Touching bottom

I always found that expression rather intriguing. When I hear it, I picture myself in a pool, completely alone and being sucked to the bottom of it by an unknown force I cannot fight. It’s a scary thought that I guess comes from my old days in the school, where the bully of the class always tried to sunk ourselves by pulling from our legs just to remind us who was the one in command there.

In these days, when people are struggling in some or another aspect of their lives, they always find themselves claiming they touched bottom and that from now on they can only go up. The expression has become some kind of message to state that one refuses to go deeper but also that one doesn’t see the possibility of going to a worse state in life.

My mother has a different philosophy. She has always kept telling me that no matter what you face in life, things can always go worse a little bit more, and that you will be able to bear with it, no matter what. She is the kind of person that sees life as an endurance test where you have to become stronger slap by slap, getting up fast and getting ready for the next.

Still, even though she tried hard to make me grow on that philosophy, I can’t deny that I have found myself a lot of times thinking I had touched bottom and that my life was the most miserable among human beings. Then, I heard about some news or a close friend exposed me his problems, and, magically, I put back things in order, being aware of my own exaggeration of the facts, and relativizing things to the point I found joy in my own disgraces and started to pity my friend or that entity on the news.

This happened to me quite recently. After deciding quitting a job I absolutely despised, I found myself completely broke in a few months. Having no pennies and in a foreign country, I had overestimated my possibilities there and soon I had to leave my apartment for a friend’s place. When finally my luck was changing back, I cut my finger and thus lost my recently-found part-time job as well as my self-confidence on finding a new job. It’s not I considered myself touching bottom, no, since when it comes to blows in life I already received my dose, but I really thought that was too much.

Well… Life likes to prove us wrong.

3 days ago a girl I knew was run over by a taxi driver when she was going back home on her bike. A 32 year old life, full of vitality and energy, with plenty of kindness and joy for the others, left us for what I’d like to believe is a better world. Family and friends were deprived from her company forever. No explanations, not a single chance to find meaning on what happened, just memories of the past and emptiness and sadness for the present and future coming.

It’s one of those things that make you reconsider who you are and where you are, instantly realizing that you never touched bottom nor where any close to it.

Enjoy there, T… We’ll meet again, for sure.


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