“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened”.
― Michel de Montaigne
The above funny qoute couldn't be more true. It reflects perfectly my recent thoughts connected with organising our wedding. Well, not only the wedding. Michel de Montaigne hits the nail on the head in every other aspect of life.
What inspired me to write this post is recent talk with my friend who's father of three (two of which are toddlers). Besides actively participating in upbringing of his children, he works as a programmer in two companies and practises sports. And he does just fine.
Well, to be more accurate, he's happy!
My friend admitted that he's heard so many threats about how hard his life would be as a parent, that now he just smiles with amusement when someone says something like: "Oh, you'll see when the kids will start to walk, you won't even have time to breathe!". Blah, blah, blah.
I've come across many variations of the idea of unfulfilled misfortunes - you shouldn't worry about things which haven't happened yet because 80% will go just fine. Also, don't you predict any failures or other catastrophes because more than half of them will never happen. And so on. There's loads of options and percentages when assessing how many future problems won't happen.
The most important thing is to just stop worrying about them.
I'm 28 years old now and have lived rather intensively so far. I'm not going to be modest here - I've already experienced quite a lot of stuff. What I can say for sure is that people like to frighten each other.
Here's a short list of predictions concerning some of my "fatal" decisions:
- When I was about to start my education: "Life at school is hard, you'll see how many hours you'll spend on learning difficult things!"
- When I decided to get my driving license: "You want to do driving course before your final exams at high school? Are you aware how difficult it will be?"
- Final exams at high school: "We're all screwed!"
- Then I heard: "School is easy in comparison with university. Stressful exams, demanding professors and all this far away from home. How will you manage?!"
- When I got my Bachelor degree and decided to work and do my Master's degree at the same time: "This will be extremely difficult to handle, are you sure about that? Wouldn't you just study and then go to work? By the way, when you start working full time, you'll be screwed!"
- Next threat: "You're going abroad?! Why? Do you know how hard life abroad really is?"
- When we decided to return: "Are you mad?! You want to get back to Poland? Life there is so hard!"
- Eye laser surgery: "What if you loose your sight?"
- I've also been informed that after turning 30, my life will never be the same: "After your 30th birthday you MUST put makeup. You'll see how quickly your skin will loose collagen and you will look old" (yeah, right - the best way to fight with potential wrinkles is makeup)
- Fortunately, I don't hear many threats about how screwed my life will be in marriage (although Bartosz did - when he was doing driving course, his instructor told him to NEVER EVER get married because he'll be put in sad cage for the rest of his life). What I was told many, many times is how the wedding preparations are going to kill me: "You'll see, there's so many things to organize, that stress alone will make you loose a lot of weight" (damn it! I could do with a few kilos less but my weight seems to be frozen!)
- And the wedding itself: "The wedding mass is so stressful that you'll hardly remember anything from it. And you'll be so busy during the wedding reception, that you'll barely eat"
- Obviously, what I hear on regular basis is parent's predicament: "You want to have 2 or 3 kids?! You don't know what you're up to. You'll see, after first child you'll be so tired and fed up, that you will want no more!"
- To close this misery list I'll add one more "advice" which is supposed to help in some way: "So you want a house. Are you aware how much money, time, effort and energy will cost you to build and mantain it? Think about it, especially if you don't want to spend your life cleaning" (obviously, I tend to hear this from people who lived their whole life in a block of flats and don't know the joy of having your own house).
From my point of view, my life's been successful. In contrary to all the fatal predictions, it even gets better. Of course, it hasn't been only rainbows and smiles but it all turned fine. It really did.
I'm aware that all those threats were told to me in good faith. They were supposed to prepare me for difficulties and mobilize me to work harder.
Unfortunately, what these "advices" did was make me stressed out and less confident about myself. I consider all this stress totally unnecessary. I got good grades at school, passed all my exams, survived living abroad and now I enjoy living in Poland. Oh, and the wedding - it's all going just fine. Because of all that frightening stuff I've heard from the others, I've had to fight for my success twice as hard - needed to deal both with a situation and my own mind too.
I no longer care about all these "it-will-be-hard's". I will have fun at my own wedding. Also, I will have a house, garden and children and still enjoy my life.