The Best Times are The Hard Times.
My friend Daniel and I often talk about how some of the best/most fulfilling times in our life were the times when we really, really struggled. The kind of period that was terrible to live through, but that you owe your character to.
For example, there was once a group project that Daniel and I were a part of together at University. In my experience, school and university group projects tend to be ignored until the last minute unless somebody takes the lead. I’m obviously very biased, but for many group projects across my school career I feel like I pulled more than my fair share of the work and usually did the work promptly. I’m sure that Daniel feels the same.
This time was different. Both Daniel and I were having intense personal problems, so didn’t take a leadership position and couldn’t contribute much. From memory, two other members of the group tried to corral us all to work together some weeks before the deadline, but very little came of anything.
The part of the story that’s important here is that Daniel and I ended up spending a solid week working very, very hard with little to no sleep to try to get something working before the deadline. The kind of situation where your hearing goes funny, your eyes hurt when you close them, and your hands are kinda working on their own, detached from your brain.
This is just one example, and it’s one that had a bad physical toll on our body; we both got sick afterwards.
Long nights in the university library and similar energy drink fuelled slogs aren’t healthy, and I don’t encourage you to live like that. Maybe we’re both masochistic, but on reflection we both agree that we miss those times.
Maybe ‘miss’ is the wrong word. They were times that were incredibly, incredibly painful, and we hated the experience at the time. But they were also formative, and we’re able to laugh about them and appreciate them now for what they were.
We don’t reflect on the easy times anywhere near as fondly.