“It gets worse before it gets better.”
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that before. It’s one of those quotes that eventually became unquoted for because, so what, everybody knows it was quoted from someone “smart” after all.
I think the quote can be daunting in itself because it has an unusual way of encouragement. If you think of it, it’s not entirely about how things will get better. Instead, it tells you to brace yourself for the worse.
I remember the book Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah. (I absolutely recommend it! Very life-changing!) It’s a life story and, obviously, it has the classic “rags to riches” plot. Why else would they put “Cinderella” in the title, right? (But minus the “Bibbidi Bobbidi boo” part and Prince Charming… Aww.)
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you on this post, in case you’d want to read it for yourself, but I’ll be hinting on some things.
A friend of mine suggested the book to me. She didn’t say much about it except that she really enjoyed reading it. I got curious and, from the title itself, I figured it would have a happy ending. (I mean, it’s Cinderella! Wasn’t she made for happy endings? Or rather, happy endings were made for her.) And so, I gave it a go.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was everything in between. It’s not that what I had in mind were Anastasia and Drizella as stepsisters, but I was totally caught off guard by the turn of events. That’s why I finished the book faster than I thought.
With her hopelessness, I found myself constantly asking: “When will it get better for her?” And just when I thought things wouldn’t get any worse, they do.
I started reading the book with high hopes for a happy ending, but I got caught up by the struggles in between that I thought, maybe, there won’t be a happy ending after all.
I realized that’s sort of how life is. You and I are constantly longing for something better. Often, not even in the hopeful kind of way, but more like “I’m getting tired of this sitch!”
And so, you ask yourself, how much worse does it have to get before it gets better?
Well, I don’t have an answer for that. But I believe the assurance is in knowing that it’s going to get better. That it’s not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” All we have to do now is strive until it happens.
I know it’s easier said than done. (Trust me! I know!) But like what they say: the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.
PS. I highly recommend the book, Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah