Just how full is this glass?

See, the problem with so many people is that the glass has to be either half empty or half full. How are you supposed to quench a thirst when people are arguing how much water there is?

When I was a kid, I always thought this was a silly question. As a teenager, I played with the idea that it mattered if you were in the process of pouring or drinking. If you are adding water, then it is half-full and if you are drinking, it is half-empty because it is halfway to the goal of being empty or full. Of course, that still brings you back to the optimist/pessimist argument: if I want the cup to be full, then until it is full it is empty.

Now, I say that kind of binary opposition is stupid. The glass is both partially full and partially empty. That is the nature of being in between. Teenagers are not children, but they aren’t adults either. Gray is neither black nor white, it is both.

Well, cool Bella, but that’s a tad abstract.

Right. Okay, let’s try a real life example. This college experience I’m finishing is my “cup” and it sure as hell ain’t full to the brim. Stress, five figures of debt, jerks, loss, and grade dilemmas have all test my ethics and drained some water. Yet, this cup is also filled with everything I’ve learned in classes, the beautiful friendships I’ve made, my mentors, the memories and moments, the experiences that changed me, and the confidence I’ve gained.

To say my cup is half-empty is to devalue and take for granted all the wonderful things that happened because I went to college. But um, this debt. These battle scars. I can’t pretend they aren’t real, that will only hurt me more. So I have to acknowledge that college was both good and bad.

I challenge all of you to do the same. You have a shit job- at least you have one, at least you are fed, that doesn’t make your job less shitty but it should give you some perspective and gratitude. You have a loving spouse and a great house- but you’re bored, that doesn’t mean you want to leave your spouse but it does mean you need to shake things up. Don’t act like life is the pits when you take for granted things people die for, and don’t pretend to be happy because you are blessed when you know you want more. Life is both good and bad all the time, except in the rare moments, and until you accept that you’re never gonna get to quench your thirst. Drink up buttercup, and then refill.

Much love,

Bella

it is both

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