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Nobody dies a virgin. Life fucks us all.

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I love this quote from Kurt Cobain. As detailed in many books and documentaries, Cobain dealt with a lot of stuff growing up and as a young adult. These things inspired his creativity. While he died young at age 27, Cobain was wise beyond his years and was truly an old soul.

Life is hard for all of us. We all go through hardships and unimaginable things. While we may feel like we are alone sometimes, the truth is, we really aren’t. We are all more alike than we think.

Someone may seem like they have it all and are without their own problems, but it doesn’t mean that is the case. The image they project onto the world may be radically different from their reality.

When I was in middle school, I had a classmate named Carlos. He was such a mean kid – a true school bully. One day I heard him picking on a girl in our class, who handled his insults and nastiness in such a mature way for her age. But even so, he wouldn’t let up. No one stood up to him and the teacher did absolutely nothing to stop it.

I was curious about Carlos and why he was so mean. I never talked to the kid, so I had no idea why he was the way he was. He was popular, lived in a huge house and wore designer clothes to school. I started asking other kids who knew him what his deal was, why was he so mean? And what I learned was heartbreaking.

While his life looked great from the outside, at home, his mother was dying of cancer. For anyone, dealing with a loved one’s illness is hard. But for a 12-year-old kid, watching his mother waste away in bed every day at home was particularly devastating.

It made sense why he was angry and mean. I can’t imagine how sad it was for him at that age, dealing with things no kid should have to deal with on their own. It didn’t make his bullying okay, but it sure explained what was going on with him.

The truth is, life isn’t fair. Sometimes we get a shit hand. All we can do is do the best with what has been given to us. And who knows? Maybe by doing the best that we can in our situation, our story can become someone else’s survival guide.

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