I Could Only Make It Better
I grew up in Illinois. After graduating, I moved to DC and then up to Boston, Massachusetts. I have been blessed enough to have now perfected the art of packing my entire life into my 2012 Jeep Compass and hitting the road. Now, I am a young adult, a ‘very young’ adult people like to tell me, which means that I do not always know the ‘way of the land,’ or necessarily want to deal learning it either.
When I moved to Boston, I quickly realized that I had to change my car license plates. In Massachusetts, almost every single street is ‘resident parking’ and to be a resident, you must have MA car plates even if you live in the state, rent an apartment on that street, and have full proof that you pay and reside there. Stupid, right?
Well, stupid or not, it’s the law. Now, here is where the ‘really young’ adult in me comes out… I didn’t want to change my plates. To change your car plates, you had to change your Driver’s ID, then your car insurance to have MA car insurance, then finally your actual license plates. Sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money… that’s because it is. So, I thought I could get away with parking my car on an unmarked street. No signage suggesting that I had to have a ‘resident sticker’ or that it was only free parking for x amount of days/times during the week. I really thought I had found the holy grail… I was mistaken.
You could imagine my deep upset and intense panic when I walked out to that street on a bright Saturday morning and my car had been… kidnapped?
I walked out of my boyfriend’s house (he lived on this perfect strip of a street where I thought my car would be safe) and walked all the way, up and down, the long road. I did not see my car.
I wanted to panic. I wanted to be pissed.
I am not going to lie and say that I was not both panicked and pissed, but then I tried to put it all in perspective.
In this situation, specifically, the only thing I could do was control my reaction.
The action had occurred. The deed was done. My car was gone and I had to go and get it back.
Crying would not change that. Cussing would not change that. Laughing would sort of change it in the sense that then I would feel calmer and happier while going through this “rough” Saturday.
I breathed in and I breathed out.
I called my mom and told her what had happened.
I called my friends and my boyfriend and told them what happened.
I remember saying the words to one of my best friends from back home, “It’s fine. This is EXACTLY how I wanted to spend my Saturday morning.” She laughed and consoled me in saying, “You are right. It is fine. It could be worse; however, you can only make it better.”
That hit me hard. It could be MUCH worse, in fact.
I could not have had a car in the first place.
My car could have gotten stolen or broken into. It could have gotten hit on the street. It could have broken down and cost me a fortune.
It got towed.
I couldn’t change that (especially considering it was partially my responsibility as to why this had occurred in the first place).
It could have been worse, but I could only make it better now by my reaction.
"Don't be pissed over blessings others could only dream of having."
What I took away from that crazy Saturday morning in Massachusetts was that the bad situation had happened and my reaction would not in any way make it go away. Crying would not have made my car magically reappear, however, it may have made my eyes puffy and my throat achy.
Getting pissed off would not have gotten me away without paying the fine, however, it could have ruined the rest of my Saturday as I sulked in a ‘woe is me’ state about having to pay money (that I was blessed enough to have) to get my car back from a close police station where I could easily walk to.
My point in all of this is I’m not perfect. FAR from it! However, when I look back at situations which I deem as ‘horrible’ or ‘terrible,’ I never actually consider the event bad because I cannot control it. What I can control is my reaction to it… and sometimes my reactions can be horrible, terrible, and bad.
For your own health, sanity, stability, and happiness, hear me out.
You have every tool you need to never be unhappy ever again. You have every tool you need to never be pissed off again. You have every tool you need to see the optimistic side of what we deem as ‘bad situations.’
Of course, you can be sad if something tragic happens. Absolutely, you can be pissed off if your significant other cheats on you or if you are really having a tough time at work, but what you can also do is not let it affect your entire day, week, month, or life.
I saw my car was gone. I was pissed. I was upset. For about 2 minutes.
Then, I called my friend laughing.
Because life is too short to not move on.
Life is too short to not respond to situations in a way that serves you; life is too short to not respond to situations with a glimmer of optimism. Life is too short to cry to the policewoman in Massachusetts about how my life is so hard because my car got towed.
Really care for yourself and your life by how you respond. It is the only thing you can control and control is power. Power is support. Support is love and love for yourself is the ultimate control and happiness.