Fighting In The Trenches

What does it mean to be in the trenches? My mind immediately goes to World War 1 where "Trench Warfare" played a major part in the defining battles within that conflict in Europe. I used to see it as a more positive association as being in the trenches must mean that you are dug in and fighting the good fight for whatever your personal battles are in life. Fighting for that well deserved raise. Fighting for the recognition of your peers. Fighting for something all while in the trenches of life.

Fighting In The Trenches
Fighting in The Trenches

But I'm starting to dislike the idea of fighting in the trenches. To start, it means that I've dug myself into a bit of a hole in my life. Not just any hole either, I've dug so deep and broad within the context of my life, that I've entrapped myself in literal walls of my own creation, keeping me from seeing much of anything. With the advent of social media and the isolation that often comes with a life built and lived through the internet, we all seem to be in the trenches these days. Some people spend their time in the trenches fighting as social media warriors, policing conversation and correcting the errors of those they see on their feed. Some people are in the trenches of political thought, fighting fruitless battles where the person they want to reach the most is too busy being encapsulated by their own personal trench warfare as well.

Fighting in the trenches feels lonely and isn't much for reward. I mean what happens if you win that fight? More trenches to commandeer and continue to wage your slow battle across an idea or topic? What happens when you get stuck in that trench? You dig deeper and deeper losing sight of whatever you were originally trying to accomplish when you first stood your ground and refused to budge.

How much time do we waste trying to convince other people to believe what we believe, see a topic like we do, trying to coerce another soul to follow what we follow? I spent so much time in 2016 commenting back and forth with a family member on facebook discussing politics and trying to get them to listen to my view on American politics and after months of back and forth, started to realize that I was set in my ideas and so was this family member. Our conversation wasn't producing any result. It was only confirming our biases against each other's view point. So I finally stopped engaging it.

If I had instead gotten offline, and walked my town neighborhoods, going door to door and trying to passionately argue my position in person, I think that energy and time would have been more useful. In an online social media environment, it's so much easier to deflect reasonable positions or citations with sarcasm, caulousness, or simple apathy.

I think back to all of the online trenches I've dug myself into over the years and sadly I've probably wasted alot of time, energy, and stress allowances on wasting away in those trenches. So what is the better option? Passionately discussing topics of interest with social media friends or anonymous communities like Reddit isn't a waste of time. But relentlessly and aggressively going after others who don't share your views most certainly is.

What are the other trenches we find ourselves in besides online communities? I think sometimes our own personality traits that we recognize as an issue, become a trench. I have a terrible habit of correcting minor things in a conversation that my wife says or speaking to how it should be done despite me not being the one who is actually the one putting energy into a task. Classic back seat driver sort of syndrome. I also get extremely concerned with my parents expectations and when I perceive that I've somehow let them down, let those expectations (whether real or not) weigh heavy on my intra-day emotional outlook. I think one commonality amongst all trenches that we find ourselves in within this life, is that most of them our self dug.

So what's the solution then? I think the first step that im currently exploring in writing this blog, is identifying these trenches. The thing about it is, even though you can climb out of a trench relatively easy, it's just as easy to fall back into one. They don't autofill like our smart phones fancy text message tools. They stay deep, dug out, and ready for us to stumble into for a long time. But by identifying your own trenches in life and recognizing what areas are holding you back, you are taking that big first step to being the best version of you. I'm working to continue to identify my own trenches and as I learn and develop more tools to address them, I will share more with you my loyal readers! I never claimed to have all of the answers but I'm working hard to identify the right questions to be asking of myself as a starting point to the road of being my best self. So ask yourself, what trenches have you been wading in for far too long? Are you ready to climb out and start living life outside of those self dug walls? Are you ready to embrace the potential of finding out who the best you can be?

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you did please do me a favor and subscribe so you can receive the latest posts as they are published, share this blog with your friends, and comment below to continue the discussion.

Also if you want to keep reading check out my post, "Faced With The Vast Universe" where I discuss the stars, looking up at the night sky, and our place as humans in this expansive and beautiful Universe.

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