There are events in your life which happen which make you stop in your tracks and think.
Sometimes it makes you wonder:
“What would have happened if it was different?”
Other times it is:
“How should I have acted differently?”
Or more usually:
“Why to hell did I do that?”
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but is it? If we could do it all differently would we all be different people?
If I look at 3 big things that happened to me over my life, and then examined them, would I be a different person than I am now? Would I perhaps end up in a different place?
1. I become a father of twins at 21 (and 2 days) – It was a shock, and both sets of grandparents were none too pleased, but over the years they came to accept it to be, and now my girls will be 15 this summer, I have to ask the question How did they change me?
I was at university for starters, as was my girlfriend (now wife). She dropped out, and I continued my studies, until I got the first degree I could, and then left to find a job. While my peers were out partying, and having a good time, I was changing nappies and cleaning up puke. (Of course I still got to go out sometimes, but I am painting a picture of increased responsibility)
2. My father died in January 2011 – It was sudden, he got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, then his wife heard a thud, and she found him dead on the floor. His heart just stopped.
I took a few months off work and for the first month, slept, sat around in a vegetative state, and frankly was no use to anyone. After about a month I started to function again, and then I spent the next month thinking things through. It was a time period I both cherish and loath. I did not enjoy what I had to do, but am proud of myself, that I was able to rationalize my thoughts, and put them in a place, that let me continue on.
The one thing I had most taken away from it, was that I should learn to enjoy life, do things every day which I enjoy, and to coin a cliché, start to live my life under the motto “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day)
3. I was made redundant – For the last six months I have been a member of “The Great Unwashed” It’s been a tough slog financially, and so far I am not having a huge amount of success finding work, however it has opened my life up to many things with my “down time”.
Firstly I have started to think, which considering brain waves hurtle across our synapses millions of times per second, may sound a little unusual, but I mean I have really started to think again.
Creative ideas are popping back into my head like they used too many years ago. When I was younger, I used to devour books, write stories and occupy my brain with activities, rather than browse, check status updates and watch TV.
As an experiment I took part in NaNoWriMo, and finished a 50,000 word novel in one month (The idea was great but the writing lacked something, so I am currently working on a rewrite)
Also I gave up the Internet and TV for lent, which for the first time since I was a grubby teenager I read. I managed to get through 10 books during the 40 days, and with over 1 million words under my belt, I have rediscovered my love of reading.
Without the distinct scenarios above, I may not have been the same person. I may have been better or worse, healthy or dead, but if you want the world to be new and exciting and each day to be an adventure I think you must think of silver linings.
Without the trials and tribulations, the heartache and achievements, we could never be the same person we are today.
So in my (probably rose spectacled) opinion EVERY cloud does have a silver lining.