When you think of your life, you’re bound to remember those times that were the most gloriously happy or the most heart wrenchingly painful.
A surprise birthday party.
The arrival of your first born.
It’s a little like a photo album: every picture in there will be a commemoration of a time you want to remember.
Take this bank holiday weekend, for example. I have no doubt that for those of us who celebrated the Jubilee or who invited the entire family down for a get-together in the name of our Queen, there was at least one relative who whipped out a camera, pointed it at your vaguely drunken face and trilled ‘SMILLLLEEEE!’
Now that beautiful photo will be stuck down in an ancient album somewhere, ready as ammunition for the future embarrassment your loved ones will be eager to inflict upon you.
The thing is though, that’s not an accurate portrayal of any of us.
What about that weekend you spent in a frosty silence with your partner after a massive row?
The time you had to say a final goodbye to your best friend who always hurt more than they healed?
…Or that week you spent bored out of your mind in an endless succession of lectures that seriously made you contemplate whether becoming a rocket scientist was really worth it after all, or if your life would be better spent working in a supermarket. I mean, at least there would be a little bit of normal human interaction that didn’t involve words like ‘relativistic.’
The truth is that life is never as perfect as these albums would like us to believe…and on some level, it’s a shame that we try our hardest not to acknowledge that.
Pain is raw; it’s exposed and it’s vulnerable. It’s ugly and destructive as well as beautiful and enlightening. It shows us at our worst times and at our most courageous. So why turn a blind eye?
It may not be photo-worthy but it is worth remembering-the hardest times are the ones that get us from one photo to the next.
We are not just those frozen moments of happiness in time.
We are all the moments in between.