Life is something that I still struggle to understand even at the age of 26. 10 years ago, I was in school preparing for my GCSEs to get into college. At 16, I thought that I would have had my life worked out by 21. But, when I was eventually 21, I felt more lost in my life than I did when I was 16. I used to put a time limit on things, saying that by a certain age I would have XYZ all planned out and executed. With life being life, it never worked out that way. Perhaps I got disheartened along the way, or maybe I haven’t worked hard enough. Who’s to say? All I know is that in these years out of education, outside of work, in the real world; you learn a few things about life. How hard it can be, how stressful it can be, how life can beat you up when you are down. Despite all the hardships that life has given me, there is one thing that I know for sure. Life is a total blessing.

Life is a weird but wonderful thing. When you think about it, every day is an opportunity to start afresh and to take a different approach than what you did the day before. However, how life, never really works out like that. Many people don’t approach or see life in that way. As much as there is a new day every day, there will always remain the problems from the previous day that will affect us all, in one way or another. What will it take for that to change? 

Personally, it will take me having to switch up every aspect of my life and the way I do things. Whether it is my reaction to situations, the level of stress I reach when an issue occurs or simply just down to me being lazy. No matter what way I start to make the change, I just need to start.

Recently there was a debate about people having the same 24 hours. A statement that offended some and motivating others. If you look at the statement from a literal standpoint, then it is true. Simply because there are 24 hours in a day. However, everyone does not have the same circumstances as each other within their life. Not everyone has the same opportunities as one another. Everyone has the same 24 hours, but some may use most of those hours taking care of a sick loved one. Everyone has the same 24 hours, but some may have difficulties that hinder them from progressing. I can list multiple things to contradict the whole ‘Everyone has the same 24 hours’ narrative. It is a very narrow-minded and disconnected way of thinking. 

To make it seem like everyone has the same 24 hours in life to be successful or to have a stress-free life is not realistic and shows that some people are disconnected from the real world. Not everyone in the world is the same, not everyone shares the same mindset and most importantly, not everyone is lucky enough to be in positions that most of us are in today.

Everyone is different. You can’t assume or believe people will have the same chances or opportunities as you when many factors could prevent that from happening. You must take everything into account to truly understand other people to broaden your mindset.

When I think about it, I used to be very disconnected from things, in a way I still am as I am learning to open my mind and not be afraid to ask questions on things I may not know or understand. It takes me having to speak with people, to learn about their experiences for me to view things from another perspective.

You would think that because I am writing this, I must have life figured out and know exactly what I want, where I want to go, what I want to do and how I am going to get there. When the reality is, I don’t I am writing this because I don’t have life figured out. I don’t know what I want or where I want to go and struggle with the steps of how to get where I supposedly want to go. If there is one thing that I know for sure, is that I am going to be good in life, no matter what. Being optimistic no matter what cards have been dealt with me within my life has gotten me through some of my lowest of lows and kept me grounded during my highest of highs.

A couple of weeks ago I experienced something life-changing for me. Life-changing and in a way a wake-up call that I needed. Let’s call it a near-death experience, a feeling that I still can’t shake whilst I write this; I truly felt as if I was going to die. There was a point in my life when I stopped caring for myself all around. I stopped doing the things I enjoyed, stopped going out and became introverted. In doing this, it took a toll on me, mentally and physically, more so physically over mentally. I kept myself to myself and had an internal battle that no one ever knew about. One medical condition, such as Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) could lead to other autoimmune diseases, for example, Diabetes. It already has led me to have high blood pressure, which I never took seriously. I never took it seriously because I was naïve to the fact that I had any medical issues; even though I was physically feeling unwell.

My mindset was ‘I’m in my early 20’s, there’s nothing wrong with me’, even when my blood pressure was going through the roof every time, I checked it. I was hard of hearing and didn’t want to listen to anyone around me regarding it, not because they were wrong, but because I didn’t like to be told what I already knew deep down. I was killing myself. I was taking life for granted. This is something that I will never do again because life is 100% short. Seeing my life flash before my eyes where I thought everything was going to end has put everything into perspective for me. 

I am lucky. I am in a position that other people would wish they could be in. I have a roof over my head, I have a good job, I have food on the table. These are the things that I take for granted. There are people around the world who don’t know when their next meal is coming from. People who don’t have a roof over their heads, people with no family around them, the list is endless. I take it all for granted, especially the gift that is life.

Everyone has their view and opinion of what life is, how life should be approached and how people should live it. People will judge others for how they live their life. People will shame others for their careers, treating people as if they are below them. At the end of the day, we are all human and all here for a short amount of time. Whether it is 30 years, 60 years, or 80 years, I can guarantee you that the years will fly by.

Each day I wake up, it is a blessing. Every day I can walk, talk, and breathe under my own free will is a blessing. If there is one thing you take from this piece you are reading is to be grateful for everything you have, be grateful that God enabled you to wake up this morning, as other people haven’t. Be grateful for everything that you have in your life because everything you have is something others may not have.

I vow to ensure to be grateful for everything that I have, for my life, for the things I have and the people that are around me. My life is something I cannot play games with, I can’t take it for granted anymore, I refuse to.