Whenever I write slice of life pieces, I’ll frequently get a certain kind of reader feedback. This is particularly the case when I write about a small problem affecting me or those around me.
“This feels unfinished.” “Where’s the rest of it?”
And occasionally: “I was expecting some advice.”
It’s funny. Because not all difficulties in life need to be eliminated. Indeed, some will never be — and can’t. There are certain problems that simply must be tolerated.
I’ve personally found that I suffer less when I realize I’m not alone, when I learn that I’m not the only person who has this particular problem. And a fair number of my posts are intended just as that — letting other people know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through.
Sometimes that’s all it takes. There’s not a quick fix to every problem. And there’s not always a need for advice.
I know, I know. When there’s a problem, it’s only natural to want to solve it. The trouble is that there are some problems that will never be solved. And part of learning how to deal with the world isn’t just learning how to solve easy problems (although that can be very useful), it’s also learning how to tolerate difficulties that can’t eliminated.
It can be about making peace with the fact that perfection isn’t actually a destination. It’s something you can come progressively close to but never quite reach. And while ambition and a desire to better yourself can drive you to do amazing things, there will always be aspects of life that will not go exactly as you’d prefer.
At those times, it definitely helps to know that I’m not the only one who struggles. So when I am dealing with something small that I’m tolerating just fine, my impulse is to let other people know so we can know we’re tolerating it together.