Sometimes events happen in your life and you know right away that they were meant to happen… to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are, or who you want to become. Other times they seem to happen to shape people’s perception of you, long after the critical first impression.
You never know when these will happen or what shape they’ll take, but when you they occur, you know that very moment that they will affect the rest of your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen that at the time seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. It’s only with the power of open-mindedness and hindsight that you will be able to look back at these events as horrible, painful and unfair. And if therapy is involved, prohibitively expensive.
Like when the clerk at the adult bookstore informs you that they have run out of black bags and only have two different types remaining: clear and promotional bags featuring the phrase “A Fistful of Dolly.” And you begin to question whether this was the best use of your lunch break and ponder the quickest route back to your vehicle, which is parked between a storefront daycare and the local NOW office.
Yes. Difficulties lie ahead but everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or bad luck. Sometimes your day just won’t cooperate. Perhaps it’s time to simplify. Consider cutting down on your carbon footprint by bringing in your own reusable (and nondescript) porn bag. Try marking it with something like “Adidas” or “Not Porn.”
So as you begin your nonchalant speedwalking, you hear your name being called. You turn around to see a recent ex-girlfriend who is apparently out shopping with your mom. You find them drawing closer and attempt to jam four DVDs and a half-dozen magazines into the pockets of your sports coat.
You can’t think of what to say. It’s all stuff no one would believe, like “It’s for a bachelor party,” or “I lost a bet,” or “It’s time for ‘the talk’ with my oldest son.” None of that will draw attention away from your colorful porn and the fisting reference. For that matter, you don’t even have kids.
Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. Can you feel the blood rising and your heart beating faster? That’s life right there, deflowering your dignity.
So after embarrassing yourself and everyone else, you head back to your car and drive to work, forgetting that you left your porn on the roof while you got into the vehicle. It’s gone now, but it will live on, causing many angry letters to be written to many editors by many perturbed parents and outraged NOW members.
The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones, not to mention the most scarring and psychologically debilitating. You can expect some awkward phone calls from your mom and a mental (and mutual) restraining order from your ex-girlfriend.
Life. Too often we take these formative experiences for granted and try to “power through” them to get on with what’s left of our lives. It’s time to sit back and take stock of these experiences to better prepare ourselves for an often unpleasant future.
Thanks for reading.
Next on Life’s Little Lessons:
Your wife returns home from the local Christian women’s retreat pregnant. And a lesbian.