Tolstoy said that the beauty of life consists of both light and shadow. It sounds so simple. A happy man knows when he’s happy because he knows when he’s not. Even a baby laughs and cries from the moment they are born, with little to no hands on experience on this life thing as yet. Everything in life is a contrast. You must first be broken in order to heal. You must first be angry, spiteful in order to forgive. You must first be without trust, in order to gain any. Before you can find that one true love that you’ve dreamt your entire life for, you must try and try and love in the wrong and nearly right, but not quite there, places. Before you can succeed, you must and you will fall short a couple of times. You must fail or be so close to failing that that fear that grips your heart when you glimpse failure drives you to the success you need. We need light and shadow to create a picture. We need the ups and the downs. Life just isn’t worth living if everything was smooth sailing and I know what you’re probably saying. This girl is crazy. But I’m right. When you make that one minute climb up the tracks of a rollercoaster, the wind just getting colder with every inch you move, the ground diminishing behind you, you’re afraid. Your heart starts pounding, your hands might even start sweating. You’re gripping so tight to the bars in front of you. Your breaths are short and uneven. So many things are running through your mind. You feel partly trapped because you’re strapped to the seat and you know there is no way you can just simply unbuckle and jump out and change your mind. You panic, maybe a lot, maybe a little. And then on the very top, it pauses, to give you a glimpse at just how steep of a fall you have. And you’re stuck there for like 30 seconds or so, dangling, anticipating. You’re afraid. And then the ride starts, and you’re spiraling and spinning and having the time of your life. And that fear that captured you for a little over a minute is transformed into excitement and bliss. You need the light and the shadows. You need the good and the bad times. No one attains humility without being forced to be humble. No one becomes mature without going through situations that test their maturity and makes it impossible for them to think like a child. No one becomes patient, or loving, or understanding without events that require patience and love and understanding when it is so easy to give the opposite. Even the sun must share some time in the sky with the moon. There is no such thing as a bad day, or a bad life. There’s just light and shadow and someday, maybe not today, you’ll see the picture and it’ll be one you’ll never want to take down off your wall.

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