Now that midterms are over, I’ll hopefully have more time to write things that aren’t exams, essays, or homework. Maybe a little.
I say it to people all the time. I don’t want my friends and family to feel like they’re bothering me or complaining too much when we’re simply talking, sharing stress or emotions or having five mental breakdowns in as many days. What else are close relationships for? We have to support each other.
I even thought about it when I had to watch a documentary about Oregon’s “death with dignity” law for a class. Many of the patients featured in the movie decided that they should die rather than pose a “burden” to their families, who would have to take care of them. I don’t want to get into this issue, but as I watched it, I realized how no matter the situation, it seems odd that people should feel like burdens merely for existing with an illness.
It was so easy for me, without knowing the details, to say that they shouldn’t feel like a burden. I often repeat this line to my family and friends when they feel like they complain to me too much or ask me to do something.
I wondered, why am I not so forgiving to myself? Why do I automatically assume that everyone else’s problems are worse and more serious than mine? It shouldn’t be this way. We’re all human, we all face the same (or similar) struggles.
Anyway, I’ve had a lot of time to myself lately, and I don’t have an answer to that question. It’s something I think about a lot and sometimes my being alone only makes the problem worse. Our culture insists on having everything together all the time, appearing as though we can shoulder the weights of an entire universe on our own.
No one can do that.
And yes, we are all unknowable words of our own experiences and backgrounds and beliefs. But universes expand and interact. And perhaps that’s the beauty of being alive.