Today’s Tragedies = Tomorrow’s Comedies

 

No matter how prepared you are or how well you know that there’s no need to worry, there are still situations in which you won’t be able to stop the scary-quick fluttering of your heart and the clammy perspiration that bubbles to the surface of your skin.

Panic attack! Ahh!

But hark! There’s no reason to fear! Even if things don’t go perfectly well, you’ll still come out just fine. Know why? A little something I like to call time.

Consider this: I had a really rough time as a kid, especially in middle school. I was a big geek, had terrible acne, a horrendous diet, a crew cut, glasses and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts.

Not only that, but my friends at the time got bored with me and I was unceremoniously exiled from our lunch table, leaving me without a group to sit with at lunch (a VERY big problem at the time).

I was hopelessly alone, and after a whole year of nearly endless social torment, I finally broke down to my mother who took pity on me and came to pick me up each day for the final two weeks of classes, taking me to the park next door to eat lunch and try not to think about my social stigma.

I bring this up for two reasons, and the first is that at the time, this was unquestionably the most important thing happening to me in the world. The falling out with my friends and blow to my ego had a major impact on my self-confidence level for the next several years. Second, it’s really kind of funny. I mean, really, the most tragic thing that happened to me in middle school was that I didn’t have a lunch table to sit at? Wow. Suburbia can be rough. I should start a rap career with all the angst I need to express. I’d better get some bling.

You know what? That’s the real story here. With few exceptions (death, rape, other incredibly traumatic things of that nature), absolutely every painful thing you go through will eventually be nothing more than a story to tell when drinking with your friends. Not only that, but if you’ve managed to improve your lot in life, it will be FUNNY.

Any time I find myself going through a rough patch, I try to remind myself that one day this too will just be another story to tell. It works remarkably well, and definitely helps put things in perspective.

Today’s tragedies are tomorrow’s comedies, and they always will be so long as you maintain your sense of humor and ability to keep moving forward without clinging to the past.

How do you deal with hardship? Share you story in the comment section below!

36 comments

  1. Great post. I had a tough time as well in high school and look back at it and laugh. I am a much better person I think because of it. Great advice for people going through tough times…there is always tomorrow.

    Best,

    Andrew

  2. Great post. I had a tough time as well in high school and look back at it and laugh. I am a much better person I think because of it. Great advice for people going through tough times…there is always tomorrow.

    Best,

    Andrew

  3. Great post. I had a tough time as well in high school and look back at it and laugh. I am a much better person I think because of it. Great advice for people going through tough times…there is always tomorrow.

    Best,

    Andrew

  4. Inspiring story! Had similar experience, but just as you I am a living proof of the expression: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

    Cheers, Milan!

  5. Inspiring story! Had similar experience, but just as you I am a living proof of the expression: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

    Cheers, Milan!

  6. Inspiring story! Had similar experience, but just as you I am a living proof of the expression: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

    Cheers, Milan!

  7. @Andrew: Exactly! I find the same story to be true pretty much across the board…the people who have a harder time earlier in their life have certain advantages over those who are unchallenged up through adulthood. I wish this was easier to instill in the generation that is currently going through it, though I imagine if we did, they wouldn’t get the full benefit of the trial by fire!

    @Milan: Definitely! I feel like it’s our duty now to go on living fantastic lives, wouldn’t you agree? :)

  8. @Andrew: Exactly! I find the same story to be true pretty much across the board…the people who have a harder time earlier in their life have certain advantages over those who are unchallenged up through adulthood. I wish this was easier to instill in the generation that is currently going through it, though I imagine if we did, they wouldn’t get the full benefit of the trial by fire!

    @Milan: Definitely! I feel like it’s our duty now to go on living fantastic lives, wouldn’t you agree? :)

  9. @Andrew: Exactly! I find the same story to be true pretty much across the board…the people who have a harder time earlier in their life have certain advantages over those who are unchallenged up through adulthood. I wish this was easier to instill in the generation that is currently going through it, though I imagine if we did, they wouldn’t get the full benefit of the trial by fire!

    @Milan: Definitely! I feel like it’s our duty now to go on living fantastic lives, wouldn’t you agree? :)

  10. Well Colin, that experience definitely made you a great person, una buena persona.

  11. Well Colin, that experience definitely made you a great person, una buena persona.

  12. Well Colin, that experience definitely made you a great person, una buena persona.

  13. Awesome blog. I found it on 20sb :) I can definitely relate to this post. I was teased a lot in middle school as well. I had huge bangs, braces, and ugly glasses. I would skip school just because I was tired of the bullying. Looking back on it now though, it doesn’t effect me as much as it did then. Time does heal most things.

  14. Awesome blog. I found it on 20sb :) I can definitely relate to this post. I was teased a lot in middle school as well. I had huge bangs, braces, and ugly glasses. I would skip school just because I was tired of the bullying. Looking back on it now though, it doesn’t effect me as much as it did then. Time does heal most things.

  15. @Neil Crump: too bad it’s so hard to remember that pearl of wisdom in the moment, though, eh?

    @Amanda: things definitely CAN get worse, but if you take the lessons that are offered up by the hard knocks, then you’ll always be fine in the end (even if it takes a little while). Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with the same problems these days, though I’ve had to work very hard to get here!

    @Sarah: Thanks! Time definitely heals most wounds, especially the surface ones left by other kids. At the end of the day, most of them were just lashing out because of their own problems, so it’s hard to hold anything against them.

    Thanks for the great comments everybody!

  16. @Neil Crump: too bad it’s so hard to remember that pearl of wisdom in the moment, though, eh?

    @Amanda: things definitely CAN get worse, but if you take the lessons that are offered up by the hard knocks, then you’ll always be fine in the end (even if it takes a little while). Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with the same problems these days, though I’ve had to work very hard to get here!

    @Sarah: Thanks! Time definitely heals most wounds, especially the surface ones left by other kids. At the end of the day, most of them were just lashing out because of their own problems, so it’s hard to hold anything against them.

    Thanks for the great comments everybody!

  17. @Neil Crump: too bad it’s so hard to remember that pearl of wisdom in the moment, though, eh?

    @Amanda: things definitely CAN get worse, but if you take the lessons that are offered up by the hard knocks, then you’ll always be fine in the end (even if it takes a little while). Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with the same problems these days, though I’ve had to work very hard to get here!

    @Sarah: Thanks! Time definitely heals most wounds, especially the surface ones left by other kids. At the end of the day, most of them were just lashing out because of their own problems, so it’s hard to hold anything against them.

    Thanks for the great comments everybody!

  18. I think ‘It’s ok, I will laugh about this later’ is something that I find myself saying a lot in my life and it is always true.

    I have been lucky to avoid anything too bad happening but there are plenty of annoying or silly inconveniences that have riled me at the time but then I smile because I know it will always make a great story somewhere down the line.

    My favourite travel stories are always the ones where I end up in some ridiculous situation. You’re spot on, quasi-tragedies make for great comedy later.

  19. I think ‘It’s ok, I will laugh about this later’ is something that I find myself saying a lot in my life and it is always true.

    I have been lucky to avoid anything too bad happening but there are plenty of annoying or silly inconveniences that have riled me at the time but then I smile because I know it will always make a great story somewhere down the line.

    My favourite travel stories are always the ones where I end up in some ridiculous situation. You’re spot on, quasi-tragedies make for great comedy later.

  20. @Kirsty: I absolutely LOVE a good embarrassing/strange/awkward story! Most of my best stories are the ones that were just the worst thing in the world at the time. Remembering that definitely helps with the more contemporary bad situations, even if they still smart a little at the time.

  21. @Kirsty: I absolutely LOVE a good embarrassing/strange/awkward story! Most of my best stories are the ones that were just the worst thing in the world at the time. Remembering that definitely helps with the more contemporary bad situations, even if they still smart a little at the time.

  22. As you point out–correctly–it is time, not the experience itself which makes us better able to deal with life.

    All people have experiences they wish they didn’t have. It’s worse for some than for others but everyone who survives will eventually recover their sense of wellbeing.

  23. As you point out–correctly–it is time, not the experience itself which makes us better able to deal with life.

    All people have experiences they wish they didn’t have. It’s worse for some than for others but everyone who survives will eventually recover their sense of wellbeing.

  24. As you point out–correctly–it is time, not the experience itself which makes us better able to deal with life.

    All people have experiences they wish they didn’t have. It’s worse for some than for others but everyone who survives will eventually recover their sense of wellbeing.

  25. I spent the first half of my high school career never answering people when they said “what's up” because I didn't know how to answer it. I'd look away, talk to someone else, whatever. Seeing as how I was involved in a ton of stuff, on sports teams and knew plenty of people, I learned later that people thought I was a stuck-up ass, when really I was a scared little kid who didn't know that the correct answer to “what's up” is, ironically to me at the time and frightening, “what's up.”

    I still freak out a bit when I remember how paralyzed with fear I was when people asked that.

    I didn't even figure out how to head nod until my sophomore year.

    Horrible, I know.

  26. Great post Colin.

    When my girlfriend and I got into an argument; a real argument over nothing, not this whole prissy immature stuff, I hung up the phone, took a shower, cut my hair and shaved. Wore some new underwear too. It didn’t change the fact that it still sucked, but I did something to try to move on. She called back in 2 days and said she was sorry and that she was just going through a lot with her new job and everything.

    I’ll be honest, those 2 days were hell.

  27. Forget about lunch table, I was awarded as “the ugliest girl” in class. I broke down to my mom also. Funny thing, ugly duckling story does happen in real life. With a little self awareness and beauty magazine I won hearts. Was I happier with the new shiny lunch table then?
    No, I am at the happiest state when I read books about mythology, wikipedia-ing all day, play warcraft or final fantasy leveling ( I feel alive when I throw joystick and curse at the monitor, I don’t enjoy putting lipstick on my lips) I don’t watch television. I am forever a manicured geek and happy for it. And guess what.. I have admirer , more than I can handle. Who said geeks don’t have the charm? It’s so 90s ;)

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