Written By Brooks Ordich
“Life isn’t fair”. The phrase voiced by our parents ad nauseam whenever we didn’t get our way or things didn’t work out exactly how we expected. We were kids and we shook our heads in quiet (or sometimes not so quiet) agreement. Of course life isn’t fair! Little Timmy just won first prize again, even though we did our best. Life isn’t fair, and absolutely we recognize it in the moment. It’s why we’re upset in the first place. It didn’t occur to me, until years later, that that phrase wasn’t just some passing remark our parents say to pacify a dismayed youth, it holds a meaning that we truly cannot comprehend until we hit those hurdles in life that nearly cripple us. Those moments that beat us until we can barely continue on our paths forward. Those moments when you’re standing up on the top of a building ready to jump, because no matter what you seem to do, it just isn’t enough. Life isn’t fair. Okay mom, I get it…
LIFE. IS. NOT. FAIR.
But you can even the odds.
So maybe you don’t have the natural luck or talent that little Timmy has, maybe you aren’t a star athlete, a super model, or an ace student. There are things inherent in life that we have no control over. And it isn’t fair, sure, but we can persevere and overcome. How do you turn the tables on a bad situation, or win the game when the deck is stacked against you? Flip the table and get new cards! Recognize that while some have luck, you have dedication, motivation, and a work ethic that keeps you awake into the long hours of the night, because sleep is what happens only when you’re content with where you are in life. Never be content.
I met a girl once at a job. You could tell she was defeated by a less than glamourous home life. She worked a job that paid just enough for her to get to the next day, and whatever she could save was spent on a deadbeat brother and a mom unable to live anywhere else because of a mistake made in her younger years. This girl had dreams once, and through no fault of her own, found herself in a situation, a hole, unable to climb out. I had a talk with her at a diner, over some pancakes and a couple sprites. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she replied that she had always wanted to be a vet or work with animals. Pretty cool right? The unfair part of this whole thing though, was that she was so defeated and weighed down by the troubles at home that she had given up on chasing that dream. There was no drive left, no motivation, and it killed me to watch, because nothing I said, no solution offered, no hope given, could break through the wall of self-doubt and apathy that came with being handed bad situation after bad situation. Do not let this be you. When you fall, get back up. When you bleed, heal. And when you have unfairness thrown in your direction, scream back, “I will even these odds”.
It took me a long time to realize that life wasn’t going to give me anything. I would look around at all the people that seemed like they had everything they could want in life, some younger than myself. It seemed like, maybe they had just gotten lucky, maybe their parents gave them what they needed, and maybe they caught a great job by chance. It never occurred to me that maybe it was hard work and determination; because when the results come in, and everyone sees you succeed, hard work looks a lot like luck.
This was an epiphany to me at the time. I had been going through, thinking it was simply my lot in life to be handed failure time and time again. Depression, anxiety, anger, resentment. These are the emotions that drove me daily. These are the emotions that a lot of you feel and will carry with you. I get it. I understand; and while I never hit rock bottom, I could have thrown a bottle and hit it from where I was, on top of that parking garage looking for a reason not to jump. Don’t let it get that far. Flip the table now. Trade in that stacked deck for new cards. Be the guy that makes it look easy, while knowing it’s hard. Never be content, and always be moving forward.