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  • Writer's pictureJake

Tides of Life: The Ebb & Flow

If ever there was an analogy that I would want to be associated with my life, it would have to be something that describes the ocean. At this point in my life, I have seen high times and low times, both directions guided by my own decisions, mistakes and plans. Looking back on it all, I find myself caught up in the idea that there will always be days so good you wish they never end and days that make you want to run far away from everything. On these days, I feel as though I just want to go home and try again tomorrow. As long as I try again tomorrow, I am guaranteed at least a chance the the retreating tide of happiness, the ebb, will soon unfold upon itself and return in a flow of fun times.

There are many schools of thought on how and why the events of life are thrust upon you. People rely on religious sermons, science or find solace in ancient texts. I suppose I find myself mixed amongst these options with an open mind toward theories that challenge convention and discourage self-importance. I think life is much too complex for any of us to ever figure it out and that the only true way to actually enjoy it is to accept that it will ebb and flow and that it will end. We must savor every moment.

I have seen so many people in the world who seem to have lived a life of complete misery. I see people who have had terrible things happen to them and risen up from it and I have seen people who seem to be living a life of great happiness and fulfillment that at times I wonder if they deserve. Is life fair? Do the scales of the universe always balance out in the end or is it all really a roll of the dice or a dose of destiny?

The Iliad contains a story about how people are granted the blessings and distresses in their life. Recently, I have thought whether this story may actually represent a feature of reality. Achilles teaches this lesson to Priam at the end of the Trojan War. At the foot of Zeus sit two jars, one of sorrows and one of blessings. Some people are given a life of complete sorrow. most are given a varying mix of sorrows and blessings but none are given a life of complete blessings.

We do not have to go all the way back to the Iliad to discover this concept. Alabama’s own hero, Forrest Gump figured it out in the end. His greatest friend, Lieutenant Dan and his most trusted and loved momma placed him in the middle of an age old theological paradox. Is it a box of chocolates, inescapable destiny, or does it even matter? Either way, I would like to assume that whether you are Achilles, Dan or Momma, while there will always be times of struggle, the happiness that you have lived before, are likely to return at some point in your life.

Fun fact: its not just a movie about a guy from Alabama that starts a shimpin’ business.

"That’s all I have to say about that.”

Do you ever ponder where you fit into the mechanism of the universe or attempt to draw a picture of how it works? I find that most people seem not to care. Call me whatever you wish but I find it fascinating to ponder these ideas that we have no way of knowing the answer to. For the ignorantly smart millennial, this is one of the questions google and Alexa still can’t answer for you. There just might be something about having confidence in confusion and having the faith that with every ebb of the tide, there will always be a refreshing flow that returns the comforts of former days.

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