I believe in constant struggle. Struggling is growing, and without one we cannot have the other. We are taught as individuals that stress is inherently bad for you, and to have stress is to have failures and shortcomings. For the longest time, I had believed that I wasn’t a normal kid because I worried. But the thing is, everyone always worries! Whether it’s small like their hair or weight or friend group, or completely out of their control like global warming and government issues. We are taught to do the impossible, and in doing so we strain ourselves into misery. Growing up with anxiety, everything has always scared me. Whether it’s the other kids in my grade, the test scores I got, or even things that are yet to come, I have cried and lost sleep over it. Even currently there are things that I irrationally fret over, and in the end it does me no good.

In fourth grade, I couldn’t do math. I didn’t like it, and I didn’t want to like it. In the early days of winter 2014, I hadn’t been able to do 20×20. Being the kid that I was, I had realized far too late that if I wanted to do well in school, I would have to at least try to put effort in. That year, I went to at least two extra helps a week, practiced math in my workbook, and studied whenever I got the chance. Between rehearsals and acting classes there wasn’t much time, and I was very clearly struggling with my material. Even still, I’d whip out my sudoku during Hebrew school, and do a week’s worth of homework in the scenes I didn’t need to rehearse. After a month or two of doing this, I had almost given up. “What was the point,” I had asked myself, “if doing this doesn’t help me whatsoever?” And yet, my grades had went from 2’s to 3’s and steadily to 4’s. I had finally gotten the hang of it. I could do mental math, I could do long division, and I remembered how to multiply.

More recently, I came back to this memory with some realizations. Nothing will ever be easy. There are times where I’ll get a week without rehearsals and be able to study and get A’s and A+’s on tests. There will be times where I can finish all of my homework and be in bed before 10:00pm, and I’m grateful for those times. I utilize them to go to extra helps and do extra practice even still. But there are other times where I don’t get back home until 11pm, and my homework will be rushed in a dark theater or in advisory. If I’m able to manage these both and use them to the best of my ability, I will be at peace with it. The time that I have to finish assignments and the grades that I have on tests will always scare me, but I am at peace. There are hundreds of things out of our control, whether we like it or not. Sometimes, the only thing we can do is make the best out of a situation, and continue struggling. Though we are not problem free, we are at peace. Though we scream and cry and lose friends, we are at peace. Though we struggle, we are at peace.

This I believe.

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