Living With the Hand You're Dealt

Life is a game of cards. The dealer hands you your cards, and you have no say in what you’re dealt. Sometimes, people get lucky, and they get a perfect hand of cards. Other times, people aren’t so lucky, and they have to try and stay in the game for as long as possible. No matter how bad your hand can get, though, you’re still a player in the game. Sure, you could fold and leave completely, but then you’ll always wonder what could have happened if you used your brains and your skills to advance in the game instead of giving up. And sometimes, you might just win.

I have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be dealt a crappy hand of cards. I never understood how some people could be so lucky, how some people could have perfect families, money and lives. I would look around at all these people who have never had to work for anything a day in their lives and just exist with no problems in the world. Of course, a lot of my vision was blurred by jealousy because I did have to work for what I had, and I had to actually try to make good grades or work at maintaining familial relationships. Life hasn’t been easy for me whatsoever, but in the long run, I think the cards that I’ve been dealt have helped me learn how to better play the game.

Working has made me a better person, in more ways than one. I know how to work for what I want; I know the value of putting time into work so that I can reap the rewards later. Sure, I might have to study twice as hard for that test, or I might have to take time out of my social life to go to my job (or multiple jobs, honestly), but I won’t have it this hard forever. All of my work will pay off. My job has given me the opportunity, not only to afford the home I live in or the food that I eat but to also travel the world and have once in a lifetime experiences. My college education has not only given me the opportunity to further my education but to give me connections and to help me realize my love for learning that I didn’t realize I had until I was already well into classes. The hardships I have experienced with some members of my family have helped me realize that I needed to hold other family members closer instead of worrying about ones who didn’t matter as much, and it has helped me grow even closer to those who have always been there for me when I didn’t even realize.

Although I may not be that old, I definitely think I’m wiser than I was in middle school and high school. Getting angry at people who have it better than me never helped me have a better life; it just made me more bitter. It was never their fault that they were born into a perfect life, just like it was never my fault that I wasn’t. It’s hard to feel “blessed” when you are surrounded by people with perfect hands while you get the worst cards in the deck, it’s true, but you have to realize that there is always someone who has a worse hand than yours. People - even the most perfect people - have problems, no matter how big or small, and sometimes I forgot how lucky I actually was to have a running car, a roof over my head or a school to get an education. Even though you think you have the worst cards in the deck, there’s another card game going on somewhere else, and someone has a hand comparable to yours, or maybe even worse. The difference? You can choose to give up, or you can choose to keep playing. Photo courtesy of Pexels.