I recently scrolled through a Facebook post from a friend of mine that read something along the lines of “Everything that I thought wouldn’t happen to me has happened to me.” It made me stop and realize that I once had those same thoughts about four months ago. But in November and December of last year, I came to a very important realization after I had gone through what I didn’t think would happen to me: no matter who you are, plenty of other people have experienced what you’ve experienced. In saying this, it does not invalidate what has happened to you. However, it reminds you that you are human just like everyone else.
For instance, a lot of people put a lot of weight on losing their virginity. If losing your virginity is something that you value as sacred and something worthy of saving, then, by all means, keep believing that. But that’s kind of the point; it depends on how you think about it. You could look at it as a point of no return, nothing more of you left to share that hasn’t been taken. Or, you can just look at it as you being another person who just lost their virginity like all the people who have lost theirs. For the most part, things are only a big deal if you make them a big deal.
No matter what happens to you, you have to understand that the world and everything in it will still go on. You may be the angriest person ever after not getting the internship you wanted, but the internship company still found another candidate to do the job, and you have to accept that it is not you. The girl you like rejected you. But there are plenty of other girls. When things don’t go your way, accept what has happened, feel the pain, sorrow, distress, etc., but learn how to move on. These experiences will help shape you. But you will most likely turn into a nasty, bitter person if you keep holding on to what you cannot change. Process how you feel, accept the concrete circumstances, reflect on the situation, and move forward.
I know a lot of people, especially us millennials, grew up thinking that we were so special. I’ve learned that you’re actually not special because everyone is. Everyone is “the smartest kid ever” to someone else. Everyone is “the most beautiful person” to someone else. Everyone deserves the world to someone else. Like I mentioned before, it may feel like it most times, but the world does not revolve around you. The sooner you realize that the smaller some “problems” will be for you.
I know a lot of what I’m saying sounds as if you shouldn’t care about your own, unique experiences. That is not the message that I am trying to convey. Other than reminding you that your experiences have happened in someone else’s life, I want this article to help people realize that they are not alone in these situations. As someone who has once battled adolescent depression, I know what it feels like to be alone. I want people to know that once they realize that someone else has gone through what they’ve gone through, and have recovered, or is in the process of recovering, or has beaten a situation, that there is hope for them. I want people to know that they don’t have to be stuck. You don’t have to keep saying, “I can’t believe something like this would happen to me.” Accept that it did, and take the necessary steps to keep going.
I would also like to mention that I am not accounting for extreme cases, such as rape or the murder of a loved one. It is true that plenty of people have experienced those situations, however, these situations are most often out your control. I could still align much of what I’m saying with these instances, but I believe there are a few instances that are harder to even begin to process than others.
Every experience you’ve had shapes you and molds you into the person that you were meant to be. Learn from them, grow from them, and don’t think that you are immune to anything from happening to you.
If you want to feel any smaller, check out this video about The Pale Blue Dot Theory by Carl Sagan.