Everyday I’m writing to get my day started. I’ve got great prompts from this site:
Today’s question is…
List a few big events from your past that caused you suffering. Was there some growth — or even some good — that came from them? What growth? What good?
More challenging: can you do this with the situations that are currently causing you suffering?
Big Suffering Events: Breaking my neck, getting shot down by women, getting dumped, getting laid off, being unemployed, blowing out my knee and not winning at swimming.
All these things were awful at the time, but I certainly grew from all of them. I’d certainly like to have a fully functional neck and knee, but I learned from both experiences.
Neck: I realized in an extra special way that my friends and family actually care about me. I grew closer to so many pepole that I didn’t really have relationships with at all. People from all over my life contacted me and it felt good. My friends skipped their honeymoon to hang out with me while I gurgled my thanks. Guys wanted to road trip to see me. I was terrified of dying, but I pulled through it. On my deathbed I realized what I truly wanted to do: write. When I figured this was it, I told myself, “You should have written those damn books.” And, I healed up which everybody thought was impossible. Also, it was actually kind of fun to see the love pouring out of people and relearning everything.
Getting Rejected: Not every woman cares about how cool, rich, funny, handsome, charming or all that stuff — I’m not say I’m any of those things, just making a point. OK, maybe I am a few of those things. But these picky ladies may have boyfriends, are going through a tough time, feel uninterested or are just having a bad day. Women not liking you for various reasons is a great lesson because I figured out that it’s not the end of the world if I go home alone or don’t have a date for the weekend.
Getting Dumped: Cry all you want, this is incredibly important to experience. The first big time I learned that I was a shitty boyfriend. I’ve since changed my ways — depending on who you talk to, haha. It’s not all about me. I took the last big dumping in stride. She didn’t like me anymore, but that didn’t mean I needed to start hating myself. There are plenty of good fish in the sea.
Getting Laid Off: This happened after my neck accident. I’m still pissed off about this. Besides being a teacher and the current gig I work, this is the last “serious real job” I’ve had. But, I hated it. I sucked at it. I spent 40 hours a week doing something that wasn’t right for me. I wonder where I’d be if I’d stayed there. I’d probably be bald, fat and unhappy.
Being Unemployed: I still hate this. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are, it seems like there’s somebody else better. Applying for jobs every day and only receiving rejection letters is awful and defeating. Basically, it’s the reason why I took my current position — it was the first job that popped up. I’m certainly not happy here, but at least I can put something to fill the gaps on my resume.
Knee: Blowing that out sucked, but was probably the first time I realized I wasn’t invincible.
Swimming: I was never the best swimmer, even though I did my best to be the best. I wanted to shine more than all the other guys, but again, some of my teammates just were better. Plain and simple. A decade and a half later, nobody gives a shit how good of a swimmer I was, but I have a group of friends that will last forever and that matters to me.
The next question was: can I do this with what I’m going through now?
Epilepsy: Eh, I’d rather not find something positive in this. Epilepsy fudged a lot of my life up. It caused a vicious breakup, embarrassing situations and a ton of stress. I take more pills than my 96-year-old grandmother, parents and both of my brothers combined. I’m going to deal with this for the rest of my life, and that’s not a positive outlook. I’ve already had my bodily functions taken away from me after my neck. Now I’m supposed to give up my mind? Fuck that. I’d rather blow out another knee or re-break my neck.
Job Hunting: Ugh, this never fun. I hope I find a job that enables me to use my talents for something more than copy editing. However, working a boring job means I get to write and job search while on the clock. Woo hoo!
How about you guys? Any problems that turned out to be valuable learning experiences for you?