Day 7 of NaBloPoMo, in the books.
Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.
I remember a conversation I had once with an old college roommate. She had been recapping some unexpected adventure that had occurred the night before, and was explaining how, as a result, all her plans for the rest of the week changed dramatically.
When she finished unloading, she sighed and said, “Well, ‘such is life,’ right, Liv?” She smiled. “That’s what you always say, anyway.”
I remember I kind of stopped – did I always say that? Sure, it sounded like some total Vonnegut remark I would make, but I was sure I had only said it a few, maybe three times in my life, tops.
I laughed, but defensively asked, “I do?”
She rolled her eyes nearly out of her head. “My god. Seriously, all the time.”
I found another friend of mine who lived in our building and with no sort of set-up asked, “Would you say, by chance, that there is something I say, maybe quite often?”
Without even so much a second’s thought: “Such is life,” he said.
I recall spending the rest of the day vainly asking any acquaintance I ran across what phrase I may or may not use in relative frequency around them. Classmates, friends, co-workers, even my boss… all the same response. Some sounded nearly annoyed and pleased I’d finally realized, while others cheered my sinking ship with a quick “Hey, I like it!”
Either way, I’d decided, how the hell had I gone on so long repeating something – clearly many, many times – without so much as taking notice? What a refrain.
Throughout that week, I caught myself repeating the mantra countless times:“Wow, I really thought I’d get an A. I worked forever on that stupid essay.” “Well, such is life.” “So, since everyone took off, you work Friday, Saturday, and a double on Sunday.” “Ugh. Well, such is life.” “I’m so pumped – we decided to head down to Florida for Spring Break.” “Alright! Such is life!” “The bar is closing. Seriously, you need to get out.” “Ah, such is life.”
The opportunities, it seemed, were endless.
While I didn’t want to become a walking slogan, it was as if people were just setting me up. What else am I supposed to say to you? “Such is life” just fit whenever and wherever it needed to.
For a long time after that, probably out of embarrassment, I kept my blasé reply in check: I tried to think of other ways to steer conversations; I replied with more stock, wholesome comments; when others lamented, I regretted the misfortunes of life with them.
But, after awhile, my determination sunk and I found myself slipping into the old pattern. “Such is life” was my way of life.
Because it seems to me, people are spot on when they profess everything happens for a reason. Who am I to tell you that you didn’t put enough effort into your exam? Sometimes crappy work schedules happen! Life is great – enjoy that beach! And that’s okay, we’ll just go home and drink more beer there!
I could never deem any event in my life not worth experiencing, no matter how rotten it may have been. And for you, it may be life’s greatest.
Mistakes happen, amazing things happen, regret does nothing.
Such is life.