One of the most important things to me during my adolescence was my social circle. Like most teenagers, I had a busy social life, as well as large friendship circles at school and through my involvement in sport.
I remember so clearly thinking that adults knew nothing about the way the world “really was” and I would pay far more attention to my friends or to peers I looked up to, admired or idolised. It’s normal… I remember plenty of discussions with friends about nagging mums and demanding dads, at times, we thought the whole world was against us.
The world has changed a great deal since I was at school. We have well and truly entered an age where technology and communication has become a huge part of life. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… the list goes on. Being connected with others takes time and energy and is so important to us, especially teens and adolescents. It’s easy to get caught up in our online existence and persona, that it can be just as easy to miss the true value our closest relationships provide.
One important lesson I learnt when I went through a traumatic event that I wanted to share was this:
In crisis, the importance of our day to day “issues” become irrelevant, and the people that matter most will come to the fore – always.
I remember prior to becoming ill, I had all these “stresses” in my life, or so it seemed…. What career path to take? Where would I work part time? How can I impress that girl I was keen on? How would I survive the trials and tribulations of being a young adult? How I would mend a friendship with someone I wasn’t even that close to? How I could be more fashionable? and so on….
When that traumatic event came… Guess what, none of those questions mattered anymore.
When I woke up and throughout my recovery, the people that mattered most were there, always.
The day to day issues evaporated and were now completely insignificant. That taught me so much, it taught me to be thankful, to be appreciative of the love and care of those closest, but most of all it taught me the importance of not letting our day to day struggles become larger than they actually are.
Take a step back, breathe, look at what you have, be grateful for it.