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One Day…

Falling

I uttered a phrase yesterday that I’ve mindlessly stated hundreds of times before, only this time it struck me differently.

“One day I’ll look back on this and laugh.”

But when does that day come?

When can I finally begin to look back on those trying times that I wanted so badly to give up?

What are the moments that I can look back on now?  Times that I can laugh at myself, smile at the absurdity of the situation, or learn from the once terrifying mistake that is now nothing more than a valuable lesson.

A moment when you finally learned that listening to others won’t take you the places you want to go.

An onslaught of unfortunate events that led you into state of utter despair, yet you persevered.

Or when a romantic endeavor turned into an unforgettable tale of embarrassment.

Good or bad, failure or triumph, the experiences we’ve had inevitably shape who we are as individuals.  But it’s not the event that changes us; it’s our reaction to that event.  This is one of the most important, yet hardest lessons we can ever learn.

So, when is that day we can look into the past and laugh, learn, and smile at our most memorable blunders?

Today.

Don’t wait for someday to roll around – you’ll be waiting forever.  Take a moment to reminisce about those times of embarrassment or disappointment and think about how they’ve changed your life.  Write them down.  Share them with a friend.  Gather strength from them and use it to grow. Laugh, smile, and appreciate all the bullshit you’ve gone through that has made you who you are now.

After all, you are exactly where you’re meant to be.  Embrace it and continue marching forward.

 

Enjoy The Journey

Steve O'Neill

Photo credit (creative commons): Kevin_Morris

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Comments

  1. Danielle says:

    Great POV. This is most random but you seem like the kind of person I can shoot from the hip with! Since you offer such great insight, I have a question…should I join Match.com? Online dating has never peaked my interest. However, my hopes of meeting new people “organically” aren’t panning out so well. I suppose south shore MA gets smaller as I get older. Just trying to get out of my comfort zone. Thoughts? Ideas? Any input would be appreciated!

    • Random indeed, but I like it!

      I can’t say I have any personal experience with online dating, but that’s not the point. It sounds like you’ve already answered your own question, “Just trying to get out of my comfort zone.” I would say online dating, especially if you’re new to it, will take you out of your comfort zone. If it sucks, at least you’ll have some great stories to tell…

      If the world of internet dating isn’t your cup of tea, maybe try getting out of your comfort zone in the real world by doing something you’ve never done before: attend an art gallery, live theater, visit a pumpkin patch (seasonally relevant), see a stand up comedy show, go to a farmers market, do cartwheels in the park, or start up a hobby you’ve been wanting to do but never made time for. You’ll be surprised how quickly connections are built with others who you share a common passion with. Remember, you’re free to do anything.

      I’m sending positive mojo your way in hope that it helps you break the monotony!

      Keep me posted on your adventures

      • Danielle says:

        Thanks so much for taking the time to offer your thoughts and ideas. It is greatly appreciated! I almost feel as if you should have an advice column. I feel like you would do well with that. Or like an “ask me anything” kind of deal. You just seem to have a positive, sincere, and honest way about you which I feel people take comfort with. Thanks for the positive vibes! First date is next weekend. I will keep you posted. We shall see! :)

      • That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

        Thank you for the kind words and your ideas – I never thought about an advice column, but I like it. More importantly, thanks for asking questions and sharing your life with me and the other readers; that takes guts. Best of luck and I’m excited to hear how it goes…

  2. Danielle says:

    Oh and BTW I signed up! What is there to lose!

  3. HarrowingHarlequin says:

    Sorry I’ve been away for a while. This story definitely piqued my interest as every procrastinator can probably relate to.

    One day I wanted to be something great. One day I wanted to have a purpose. One day I longed for that day to come.

    The only hard day was yesterday, but the future is unknown. Live every day for the next day, and that day for its predecessor.

    It’s tough to sit around and reminisce about the times that shaped us into who we are, but as you mention, those times are what make us who we are. There will be good times and there will be bad times, yet the bad times seem to be magnified tenfold and emblazoned in our brains. How can my ‘one day’ include endeavors that made me laugh so hard I cried, or had so much fun I didn’t want the moment to end?

    As we have mentioned the writing can be cathartic, but you don’t have to be my Dear Abby or Dear John outlet (although Dear SJO would help may folks). Your anecdotes are entertaining, in addition to carrying an underlying quality that most can relate to. This doesn’t have to just be a one-way avenue, as what you’ve gone through doesn’t mean you have to endure similar times alone. You’re not alone; you have many great people around you as cited in your posts.

    Time heals all wounds, but is truly the great detractor when it comes to eroding the greatest times of our lives. My memory will never forget the great times I’ve shared with many special people (you included), but the emotional state of being can never be reproduced. One day that day will be a distant memory.

    • Your presence has been missed, but it’s great having you back good sir!
      You bring up a very interesting and true point:

      Time heals all wounds, but is truly the great detractor when it comes to eroding the greatest times of our lives. My memory will never forget the great times I’ve shared with many special people (you included), but the emotional state of being can never be reproduced. One day that day will be a distant memory.

      While I can’t argue the validity of this statement, is the end goal to reproduce the same emotional states of previous experiences? I know I would love to relive some of the most exciting and happy times of my life, but I believe we all understand that, as you stated, the future is unknown. So who is to say that a similar or even greater experience doesn’t lay ahead? One that will create a new memory, a new emotional state, a new imprint on our brains.

      Of course this notion could lead an individual to focus solely on forward thinking; hoping, wishing, dreaming of a time that is better than the present moment. That is why I wrote this piece. To increase awareness that we have already lived amazing lives at one point or another. The sheer fact we are alive on this planet is astonishing. Take time to look back and see all that has happened and realize that it’s all happening again… differently, but again.

      And it’s happening now.

      • HarrowingHarlequin says:

        “So who is to say that a similar or even greater experience doesn’t lay ahead? One that will create a new memory, a new emotional state, a new imprint on our brains.”

        Good point. I suppose my cynical sense of being–herein referred to as realism–makes it hard for me to believe that any future events can live up to the greatest moments already experienced. Optimism is obviously not one of my strong suits, but I understand your stance to not slant the notion of optimism and instead embrace that we do not know what our future has in store and there is a chance that it can be even better than our past.

        “Think for yourself
        Question authority

        Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.

        Think for yourself.
        Question authority.”

  4. Danielle says:

    Just an update for you, Steve on my online dating journey. After a month or so of trying out this new idea (kind of half assed, I suppose) I have decided it is not for me. Although I had the chance to chat with people in which whom I may never have had the chance to meet, the whole thing seemed more as daunting chore, keeping up with emails and such and feeling like my conversations were on repeat. However I am glad I gave it a whirl. The one date I did go on ended up being a blast with great conversation and me kicking some butt bowling. However, considering I cannot be bothered by having a Facebook and am not too in touch with every source of social media, I am not surprised to figure out this wasn’t my best avenue! In all I am glad to have at least tried it.
    I sold my car and am moving to the city. In which I’m looking forward to meeting a whole new cast of characters in the way I’d imagine to…organically! Hope all is well! I will keep enjoying the journey :)

    • I think you’re going to love living in the city… my whole life changed after I moved from the suburbs to the city and YES, it’s much easier to meet people “organically” in an urban environment. I’ve heard from some friends recently how time consuming online dating can be, given the sheer number of messages you have to sort through. But I’m so impressed and glad that you gave it a shot – even got to kick some ass bowling.

      I wish you best on your new journey! Take care Danielle

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