What is it about learning that makes it such a painful process sometimes? I mean, why can’t knowledge be harmlessly assimilated without brutal all-nighters and nerve-wrecking tests? And why is it that the lessons learned in school are so useless in real life? The School of Hard Knocks is a harsh task master. The lessons learned there may stick, but they come with bruises that imprint themselves on your soul and forever mark and change you.
Some lessons, like learning to drive on ice, have proven relatively harmless – slightly stressed nerves and a few losses of traction, but overall just a slower pace combined with careful steering and braking. Others, like how to accept your husband’s ex being in your newly combined life, comes with sleepless and teary nights. Still others, like how each new form of birth control will screw with your hormones, are neither fun nor particularly useful. Each lesson teaches something important, be it a practical daily skill, a coping mechanism, fun activities, or how to have a hard but meaningful conversation.
Moving twice this year came with lessons on how to tow a trailer, how to know when to pull off because you’re about to burst into tears thanks to the stupid radio, how to combine two households into one, how to sell a car, how to pack, unpack, and repack in less than a month, how to live with 2 suitcases of belongings for 2 months, how to find an apartment and sign a lease in a foreign country. The list goes on and on.
Marriage has taught me how to put another person before myself on a daily basis, how to compromise on wants, how to pick an activity when neither of you care, how to work through problems, how to love, how to be loved, to appreciate the quiet moments, to speak up when something bugs me, to listen, to ask the right questions.
There really is a lesson available in pretty much every moment of life. Some are fun and easy to learn. Others are hard and painful or embarrassing. They’re all important though. Each lesson we learn becomes a part of what makes us individuals. We just have to be on the lookout for the particular lessons that are being taught to us so that we don’t miss anything important.