Silver linings. Apparently clouds have them and we’re supposed to look for them. Going into my third year with a flat-mate that can be a bit like a bullish hurricane in a china shop, it could be said that my patience is broken more often than it probably should be. Occasionally when washing up after a visit from the destroyer of worlds, sometimes I’ll wonder “why did I ever agree to move into a place with him?!?”. I never thought I’d ever find myself in the place that I have. I’m in a degree that I never intended on being in, in a flat with people that exist as caricatures of ‘normal’ human beings, in a town that sometimes feels out of a Dickens novel to an American.
When I look at all of this in one take, it sometimes feels like I’m caught in some sort of 5th dimension. A place very much like reality but things just aren’t quite right. It is in these moments that my experience here in St. Andrews speaks volumes. I can almost channel into words hanging in the air trying to tell me some secret or moral foundation. A fitting analogy for the sensation would be like a boxer being knocked down to the canvas and as they get up, they find themselves in a tranquil state where the answers to life, the universe, and everything become apparent.
Now I will never claim to know everything but I do take pride in what I am able to know and what I have come to know through certain hardships here in St. Andrews is that life happens the way it does for a reason. The reason may not be apparent and the force behind the reason may never be known, but there is a reason after all. Countless times something will happen and I will question why this thing has happened to me or why it had to happen at all. Soon enough, I’m faced with another situation not all too dissimilar to what has happened before and immediately I realize why I had to go through a difficult place. Empathy, advice, love, compassion, it is all rooted in hardship.
Once I came to this realization, as opposed to cursing my flat-mate up and down for leaving the place in a less than desirable state, I began to think that perhaps this is to encourage me to be more patient with him. That in turn could lead to a growth in patience towards others and other situations. A friend of mine here at university would go on about thinking about the world through a ‘higher consciousness’. Although I knew what he was saying, I didn’t really know what he meant until I came to that same realization myself. The more time you spend thinking about something, the more rationalizations you can put behind it. The next time you’re metaphorically sucker-punched, just think about how the incident can be turned around for the better.
That is, not just for your sake, but for others especially those you love.