How to Deal


By: Gabriela Yareliz

I remember one particular afternoon, where I was sitting in my high school adviser’s office. My high school adviser was and is a friend; someone I would talk to about concerns and life in general– not just school stuff. I was sitting back in a chair chewing on a candy from his glass jar and complaining about what we were working on in English.

“It’s poetry. I don’t know much about these British poets, and I have to write a poem. I don’t even know what I am doing,” I whined.

He turned from his computer, I see it now in my head, and he looked pensive.

“That is great,” he said at first. “I am sure you will write something interesting.”

I made a face.

“You can’t be good at everything you know. This is new. You are learning. It will be fine,” he said to me.

Those words have always stayed with me.

In the end, I fell in love with the poetry unit. However, there are many things in life I have faced that are new that I did not become great at.

After that moment, I know that one of the things that most makes me uncomfortable is getting slapped in life with something I don’t know how to do. It’s easy to be comfortable and good at something you know a lot about. When it’s something brand new, it’s a challenge.

Beginnings are difficult. Always. As much as I abhor being clueless–in my field, there is a lot of being clueless and learning involved. I face the unknown, every day. It’s impossible for someone to have all the laws and possibilities stuffed in his or her sleep-deprived, tingly brain. I suppose law school has taught me a lot of humility– or humiliation. Depends on how you look at it.

A new semester has begun. I don’t know how many of you started a new semester or employment at a new place. I guess this applies to new jobs, moving to a new place, new circumstances, divorce, death, meeting new people and anything that takes you out of your comfort zone or known world.

Learning and growing can be embarrassing, awkward and painful. I sound like one of those Welcome to Puberty pamphlets they give you in jr. high health class with a stick of deodorant that will probably give you a rash you’ll never forget.This new semester has been tough on me. I claim no expertise. But as I live a little, I learn a little. Usually, I learn the most about myself.

Some things I have tried to learn is as painful as beginnings are, they pass. Things get better, you learn, and you also become more patient with yourself. You may never get to a state where you feel you have a handle on everything, but you learn to deal.

When I was in jr. high and dealing with my family suddenly breaking and my “perfect” world was shattering, two of my favorite books were Someone Like You and That Summer by Sarah Dessen, and the movie based on the books called How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore.

The movie begins saying: “Sometimes life is so perfect. Isn’t it? It has to be, to make up for all the hard stuff it throws your way. You have to learn to walk; you have to learn to talk; you have to wear that totally ridiculous hat your grandma bought you. You have no say in the matter. And when you are a little older, even though you get to choose your hats, you don’t get to choose what they put in those meatballs at the cafeteria, or when to fall in love. Things happen, and you just have to deal.” -Halley Martin

When you are faced with work and tasks that are new, frustrating and unknown… keep these things in mind:

1] Prayer Is The Most Potent Instrument

Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.-Gandhi

Prayer can get you through anything. Again, life and situations take patience, but wisdom and peace can be acquired in the process through prayer. Prayer changes things. Prayer answers things. Prayer changes us.

2] Do Something you Love

Going through initial struggles of learning and trial and error are easier when you are driven by something you are passionate about.

3] Do Something For Another Person


All is worth it when you can make someone else’s life better.

4] Choose Joy


It won’t always be easy. Sometimes the struggle is really real. And even still, we have to decide to be happy. No matter how many trials, how much embarrassment or how much pain our personal growth brings, find joy in small and big things.

5] Do Good


6] See Possibilities and Have Hope, Despite of What You See

Instead of looking at what is in front of you, look up.

7] Make Learning an Adventure


8] Decide What Kind of a Person You Will Be

9] Look Good and Make Time For Breaks


10] Always Look Again

11] Know What You Are Building


12] Be Conscious of How You Feel


Life can be surprising and unexpected. No matter what it throws at us, there are small miracles twinkling around us waiting to be noticed. We can’t let life just happen to us. Instead, we need to decide and learn how we are going to deal.

[Images from Tumblr]

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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