These days, the art of reflection has become a constant source of amusement to me.
We’ve all had them… those “WTF?” moments where we questioned our judgement and motivation in retrospect post incident, or two… or fifty.
The night of tequila-based drinks that ended in the ruin of both your purse and dignity in the eyes of a unknowing cab driver.
The time you tried desperately to fit in and divulged your deepest personal secrets to a bunch of women with superiority complexes.
That guy you met outside The Strand.
That chunk of time fondly referred to as “my Twenties”.
Okay, those are my moments of reckoning, but as long as you were able to fill in your own blanks with equally humiliating and regrettable tidbits, then my work is done.
But the key is to recall them with a lightness of heart that can only be matched with the feeling of your feet dangling in the air — because you’ve fallen off your chair laughing at how stupid they are now.
There are so many things that hold such importance in our lives to the point where we feel lost without it; material things, status, relationships, appearances. If we lost any of these things tomorrow, would it really be that big of a deal?
Is it that important for you to have that lifestyle at the risk of breaking your bank?
Do you actually give a shit if people don’t accept you for who you are, or support what you do if they don’t consider you on “their level”?
Would life really end if that person didn’t love you back?
When we read it, it seems absurd to even contemplate any of these notions. But in the heat of a moment, when phrased differently in our minds, we answer a resounding “yes” more times than we care to admit.
If we didn’t, it would be a perfect world where people didn’t go deeply into debt, succumb to insecurities to be part of a group, or feel like a breakup is proof we don’t deserve loving and respectful partners and friends.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t take anything seriously. In fact, when we reflect on how badly we cocked up a situation in our past, it should ideally give us pause and perspective on how we can get it right in life the next time.
These days, I find reason to smile even when my thoughts turn to tragic things. If I’m unable to find a funny instance in the moment, then I find comfort in knowing that whatever it was… it’s over and I survived it.
This frame of thinking might have made high school and college significantly smoother transitions, but hey, better late than never.
Happily, my relationship with tequila has since improved… vastly.
Sometimes laughter truly is the best medicine.