By Sarah Michaud (‘21)

How do we cope in a world so full of clutter where hate is spoken too loud and love is spoken too soft? We are all tied up inside, but the question is — how can we untangle the strings? In this world, we are too often held together by those tangled strings. The madness, the chaos, and commotion of everyday life are the things that we lose ourselves in. We get lost in the smaller moments that might not mean anything to us in one year, one month, one day, one hour. We too often let societal bounds control and restrict our internal selves. Instead of looking at mistakes and failures as commodities fueling growth, we refuse them as reality causing more internal knotting. These occurrences are normal, a healthy part of what it means to be human. Society says that failures and mistakes are wrong, that you should not praise them, that you are not good enough if you experience them. The world turns something completely natural into a negative and unspoken subject that people are burdened with. We do not face them in fear of being judged or looked down upon. They become the unwanted weights on our shoulders, the pits in our stomachs, and the twisted strings that we can never untangle.

What would happen if each of us started looking at ourselves as individuals? What if facing mistakes and failures became something universal, and became something we looked at as a necessary action? The truth is, we cannot go where we want to or become who we want to be if we do not accept the imperfect parts of ourselves. To understand the unfavorable is to discover our pathway to growth. Failures and mistakes are advantages to each one of us. Nothing in this life will be easy. We will cry, and laugh, and scream, and even be silent. What we do to get over these walls is what defines us. We learn after hard times what it means to love ourselves, to mature, to know that we are good enough. We are not mistakes.

What if building each other up instead of breaking each other down became the new normal? We as people, as individuals, share more of a similar experience than we truly think. This is not to say that everyone’s life is the same because that’s simply not the truth. However, what we all experience, is the sheer pain, and fear, and doubt about the unknowns in our individual worlds. This is what we all go through to reach the ultimate goal of joy, and peace, and love. It does not matter where we come from or where we end up because we are all intertwined like strings — tangled up in our own small worlds and our complicated selves, too busy to see the bigger picture. Maybe it’s because we are too narrow-minded or inattentive, but our world as a whole is built on nothing but growth. We must untangle the knots in ourselves — embracing the unknown, all the pain and fear, accepting failures and mistakes, to achieve the ultimate peace. Once we begin this unfolding, is where we will find that these strings can become something as flourishing as a beautifully intertwined vine of flowers — where each new blossom contributes to the beauty as a whole.

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