Carl always managed to sleep like a log.
He occupied the bunk to my left during our time of military service.
I believe Carl was a born Stoic.
His control and calmness fascinated me, whereas I’ve always been the overthinker, the nervous one. Even during my training to become a warrior, I still turned out to be a better worrier.
I plumbed Carl’s thoughts on a few occasions— I had to know how he always seemed so in control.
He wasn’t a man of many words, but I did get “You live through it,”
When asked how I “handled” military life, I can most certainly conjure up a thousand and one tips for prospective recruits— everything ranging from staying grounded through to proper equipment care.
But If I consider the bigger picture, from all those years ago, I can conclude that I lived through it, without always thinking about how I would “handle” it.
Before everyone turned to the internet and social media for life-hacking techniques, we did what we had to do.
We lived through those times, as best we could.
Nowadays, the internet is at our disposal, and I research ways in which people overcome obstacles.
And while I learn, I still live, and I do it as mindfully as I possibly can.
I still worry, and I still overthink, but I do remember another of Carl’s succinct points about “handling” stuff.
“Breathe” he always said. “Just breathe. You can’t handle anything if you don’t know what the single most important things are that you do need to do!”
We managed to go for long periods without proper food. Such was military training.
At times we were even deprived of water.
But we always had oxygen.
“As long as you can still draw air into your lungs, you can handle the next obstacle.”
Carl loved psychology and philosophy, but through everything, he remained as practical as possible.
And during some nights he would turn to me when he decided my questions became superfluous.
“I also handle things better when I’ve had sufficient sleep.”
“Try it,” he would say one more than one occasion.
Until next time.