Life is a complex topic, but its complexity is what makes it worthwhile. Through personal experience, I have determined the Five Elements of Life that influence how enjoyable our lives are. I have also learned that—in order to live the most fulfilling life possible—it’s imperative we keep these five elements in balance.
I’m ready to share my story. Are you ready to live the best life possible?
Everyone knows love can lead to heartbreak. In our time here on Earth, the reality is that you’re likely to experience it at least once. It doesn’t matter if you are the heartbreaker or the one left broken. Heartbreak stings.
I am thankful for my relationships that didn’t end well because they pressured me to move on and eventually find love with someone who deserves it. It is excruciating to inflict that much pain onto someone you once loved, but you cannot control whether your emotions are conflicted.
In high school, I was in a long-distance relationship that I chose to end. I could not restrain my change in feelings. There was nothing I could do about it, and there was nothing he could have done differently.
I dreaded the day I had to tell him, and my empathy for the situation almost destroyed me. To top it off, he decided it would be appropriate to write an essay exploiting all of his feelings on the matter and post it online—some of it not so nice.
The essay spread like wildfire, and I felt dejected knowing that the people reading it didn’t know my side of the story. Everyone gave him accolades, while I was left crying regularly and feeling shameful and misconceived. It took me a long time to forgive myself for hurting him so badly, but I knew I couldn’t carry that guilt anymore.
Do not be afraid of love just because you experienced heartbreak before. You must understand what you want in a relationship in order to find the right person for you, and that understanding is only obtained through trial and error.
Some people struggle with this more than others. Unhappiness has innumerable causes and may seem like an unavoidable emotion, but there are two simple ways to remove it from your life: (1) Identify what is making you unhappy and (2) Eliminate it.
Easier said than done, right? Wrong.
If you are unhappy because of someone or something in your life, you have the power to change it. Remove whatever brings you down, and you will be rewarded with happiness.
For some of you, the source of your unhappiness may be a struggle with mental illness that leaves you feeling worthless, alone, and/or out of control.
Do not let this own you. Seek help, whether that be through therapy, medication, or both, and don’t let others shame you for pursuing relief from something out of your control.
The negative stigma associated with treatment for mental health is unjustifiable and fallacious. We should be rewarding those who seek help, not condemning them.
I suffer from a mental illness. I experience debilitating mood swings, which leave me feeling either amazing and insuppressible or as though I’m drowning in thoughts of hopelessness and dysphoria.
I take medication for my condition and refuse to apologize or feel embarrassed about it no matter what other people may think. It keeps me in control of my life, and that is something to be celebrated.
Start living the life you deserve because life is too beautiful to continue living in darkness.
I have my fair share of health complications, and I have yet to receive a straightforward answer as to why this is. I’ve had more blood tests than I can count, some of which were conducted by an infectious disease specialist who searched for serious and intimidating diseases like lymphoma and HIV—which thankfully turned out negative.
Be kind to those who are sick, and do whatever you can to get them healthy. One of our greatest responsibilities is to take care of our bodies, because we only have one.
In the interest of my health, I have also been subjected to:
I’ve suffered from mononucleosis twice, chronic sinusitis, allergies, asthma, and gastroesophageal issues—and I’m awaiting test results for potential other health concerns as I write this.
Due to this long list of health problems, I’ve had doctors disregard me entirely. I’ve argued with a doctor over whether or not my lymph nodes were inflamed and my throat was sore (they were), and I tried explaining that it was identical to the symptoms I experienced with mononucleosis the year prior.
He continued to assure me it was simply “stress” and “anxiety”, but I convinced him there would be no harm in ordering the blood test I needed to “settle my anxieties” (this blood test determines if the EBV virus is currently active in your blood, not just if you’ve had it before). Soon enough, the results came back, and I officially had mono for the second time within two years.
I’ve had friends get annoyed with me when I’m sick, because they’re tired of it and cannot comprehend what it is like to try and live a normal life while stumbling over barriers that keep you from feeling well.
No matter what you’re going through, you must acknowledge your drawbacks and manage them to the best of your ability because your life belongs to you, not your weaknesses.
Pursue your passion. There is no greater feeling than doing something you love to do. Do not let fear of failure discourage you from following your dreams. It may seem simpler to go with a career that is safe and guarantees a steady income, but if you’re unhappy doing it, you’re sealing your fate for an unfulfilling life.
When I was little, I found out my uncle is a television show producer, which led to my desire to thrive in the same field.
I was involved in my school’s news shows from elementary school through high school, but my interests skyrocketed in high school when I was elected as one of the news show producers my junior year and then as Special Events producer my senior year, developing my leadership skills and ability to act under extensive amounts of pressure.
It may seem too ambitious, but I desire a career in creating my own television show.
My backup plan is a career in marketing (which I also enjoy), and I recommend a backup plan for anyone with formidable aspirations. I currently work with Coca-Cola as an FSU student ambassador and intend to utilize both my marketing and production skills as Lead Ambassador this fall.
Even if you end up with your backup plan as a career, at least you’ll know you tried to make your dreams a reality. Do not undermine your capabilities.
Whatever your beliefs, faith is vital. It reminds us that whatever may inflict distress upon us is part of a bigger picture. It’s important to have faith in yourself and to consciously prevent negative moments from leading you to doubt.
I am a Christian, and I believe there is a purpose for my life. I trust that God will lead me where I need to go.
When I was extremely young, my mom and dad divorced, so I grew up living between homes with two remarkable parents.
I spent weekdays with my mom, who was severely injured at her job taking care of special-needs children. She has since undergone two major back surgeries and is almost fully recovered now.
My dad remarried to a woman who is very ambitious and poised. She has two daughters who are around ten years older than I am, and I aspired to be like them, but was intimidated at the time because I was in a phase where I shopped at Hot Topic and listened to Three Days Grace… (if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, you might as well say it, I was “that emo girl”).
Eventually, my “emo” phase subsided, my relationships with them grew, and I developed into who I am today. Both of my stepsisters got married and gave birth to adorable baby boys. This is when things started to get complicated, so bear with me.
One of my stepsisters got divorced and had a baby girl with another man who she ended up marrying and then divorcing, while my other stepsister and her husband struggled with an addiction to methamphetamine. They lost the rights to their child, so my stepmom and dad took him in.
My stepsister and her husband recovered from their addictions after several bouts of rehabilitation and ended up having another child, a precious little girl. Her husband unfortunately didn’t recover as well as we had thought and—last I heard—has never returned to help raise his family.
One day, my dad and stepmom called me into our living room to tell me they were separating. A year later, they were divorced, and I had to watch my dad suffer from heartbreak and wrestle with subtle alcohol abuse. We sold our home, which was grandiose and stunning, and I moved into a townhome with my dad. He is now dating a very nice woman, they seem very happy, and my mom is also enjoying a steady relationship.
No matter your religious beliefs, I encourage you to take a moment and to listen to the songs “By Your Side” and “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North. “By Your Side”, even inspired me to get a tattoo of a cross on my side, close to my heart. Anytime I am coping with things life throws at me, I look down to my left and see that subtle reminder that I am never alone.
Everyone goes through rough patches in life, but it is comforting to know that no matter what is tossed your way, you’ll always have someone, whether that is God or yourself, by your side.
Life isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. Rather than focusing on its intricacies, concentrate on harmonizing these five elements. Once they are stable, you will free yourself from hate, sorrow, ailments, indifference, and doubt, and begin living a life full of love, happiness, good-health, passion, and faith.
And that is simply extraordinary.