“When nothing goes right, you have to face forward and take it on head first.”
― Kyo Shirodaira

The changing leaves and crisp days of October makes it seem like ages since I enjoyed the warm rays of the August sun stinging my face. We’ve had a pretty good Summer for Scotland and it has left me to wonder, what it will cost us later. My youngest and I always joke that if we had a nice day, we’ll pay for it later because most certainly there’ll be a few days of rain following. The same goes for Summer, if we were blessed with a beautiful Summer, we knew that Winter was not going to be kind. Enduring the temperamental seasons of Scotland, I’ve learned not to complain about the weather, Scotland’s weather can sometimes be unforgiving, and do make me long for the white sandy beaches and warm sunshine of back home. But when I think about the brutality of  Hurricane season, I realise we do pay for paradise. Like everything in life, we have to choose our struggle. I can either struggle in the snow or struggle through a Hurricane, most of which was gotten more ferocious with the passing years. Life is about choosing our struggle.

If you ask anyone what they want out of life? Struggling would not be in their response, no one wants to live through hardship. We all want to live this Utopian life, where beautiful days are everlasting. We want that carefree life where everything always comes easy, where days are filled with happiness and sunshine and we have amazing relationships. Perhaps, a more interesting question would be, what struggle are you willing to fight in your life? No one thinks about the struggle until it’s all they have. Everyone knows how to have a good time, how to be happy, how to find pleasure, whether sexual or pleasure of accomplishment, but no one is taught how to fight through pain until that pain comes knocking. 

People want to be financially independent, they want to be able to take vacations when and to where ever, they want to have an amazing job where everyone gets along with everyone and the pay is way above the bare minimum. On the same token, they complain about the struggle of having to work long hours, the incessant commutes, obnoxious bosses and arbitrary hierarchies of the job. They complain about colleagues being promoted without understanding what that employee when through to gain that promotion, whether it was through nepotism or through their own accomplishment, they got that promotion through some sacrifice. We’ve all heard of people having to claw their way to the top! Don’t hate someone because they struggled differently than you did.

No one, absolutely no one tells us when we were young that happiness requires some form of struggle, joy requires struggle, pleasure requires struggle. Everything good in life that we aspire requires some struggle, even maintaining good health requires struggle. In a world overrun with fast food, frozen dinners, chippy shops, long commutes, long hours on the job, it’s a struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle because who has time to hit a Gym after working your ass off all day on the job? And for some eating healthy consists of a bowl of porridge at breakfast and a plate of greens at lunch.  Even if you’re not health conscious, those overworked hours rarely leaves time to enjoy a well prepared, let alone well balanced meal. So again you’re met with a struggle.

At the core of our existence, as living, functioning human beings, positive experiences are far more enjoyable than negative ones. The negative experiences, these are the ones that knocks you off your feet. Those struggles that no one told you about are the experiences that are harder to accept but in the final analysis, you have to choose which struggles are worth your time, your energy and which ones will get you what we want out of life. Are you willing to go through the tough conversations and emotional rollercoaster to be rewarded with a great relationship? Are you willing to struggle through the long hours and all the drama at work to possibly make your way to financial happiness? I say possibly because financial freedom takes more than being on the job. You have to also be able to handle your finances. Again another struggle that comes with the job.

How you choose your struggle is just as important as the struggle you choose! Read that again…….If you’re going to choose a struggle that’s only going to bring you pleasure, you’re wasting your time. If you’re going to hurt for something you might as well make it worth it. So struggle for independence, whether it’s financial or physical independence, struggle for happiness because your soul deserve it, struggle for that dream you’ve always pushed aside to help someone else fulfil their dream, struggle for that relationship you’ve longed for because life is meant to be shared. Above all else, struggle for you because if you don’t, no one else is going to.

Pinned Message: Two days ago we had a beautiful sunny day, not warm but it was crisp October day without rain, the past few days however, have been grey, dark and wet. The temperamental weather was not the only thing I had to get used to, there were experiences that sometimes made me want to just toss my hands up and say, blow me back to The Bahamas!! But, moving to Scotland was the struggle I choose. So come rain, sleet or snow,  I enjoy the moments. 


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©Etta  D. Richards

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