It is often said that living and existing are two different things entirely, that how an active, purposeful life that is proactively pursued more often than not takes a toll on the person in some way or form over time. But nobody talks about how exhausting it can be to simply exist. From our limited perspective, we can only view our own life as a series of complex choices, consequences, and circumstances. In reality, every single life is made of these three entities, and if we zoom out to see just how many connections radiate from one single person, we would see a vast and complex spider web of possibilities. 
That web is how hard it is just to exist, let alone thrive and progress. But nobody understands that. Every person is making their way through their own chrysalis, falling down and getting back up, growing with time and experience. And during their own stories, sometimes, they are prone to become blind to the sufferings of others.
I know this feeling all too well, the feeling of being judged with little understanding. How I wished I could explain what it took just to exist in this world, the suffering, the energy, the relationships, and their own individual complexities, the commitments and responsibilities, the mental state of a person, and so much more. On the outside, I am smiling for the world, but inside is a dense web of confusion and pain, not dissimilar to the web that connects every person. What people see is only the finished product, my smile, and assume the whole process is just as smooth and easy. 
How little do they know of the pain and exhaustion I battle every day just to get out of the house and get through the day. But I do not question my will, for I am still smiling, as you can see. Yes, it takes much more work to smile with the life I have lived, but a smile is a smile. It is the one indicator of my will to persevere and survive. And make no mistake. Survive, I will.


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