I just had an experience that shook me to my core. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I need to share it somewhere
About 3 months ago, I quit my job at a restaurant. While working there I got pretty close with a guy my age who got hired about the same time as me. I saw a lot of similarities of my past self in him. Just lots of self-loathing and depression, and that feeling of hopelessness. Like "does it ever get better?" kind of mindset.
He's got that "trooper" mentality, like I knew he would hold on and eventually make out the other side given enough time. I was the same way. I just tried to be a shoulder to lean on, someone who understood and didn't try to force them to change.
I lost contact after I quit, but I went back today to visit, and by coincidence he was working. I ended up having a pretty long chat with him in the back, just picking up from where we left off. But something seemed off. He seemed to not really talk about or even have a concept of his future. It was like he only thought in days or weeks.
Finally about half an hour in, after I started to ask why he didn't seem to be thinking about his future at all, he lifted up his shirt and showed me a blotchy patch of skin that was slightly darker than the rest of his skin. "I got diagnosed with skin cancer last week. It's spread a decent amount, and it's near my organs, so there's a good chance it's fatal."
You know how in movies someone will say something, and everything kind of stops? Like the character just withdraws into their mind and has some profound realization within a split second? It was like that for me.
For the past year I have worked obsessively to improve and unlock all the joy and adventure life has to offer. I almost forgot about my past self, the kid who didn't think he would live past 20. The kid who sat around all day playing video games, hoping to be hit by a truck or receive a terminal cancer diagnosis.
This former coworker didn't even get a fair shot. All life had to do was let him live for a little bit longer, and he would have made it. Why the fuck is life so cruel and unfair.
I'm surrounded by kids who are spoiled to no end, and get everything handed to them on a silver platter. Looks, smarts, popularity, health, money, you name it. And for whatever reason, life has consistently served this kid a heap of shit. Poor family life, abuse, depression, bullying, and now cancer. He's such an amazing soul, he has so much to offer, so many lessons to learn and so many gifts to give, and life just kills him off. Man just wanted to be happy and make others happy, why the hell does he deserve this? Fucking hell.
Most of the spoiled brats I know will likely live long, selfish lives, where they contribute little to the world and self-indulge, causing pain and hardship for others until they die in a hospital bed at 85. This kid had so much to teach and so much to give, and life decides to throw him one last middle finger.
I wanna cry, but I can't bring myself to tears. I'm not much of a cryer.
The only good thing I can make out of this fucked up situation is that it shook me to my core, and has caused me to shift my perspective on what's important in life. I had hard shit, but compared to this kid I guess I'm pretty lucky. Count my blessings I suppose.
Life is fucking cruel man.