to be a golf pro. To become a golf pro you have to shoot two rounds under 80 in one day and pass some other basic testing. I have only broken 80 one time in my life as it stands now. I am headed up to my parents cottage in Michigan this summer to keep pushing toward my life long goal of becoming a PGA certified professional. I plan, as long as my back improves, to golf every morning and wait tables at night. I don’t have high expectations… only dreams.
So why is life so funny? I meet, talk to, and play with men and women who all have different types of jobs that would have no problem being golf pros. I think for the people who are just naturally good at golf, like my cousin, for instance, being a golf pro never crosses their minds. It’s almost not even on the radar. But here I am, devoting my whole life to some simple task. Go figure.
What’s important to take away in all of this is that one should never knock, belittle, or mock another person’s plight, struggle, or strife. I bring it up because I have been given a lot in life. I have been very lucky and blessed with an apartment to live in and much of my living expenses taken care of even into my thirties. I take a lot of slack from my siblings, but mostly my sister for having it really easy in life… for growing up and growing into this silver spoon I seem to have been born with. The truth is, my life, although full of gifts on the exterior, has been full of speed bumps and roadblocks that have made me set the restart button almost continuously. I have never achieved any of my goals, but instead I have learned to celebrate the small victories… like getting a good night’s sleep. I find solace in Shakespeare's words in that I am merely just a player in a play and that the act can and will change soon enough; and soon enough my role will, in fact, change as well. I have no desire to change into another person’s shoes, and I believe nobody should. We are built for the road we alone walk. It is much better to stay kind and grateful for the other people tackling their plight on a day by day basis. If you’re out there thinking somebody else is o so lucky be careful. Everybody has a unique and worthy struggle.