Today as I was lying in a pool of communal semi anonymous sweat, my Bikram instructor informed me that, as humans, we can either choose that life is hard or choose that life is good. As I lay there praying for her to shut up so I could escape the 110 degree heat, I deciphered she had a solid point. However since she continued and I had more time to mull/ nearly lose consciousness I determined she is ultimately wrong, one does not choose that life is hard OR good. One might be able to choose to be happier, but ultimately life is hard, there is no doubt about it, and that is partially what makes it so good.
This past weekend I was taken back to a time when life was easy, College. At my five-year reunion I reflected on times when the world was literally my oyster. Life was so good that when it was all over I was literally carried off of campus kicking, screaming, and hysterically crying. Let’s just say the only reason I left willingly is because I was bribed with cheese and champagne. The point is, I thought my life was over once college came to a close and even though things have been substantially harder since then, it is pretty difficult for me to consent that life isn’t good. Life was much easier then, but I would rather be the person I am today than go back.
“Real” life is filled with “real” problems. Nary a day goes by that isn’t inflicted with bills, jobs, and disease, issues that are extremely difficult to navigate. But as the old cliché goes, “your greatest suffering is also your greatest joy” or something along those lines. There are also great friends and family to help you through the bad days and celebrate the good ones. And there is champagne. So in sum, Bikram doesn’t know everything, but it does feel good to sweat off a weekend of gluttony. And although I don’t necessarily agree with today’s closing sentiment, I do believe in optimism. So although it might not be easy- here is hoping the best is yet to come!