Thought Catalog
October 5, 2013

Disappointment Is The Worst Thing You Experience In Life

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kevin dooley
kevin dooley

Today had two lessons:

  1. All people are disappointing
  2. Life must be taken one step at a time

One of these lessons is good, while the other one I do not necessarily like to reflect on. One of these gave me a feeling of hope, while the other made me cry for hours. But that does not make one truer than the other.

I recently just started talking to my ex again. Not “talking” in the way that most people call to mind when they hear that word. Rather, we started “talking” again in the exact same way we used to. The way that says “I care about you” without actually admitting that it’s probably not going anywhere. I feel the familiar relief when I see his name light up on my phone and the same emptiness when I read the message. I wonder if I am constantly doomed to love people who do not love me back in the same way.

Today my best guy friend told me he decided he would take his new girlfriend to a concert he had planned on going to with me before he met her. I was crushed. Not only were they my favorite band, but more so I was crushed that the one hope I had of hanging out with him alone had been unceremoniously ripped from me via text message. I was hard on him; all the while choking back my feelings, the same feelings that the ex had also stirred within me some time ago. I realized the connection between these two feelings and that they were without a doubt: disappointment.

Here I had two people who I loved equally and irrevocably. One had just come back into my life while the other was practically on his way out. Both, however, I knew I wanted but I also knew I could live without. Life is full of circles like this; lessons that we are repeatedly bashed with over and over again. Someone who you thought could never hurt you, does. Someone who you thought could never make you smile again, does. It calls into question the reality we all live in, the one we make in our brains and manifest before our eyes. Because that’s what life really is: a manifestation of our thoughts. It’s why there can be two sides to every story; it’s why two people can both think they’re in the right; it’s why two people can change faces and leave you feeling the exact same way.

Where does disappointment come from then? My only answer is that it must come from within us because each person feels it differently, yet they feel it over and over again. Which brings me to my next point…

Life is taken one step at a time. Everyday our brain processes more than a million things: pictures, people, facts and feelings. We call it our “heart,” we call it our “soul,” but really it’s our big, glorious, beautiful brain. However, our brain is only as strong as we are. It, too, needs rest. It, too, needs the pause we take when we revel in life’s simplicity of brushing our teeth, wandering into a terrible reality show, or meditating, lost in a song. Our brain is only capable of feeling, seeing and understanding the present moment, if anything because of our limitations as human beings. Somehow, I believe this happened on purpose. God, or whatever powers that be, made us only able to digest the moment laid before us; not a moment sooner or a moment behind.

Take for example the times when you look into the past. Do things look as clear as the present? Most certainly they do not look any clearer than the future. Our memory is not built to store every single second of our day. Instead, it stores things that have inflected upon our deepest character; and even then it may only last there a little while.

Hence the fact that when my ex first pinged my phone, I could find it within myself to look at it and forgive him again. Sure, I remembered the pain, the sadness, the disappointment. But it was not as clear as the joy I was feeling in that very moment. Life works in one way, forward. Everyday brings a new set of feelings. But we are not built to let that determine what the next day will bring; more importantly we cannot even tell. Because our brain, like life, is just as big a mystery. A mystery that is made up of tiny pieces that one day become a part of us. TC mark

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