Since elementary school when I first heard the saying "life imitates art," I never understood the strange, seemingly counterintuitive expression. It wasn't until my sophomore year of high school that I found a meaning in it for myself: that everything that happens, no matter how frivolous or unfortunate, is part of a greater scheme of overarching themes and obscure symbols.
This grand realization that hit me in the sweltering heat of my English classroom as my legs stuck to the seat below had now left me with a profound question: what message did I want my life to leave on a pondering reader? What lesson would this chapter of my life teach me?
Perhaps the only thing it needs to teach me is that life goes on. However hopeless I feel when I encounter hardship, this silly little phrase provides solace in an unexpected time, reminding me that life is just a continuous process of growth through adversity. In fact, hardship is inevitable, but defeat doesn't have to be: what's a good story without a challenging problem and complex character development? Although blows of failure and rejection still sting, we can eagerly look to the future to see how each experience will make us stronger, more resilient, more courageous.
This acknowledgement that "life imitates art" also provides a more insightful challenge: what patterns have recurred throughout our lives? What kind of emotions or situations are their appearances associated with? It's amusing, almost surreal, how interconnected certain aspects of our lives are. Regardless, looking into recurring patterns in our lives allows us to be more in touch with who we are, what we're scared of, and what we stand for. Just like you're in English class, analyze yourself like you would a fictional character to gain a more objective sense of what makes you the person you are today.