Mental Abilities

I think people sometimes wonder what I’ve learned from all of the things I’ve been through. While any one of the misfortunes (read: blessings in disguise) I’ve had to face the consequences of are not statistically rare, their confluence in me, especially once you know me, becomes astronomically unlikely.

Who would guess that the 3.97 GPA, star varsity swimmer would have a daughter at age 17? What are the odds that a young woman with not even a speeding or parking ticket on her record would have a DUI by 22? Or that the over-achieving, super dedicated woman who inadvertently commands most rooms would be squarely on the borderline personality spectrum, something that wouldn’t start to improve until she was 26?

Maybe I am compensating for something most of the time, and occasionally slip up. Maybe I just like to be a conundrum. Maybe I honestly don’t know (and yes, despise a dozen years of writing, I find myself a fascinating mystery all the time). What I do know is that after all of these oh fuck moments in my one life, I’ve learned a completely different approach to my expectations about this one life.

I realized today that when I face unexpected situations, instead of being afraid, or angry, my first response is one of amusement. I find great pleasure in seeing what deck of cards I have been handed, and enjoy playing them out to see where I end up. I am quite confident that I know where the game ends (eventually all biological organisms must die), and everything between here and there is a matter of perspective.

To find out bad news, for example health related bad news (something that is on my mind currently) is actually good news, because before I knew the news, I could do nothing to improve my situation–the same thing goes for my student loans going up in the next year (at least I can prepare and budget now!), my computer getting Coke spilled on it (I finally figured out how to ensure work-life balance”), and leaving London (I’ve never wanted more than to go back, and now I have motivation and structure for my overarching life goals in the next five years).

I am learning more and more that life is about perspective; thankfully I’ve had enough bad situations in my life to learn that my expectations about life are in no way guaranteed, and the only thing I can do when they aren’t met is change my view of these un-met expectations. It’s kind of liberating to realize that there’s a lot of bad things that can and will happen, but that my own life doesn’t have to be bad as a result, unless I let it. It’s all within my own power.


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