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From The Outside Looking In

During the holiday season, you attend a lot of parties, sometimes begrudgingly. You traipse along, the lure of food and drink the only reason that one foot is following another. You attend your company’s party because you feel like you have to. You go to your gym’s party because, well, you’re actually unsure why.

Once at your gym’s holiday party, you resign yourself to being amenable — friendly even. You start listening to people tell about their past year, and suddenly your eyes are opened. You listen to the tragedy of a career and a heart broken when someone’s work dog is taken away from them, for truly no reason behind it. You listen as you hear a story of how someone almost lost an arm, but in the end, the body miraculously heals, and the future looks bright. You find out someone got engaged, after a bitter divorce. You find out recent moves have led to new opportunities. You discover a deep yearning inside someone to explore this world. You discover unrequited feelings that will have to be suppressed.

You see so much pain in people’s lives that has been overcome, absorbed into the human condition that makes us all broken. For most of the year, you go about life, thinking people suck because humans are selfish, mean, rude, and annoying. For most of the year, you wish you could bury yourself in your home, insulate yourself from the evils in this world because if you truly thought about the world’s pain, suffering, and heartaches, you’d go insane.

You begin to examine your own life, your own struggles, your own feelings that have been guiding you. And suddenly, they don’t seem so bad. You realize everyone is struggling with something. You know the path you’ve been given is yours alone to walk. And you discover that path is peppered with people who zig-zag in and out of your life, some staying for longer than others — a lifetime if you’re lucky — who take your hand and walk with you, supporting you, leading you at times, and imbibing you with the strength you need to keep going.

No one promised this world would be easy. No one said you wouldn’t struggle. No one said you wouldn’t look pure evil in the eye one day (or for some, it’s many, many days) and have to overcome it. No one promised your heart wouldn’t be broken, a loved one wouldn’t die, or even that your dreams would come true. In fact, you weren’t promised anything or anyone in this world. The only thing you are promised is the next moment in time that you are living, breathing, and being. It’s that one moment that you have control over — how you spend your one moments equals to how you spend your life.

Yet outside of those moments, the one gift you have been given in this world is others. Thus, you truly only have moments, and if you are lucky, you have others. So the question for you becomes: How are you spending them?

Beauty is in hindsight; finding the reason behind everything only happens sometimes and always with time and with perspective, and if you’re lucky, you’ll learn from the reasons and the hindsight. But the true luck — the true blessings — are the people you can call friends who walk with you — even if only for one hour during an innocuous gym workout.

And that’s what you learned at your gym’s holiday party. And that’s the reason you went. Life truly can be beautiful; you just have to believe it is so…