I still remember when I realized that life isn’t fair. I was in kindergarten. There was a little girl who I will call “Pamela.” No, her name wasn’t really Pamela, but just in case she has grown up to be a perfectly lovely person (or even if she hasn’t) I don’t really feel right about bad mouthing someone via blog. (Yes, I realize that is a common practice, but we are striving for positivity here.) I was the only person in my kindergarten classroom who was smaller than Pamela, so she picked on me. It started with her biting my arm while we were watching Sesame Street one day. Physical injury escalated to emotional trauma when Pamela made fun of my Punky Brewster tennis shoes. (They were awesome, by the way!) I just did not like this kid; she was mean. One day, however, I found Pamela sitting on the ladder that led up to the slide on the school playground. Now, I had no intention of talking to Pamela, she was a meanie-head, but I really loved that slide, so I approached with caution. When I got close enough to see Pamela clearly, I realized she was crying. Even at five, there’s a ‘woman code.’ You always check on a crying female; you just do. Here’s what transpired:
Me: What’s wrong, Pamela?
Pamela: I don’t have any friends! Nobody wants to play with me! (Wail, sob, wail)
Me: I’ll be your friend.
And then, SHE KICKED ME!!
Now, remember, Pamela was sitting on the ladder of the slide. The little budding sociopath was high enough to have a perfect shot at my throat, and she KICKED me!
Okay, that happened roughly 25 years ago, and I’m still not over it. I don’t know what happened to Pamela after that incident. To be honest, I don’t remember any playground experiences after that one, so maybe I just hid inside for the rest of year. I’m not sure. I just remember sobbing- 1. Because she had just kicked me in the throat, and that’s hardly an area of your body that is prepared to take a swift kick. 2. Because I was willing to forgive the biting and the Punky Brewster shoe incident and be her friend, and she didn’t accept my offer of friendship.
Now that I have shared that ridiculous little morsel of my childhood, let me attempt to make some sense. You see, I realize that I’m not that much different now than I was then. I still expect that I will get what I put into life, but it just doesn’t work that way. And, much like my five year old self, I still run away sobbing because I didn’t get what I believe I deserve. I am a decent person. I try to be kind and help others. I go to church. I give to charity. There are a million ways that I fail, but I sincerely try to do what is right. So, why then, did I have to give up so much of my life before I even got a chance to fully enjoy it?
When I first became sick, during the awful months (that turned into years) of going to doctor after doctor while I kept getting sicker, I struggled to wrap my brain around the unfairness of the whole situation. Why was I having to give up the profession I loved when so many other people were perfectly healthy and complained about going to work every day? Why should my body make the decision of whether or not to have children for me instead of me getting to make that decision with Joe? Why? Why? Why?
Because life isn’t fair. It just isn’t. One of the things I have learned through all this is that bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. The only rule that is consistent is that things just keep happening. If that’s the only rule we have, then there’s only one way to play. We have to enjoy the life we have right now. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? It may be something so over the top wonderful that you never could live a good enough life to feel like you deserve it (and I truly hope that happens for you). However, playing by the same rules, there’s a chance it could be devastating, and you could be wishing that you could relive today all over before everything fell apart. Ultimately, I know that my day will be filled with more love than I deserve, and that’s a great feeling. So, yeah, maybe life isn’t fair. Maybe there will always be Pamelas that will kick me when I’m trying my hardest to do what’s right, but hopefully I’ll eventually learn to quit sobbing about it.
Peace, love, and health, friends.