With Thanksgiving this coming week, I think it's safe to say we're in "the holidays" for this year. With that season comes the inevitable flood of nostalgia, and probably some things you'd rather forget.
I've always had a complicated relationship with the season, to say the least. While there are many great feelings recalling childhood, there's a whole lot in the middle that wasn't so great. I try not to dwell on the worst parts, but they're there. I've had a great many triumphs as well, and when I take stock, believe me when I say that I've had an amazing life thus far.
But it does beg the question, is the old cliche about needing exceptional pain as a frame of reference to appreciate the good times true? In other words, do I think my life is amazing because at times it was total shit?
I think pain and suffering is overrated, but I can see how this arrangement might be a real thing. I often tell people that I've managed to have four truly great love stories in my life (well, maybe five, but I'm still not sure if the first one counts), but I can see how that might be in part because of the heartbreak and pain I've felt in other situations.
No matter what though, I think the pain can serve as a reminder for how durable you've managed to be in life. It can be hard to have that perspective, but it's a lot like my philosophy where you have to take loss as a chance to see how good something was, and smile and be happy you had those times.
It's probably OK to quietly revel in your own awesomeness for a bit. You probably earned it.