A friend of mine asked me lately:
- We work long hours and it’s stressful. Really stressful. Why do we do it?
- Dating is hard work and often leaves you depleted. Why do we do it?
- Paying a mortgage is a pain. Why do we buy flats?
- After many years of seemingly happy marriage, people find out that their partner has been cheating on them for many years. Why do people get married?
- What’s the worth of any of this? What’s the point?
I totally get it. I often ask myself the very same questions. And yet, at that very moment, I knew exactly what the answer was (I was surprised myself!). Today, I’m not so sure anymore, so I feel like reiterating it all for myself; and sharing it with you, too.
The truth is that none of it – work, life chores, dating, marriage – really makes sense when you look at the worst possible outcome of these endeavours. But if you look at the ‘ok’ and ‘excellent’ outcomes, then it all gains meaning.
Living in a flat share can arguably be a bigger pain than paying a mortgage. (Equally, a flat share can be a better deal than other living arrangements)
Dating is hard work, but if at the end of it you manage to meet a lifelong partner, then it sort of justifies the effort.
Working long hours and in a stressful environment is definitely really hard, but — at this stage of our lives — would we have it any other way? If so, think about it and change what you can, taking into account the concessions you’d have to make in your lifestyle.
Remember, you might be one of the lucky ones who’s not in any way forced to live the kind of life you’re living.
And the last part, the hardest… How people treat one another, especially those closest to them, is atrocious at times.
But someone clever told me that it just takes one person to make up for it.
I feel so sorry for everyone who’s ever been cheated on. I have. Or who’s got their heart broken. I think we’ve all been there; and it makes you feel like sh*t.
But maybe, for that particular couple my friend deplored over, it’s not the end of their love story, and maybe that relationship can still be revived, or the cheated partner will meet that one person who’ll make it up to them, soon.
Ultimately, I know that no matter what I say, it probably won’t magically remove the feeling of pointlessness that we all seem to struggle with at times; but looking at the worst possible scenario or outcome, won’t help much either.
And ultimately we take up all these seemingly pointless, unexplainable, and uncomfortable pursuits, because we hope that — in the end— there’s a substantial chance for the best case scenario.
Apparently 40% of marriages fail, so there’s still 60% chance for a lasting, relatively happy marriage :).