“The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man… It is more powerful than external circumstances.”
I enjoyed, and still enjoy today, running, but I despised the difficulties faced when running with standard headphones. The earbud would fall out of my ear every 2 or 3 steps, my arms tend to swing like a pendulum when I run, which thusly pulled on my headphone cord every 2 or 3 pumps, resulting in a fiesta of ear-tearing and general frustration. I quickly learned to run without headphones, without music. Two years ago, on a random Friday, I cashed my combined paychecks from working in the Electronics Department at Target and concocting Starbucks-guided beverages to supplement my first major purchase: Plantronics Backbeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones. These headphones revolutionized the way I ran. No more frustrating ear-tearing! The headphones sat perfectly in my ears, allowed free range of arm movement, and were my favorite color as well!
Well, after two years of constant use, my headphones have finally taken an abrupt leave from my life. Last night, when I was walking with a friend, my headphones fell from around my neck at some point. When I realized the loss, my initial reaction wasn’t that of a distressed individual, but one of a collected mind. I calmly searched through my camera bag, didn’t find them, searched through my laptop bag, didn’t find them, searched my pockets, and didn’t find them. My friend was relatively worried about them, more worried than I was. In fact, my worries never even surfaced.
What is the point to stressing over things that cannot be changed? I can’t reverse time (not yet) to stop them from falling, nor can I bring them back into my life with a snap of the fingers. I retraced my steps to no avail, but that’s okay. I don’t get upset when I look down into an empty mug of delicious coffee, nor did I become hysterical when my backpack containing all my electronics was stolen on a bus going to Frankfurt, Germany. I didn’t even remain upset for more than a half hour when I lost my almost-filled-up journal that contained postcards from every city I visited. Everything in this universe harbors an inherent transient quality. We live, we die. Things are obtained, things are lost. This is the reality that we all live in.
Every emotion is validated just by being a fleeting feeling. I get upset. I get angry. I can be immensely annoyed. But these feelings are temporary, dissipating just as they arise. I’ll dwell on what is negatively impacting my life at the moment, and more often than not, realize that it is only temporary and that I have the power of mandating my own emotions towards said negative thing. This doesn’t mean developing a “No Fucks Given!” attitude; that is the exact opposite of how one should deal with loss. To care for an individual, thing, place, etc. is one of the most significant actions and traits that we have been privileged in life. To become upset in the face of loss is normal, truly humane. It infers a loss behind the tears and outrage. When it can become destructive is when loss, grief, and incense occupy the mind. Free up thought space in the mind for more relevant thoughts, such as creating enterprises, designing the optimal life, and “What am I going to eat for dinner?”.
While loss of anything remains relevant for a brief period in time, our lives continue forth on their journeys. Everyday there are people making wonderful experiences and people that are dealing with tragedies. What is the true difference between these two types of days? Is it not correct that one can face a heart-wrenching tragedy on the same day that one experiences real delight and happiness? Change the outlook, change the day.