Don’t worry, I’m not going to craft any sweeping metaphors. Well, maybe I will. I lied, I probably will. But I can’t help it. This blog is all about growing up and getting happy, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey so far, it’s that you’ve gotta slog through a mountain of crap to get to the good. And learning hard lessons tends to be kind of dramatic, which leads to some artsy fartsy metaphors. So sue me.
I missed my train.
Despite checking and re-checking that my alarm was set properly last night (because I’m neurotic like that), it didn’t go off. Despite the fact that it’s woken me up for countless exams and classes, it sat silently and let me sleep a few more hours.
Yeah, I panicked. Yeah, I might have hyperventilated and ugly-cried for a few minutes, attempting to reach my mom, who was in her happy place at a zen tai chi class somewhere. I certainly wasn’t in my happy place. The opposite, in fact!
I learned two important things:
1. I am my harshest critic.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Because I don’t know about you, but I can really give myself hell sometimes. Before I’d even had time to think through the situation, my brain was in overdrive, berating me for being so dumb as to oversleep and miss a train, worrying about how I was going to get home, freaking out about what my family would say and generally just beating myself up.
2. I can be strong when I need to be.
I took action immediately. When my mom didn’t answer, I figured it out myself. I booked the next available train in a fit of panic, cancelled my train home by accident, but then spoke to a nice woman on the phone who re-instated it without question (maybe she could hear the panic in my voice?). The point was, I didn’t just sit around moping and freaking out, waiting to talk to someone who could tell me what to do. I just did.
And the cycle went on and on, fluctuating back and forth between feeling incredibly guilty for something that was (relatively) easily fixed and a very small deal, and feeling proud that I’d jumped into action and taken control better than I even knew I could!
And I may have learned a third lesson, but I’m not entirely sure about it yet…
3. Everything happens for a reason (?!)
I’m not totally sure if I believe this yet, but it seems convincing. Indulge me while I ponder why this might have actually been a good thing:
- I learned some new things about myself, about coping, and about making mistakes
- I got to sleep in
- Because I got to sleep in, I won’t be cranky or tired with my family tonight
- I got to see my two best friends again before I left!!
- I got to see the most gorgeous pink sunset out the train window across a big field
- I had time to read the Lady Gaga profile in Vanity Fair, and it was..actually kind of enlightening.
- I got to play with the kitty that lives in my friend’s apartment building, and got excited about seeing my kitty tonight!
- I got some material for a blog post!
So maybe it wasn’t the ideal situation, but guess what I learned? I learned I can make the most of it, fix it as best I can, apologize for my mistakes, and try my very hardest not to beat myself up.
As Miss Frizzle would say:
Take chances, make mistakes, and get…messy!
Made any mistakes lately? What did you learn? What good came of them? Do you beat yourself up about things? Got any tips about how I could stop that awful habit?
Calm + love,