There are people among us who had fantastic childhoods; belong to loving families; and who have a well-adjusted outlook on life. These people have fathers that support them, mothers that comfort them and bosses that respect them.
I used to envy these people, thinking that they were a lucky minority. I used to think that they led charmed lives, full of opportunities seldom afforded to people like me. I thought it would be great to have things so easy.
As I have grown older, however, I have completely changed my view. You see, those of us who have experienced serious problems – whether it be physical abuse, poverty, the loss of a parent or the loss of a child – know what the lows of life are like, and consequently are able to appreciate the highs that much more.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that the hardships we go through shape who we are and if we survive the trials we face, we come out the other end as a stronger, tougher and perhaps more interesting person.
I’ve met people who think they’re subversive because they turned down the offer of private schooling to mix with the masses – who wants to be that person? Who wants to be a part of the Waltons when the Simpsons are far more fun?
Yes, it screws you up and yes, you have to try harder in almost everything you do but like I’ve said before, pain just lets us know we’re alive and I’d rather that than live life on a happy but uneventful plateau.