Life is a real roller coaster. Some days you’ll feel like you’re floating on clouds. On other days you’ll feel like your world is about to explode. On the worst days you might feel like you’re coasting, incredibly numb and just hoping and dreaming for something or someone to pull you out of the nothingness.
People, objects, nature, actions – they all work together to make this epic trip happen. Not one thing you do in life will happen without effect. Change is constant and unavoidable. Yet how you choose to navigate the ride is 100% up to you.
Let me tell you a story about one of the most inspirational people I know: My mother.
My mother grew up as a child of the army with one elder sister and two younger brothers. She moved across states, between continents, around 15 schools and more than 20 different cities. From what I hear she was an introverted yet sassy soul, bullied and picked on in school and protecting herself from the world by seeking solitude when she could. Yet she never gave up.
After leaving home, with time, she gained confidence. She met my father, earned two degrees and started a successful career in statistics. Although her marriage faltered, leaving her as a single mom after I was born, for a long time you could say she had what many people crave for. She had a great job, superb money, lived in beautiful houses, went on amazing vacations, bought almost anything her heart desired and generally had few hard pressing worries to speak of. The year I turned 14, all that changed.
She lost her job and failed to find regular employment for over a year. She used all her pension savings thinking the next great paying opportunity lay just around the bend. That opportunity never came. After almost two years, with a stroke of luck and the last of her reserves (£1,000) she opened up her own business. Putting her maths skills to good use, she made her living as a tutor travelling from house to house and paying what bills she could, when she could. For four years she scrimped and scraped for every penny before finding employment at a university a two hour commute from home. Yet she never gave up.
By this time it was 2008 and whilst the recession was about to swing into full force, my mother’s fortunes appeared to have improved. Although she was working tirelessly at three jobs alongside trying to expand her business, she was financially taken care of, at least as far as her bills were concerned. Yet she never gave up trying to better her circumstances. In 2011, however, the tide turned once more.
Her two university jobs dismissed their temps and after the loss in additional income it came to light that the requests for her tutoring business had fallen drastically. Not knowing at this point that this was due to a website overhaul that had happened months before, she thought it was due to the recession and continued to seek and fail to find additional employment. She never gave up.
After months of financial struggles and unreliable levels of income, she was evicted from the semi-detached house she had called home for 10 years. Her world broke apart. Unable to afford housing in the city she lived in, she had to move 20 miles away into the country side and settle into a rented flat on a small block estate. The flat was plagued with dampness, had no appliances and unreliable public transport connections. But it was a roof over her head and affordable enough for her to stay afloat on payday loans. Her debts gaining in volume and her stress levels reaching a peak, she still never gave up.
These days my mom is doing well for herself. The requests for her business have gone up since the technical fault was discovered. She is working tirelessly once more to pay off her debts and is doing a great job of it. She has learnt a good thing or two about savvy spending and, although she may be late at it, she is almost in the position to start saving for her pension again. Her life has been full of ups and downs. She has known a lot more hardship than many and a lot less hardship than many more. However, the reason she is where she is today is because she never gave up.
Your life is like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. You will stumble, you will fall, you will feel like you are broken at times. Yet if you keep getting back up, you’ll be richer in experience, wiser in knowledge and in the end you will succeed.
So next time you feel like you want to give up… don’t.
Did you find this article helpful? Care to share your own story? Have any suggestions on how to handle tough times? Feel free to leave your comments below!