Life isn't perfect; don't expect it to be

April 6, 2013 

Why are we here?

This month I celebrate my birthday. I'm not going to reveal my age. Let's just say I no longer qualify as a young'un and I'm fine with that.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my youth. It is just that I am also enjoying my present.

One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Camus. He said, "If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."

As a Humanist, I embrace my limited existence. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not I will get another one. I am too busy making sure I make the most of the life I am living now. I figure if I don't live this life to the fullest, what business do I have wishing for another one?

I feel the same way about reflecting on my past. It is nice to remember who I was but I don't actually want to be that person again. I am much more interesting and awesome than I ever was before. Plus, no one has invented time travel yet.

Even if I could go back and re-experience certain things, I wouldn't. What I am looking for now is new experiences; new ways to grow and learn and become even better.

I think the reason we humans have a tendency to wish we could go back is because there are times when the present isn't all that great. It happens to all of us. No one is immune. The problem is that we forget things weren't all that rosy way back when either.

Life is a struggle. It can be hard and heartbreaking. I don't know about you, but my life has been filled with ups and downs. And while there were certainly some downs that were REALLY down and that I wish I hadn't gone through, those experiences are part of what make me who I am today.

Life may not be perfect, but I don't expect it to be. I am a Humanist, which means I am also a realist. My goal is to live life fully. The only way I can do that is to embrace life and the experiences it brings.

All those experiences, both the good and the bad, are who I am. They are the foundation of my existence. Without those experiences, I wouldn't be. I would be someone else. And I don't want to be someone else. I like who I am. I've earned my life the hard way, by living it.

Jennifer Hancock, is a Humanist life skills educator. To learn more visit

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