There are some lessons you can learn by watching, and others that you’ll just never really grasp until you learn them the hard way – by facing them head on, by yourself.
These 16 people are bravely sharing the harshest truths they’ve learned over the course of their lives.
16. We’re all just human.
Every organization, no matter how lauded, how aspirational, how trusted, is still at the end if the day comprised of very fallible humans.
15. Love doesn’t conquer all.
Even if you treat someone really well and you both love each other, it doesn’t always end like a Hollywood movie. Sometimes there are too many obstacles.
14. Sometimes it’s a one-way street.
That no matter how much you care for and value someone they’re never obligated to be the same to you. Especially friends.
I’ve been feeling this lately. Seems like I’ve been there a lot for my friends but they’re never even noticing that things haven’t been right for me lately. Just a sad reality I guess.
13. That’s just life.
You can do everything right, give something 100% effort, follow all the rules and still fail.
12. You can’t save them.
If somebody doesn’t want to be helped you can’t help them.
This one hurt with a suicidal brother.
11. Wise words from a wise man.
“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”
Jean Luc Picard, CPT USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
10. A little perspective.
Your life is actually comically short and it wasn’t meant to feel long for your convenience. If you’re 16 or older you’ve started feeling that uncomfortable feeling that a year is much much shorter than you thought.
9. It’s often the opposite.
Being the hardest worker will not always equate to you being the one rewarded or recognized for accomplishments.
I was always warned by my grandfather that from a corporate point of view that to make yourself irreplaceable could oftentimes make you unpromotable… Because the powers that be would rather have you keep going than wait for someone else to learn a role already being filled.
8. Not everything can be healed.
When it comes to grief Time does not heal all wounds. It dulls it, but one trigger and it floods back.
I learned this after my dad & grandma died in 2015. Sad I know, but I resent the fact that people kept telling me I wouldn’t feel it one day. I think we need to be honest about that so people know how to cope with grief in the right way & not hold out for a day when it won’t be there lurking in the shadows.
Edit: oh my goodness! I just woke up & am completely taken aback by the amount of comments, support, empathy, love & understanding. I will do my best through out the day to read every reply. 🖤 Truly, thank you for the awards! And thank you-especially- for sharing your experiences, thoughts & meaningful quotes with me. Reddit is really something special, and so are all of you beautiful humans.
7. Life goes on.
That the world doesn’t wait for you to be okay. You just gotta learn to pick yourself up and get better.
6. You will survive.
Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.
5. You’ve gotta have your own boundaries.
Don’t fall in love with potential.
Big things, small things. That someone who’s inattentive will pay attention if you just try hard enough to show them it’s important. That someone who constantly self-sabotages will stop if you show them they’re worthy. That an addict will get clean if you support them enough. That someone violent will stop if you love them enough.
It’s not your job to fix your partner. Either you love them the way they are (and you should have a long, hard look if “who they are” is really what you think or if that’s just your idea of them), or you don’t. If it’s the latter, you may need to move on.
This isn’t the same as growing together, that’s an inevitable process based on equality. Your partner can’t be like an investment into a rotting house that you just need to fix and then it’ll be great to live in.
4. One day, you realize.
Life is SHORT.
You grow up hearing this over and over again but until you reach a certain age you don’t have the perspective to fully grasp this.
3. Faster and faster.
That you never know when the “last time” is until it is too late.
Last time you hugged a friend.
Last time you said “I love you.”
Last time your kid crawled in bed for cuddles.
Last time your parents called to chat.
Last time you had a great time with someone before…
Even the last times you look forward to end up passing by, and mark the finality of time… I am not sure what the date was when I changed my last kid’s diaper, but my babies aren’t babies any more.
2. Life isn’t fair.
Sometimes the nicest people just seem to get **cked over by the universe through no fault of their own.
I know being nice can lead to you getting screwed over by people willing to take advantage of it, but I’m more referring to random happenstance like someone gets run over by a drunk driver, gets killed in a terrorist bombing/attack, getting cancer/other diseases.
That’s more what I’m referring to.
1. Sadly not.
Loving someone unconditionally, and being willing to do anything for them doesn’t mean that they will feel the same way about you.
I think we’re all just here to commiserate, because these are tough lessons.
What would you add to this list? Let’s keep going in the comments…