I’m a great advice giver. I can play the role of cheerleader, devil’s advocate, brutally honest friend, sugar coat it friend and can be a great ear for a long winded venting sesh. Advice is so easy to give when you’re not the one receiving it. But then why is that when we are in the moment, we can’t take our own advice?
I believe this especially true for relationships and in careers. It was simple in college to say, “he did what? No way, lose him.” It was always so clear from my perspective. That guy did not deserve my friend. Obviously. And yet, looking back at my college dating career, I put up with way more than I would have ever allowed my friends to withstand. And this is also applicable in our careers. Like when we get those letdowns that seem like you’ve hit a wall in your climb to the top. To your friends you say, buck up, there will be other opportunities. Or, you’re SO great, if they don’t see it then it just wasn’t a good fit. But to yourself you say, you didn’t deserve it, you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough. We say these things to ourselves when we know it isn’t really true. But we’re so bogged down by the disappointment that we can’t see clearly. We simply can’t see the situation from a third party perspective.
To me, probably the hardest comforting words to hear are “everything happens for a reason.” Because in the moment when you get let down, hurt or irked, everything does NOT happen for a reason and this is CLEARLY the end of my world as I know it. I will never, ever, ever recover and when I am 55 I will look back at this moment as the tipping point when my life started to go downhill.
At least, that’s how it feels at the time. It takes at the MINIMUM a long run, several yoga classes and a hot bath to even come close to getting above it all to see things clearly. Okay, and maybe a glass or two of Prosecco. OKAY or three. And in actuality, it isn’t until something great happens that you take a look at the steps that got you to where you are and realize that you wouldn’t be where or who you are without those letdowns, walls and disappointments.
So what is the secret? What is the secret to in the heated moment of a major bummer, to calmly look at the situation and tell yourself, this will lead to something great. Whether it be the painful years of dating letdowns that eventually lead you to your Prince Charming or career steps and missteps that take you to exactly where you want to be. I wish I could say I have the answer to this eternal optimism for you, but alas, I do not. I get stuck in the cloud of bummer-ness and often can’t seem to get my head above it all.
I’m currently at the phase where something amazing has come from something that had me down. I had to admit to my boyfriend that okay, yeah, I’m really glad the career things worked out the way they did. And he joyfully exclaimed Hate to say I told you so. (as if, he loved it). But, if we’re being honest, it really wasn’t until that great thing came from the letdown that I was able to truly move on. I feel that this reaction simply won’t suffice.
I want to begin working on seeing the positives in bad situations. But more specifically, in my own personal bad situations. I can see the good parts in everyone else’s stories and problems, but not so much in my own. And so, to anyone who is going through anything rough right now, it will get better. It will lead to something great. And everything happens for a reason.