My kid, a college senior, is without a car these days. Since the semester started back up she’s been taking the bus from our home on the east side of Detroit to Wayne State for classes. Tonight she missed not one, but two, buses home. And I guess I could’ve gone to pick her up, but she didn’t ask and, also, I am the parent of the year.
While waiting for her third bus, she stopped in a campus bar and shared her tale with a few patrons. Not only did they buy her consolation drinks until the next bus arrived, she ended up meeting someone that works in her field of study and has a potential internship for her.
Last month, while this same child was traveling in California, her compact-sized rental car overheated and petered out while climbing a mountain. She got stuck in a small town overnight while waiting for the rental agency to deliver an upgraded car with leather seats and a premium sound system. They also credited her account a full day.
A few days later she missed her train home from California. Amtrak miraculously refunded the cost of the fare which, along with the money she got back on the car rental, enabled her to buy a plane ticket home which put her into Detroit a day early and saved us a trip to the Chicago train station.
You could surmise that my kid is “transportation jinxed,” but that’s not really the point of the story.
What I find glorious about this kid (among so many other things), is her ability to stay calm in the face of what so many others would consider adversity. Many of us, myself included, would have lost our shit in any one of the above situations - but she didn’t - and the outcomes were all in her favor because of it.
And that’s the point…
We’re taught to quickly label everything as “good” or “bad,” but if we stop rushing to judgment and just be, the real story will unfold over time.
So much of what we believe about the world are just knee-jerk reactions - nonsensical stories we’ve told ourselves, or have been told about ourselves, so often that they become second nature. Like labeling ourselves “bad with money” when we miss a payment due date even though we have an 800+ credit score and zero credit card debt. That’s not “bad” - it’s just not perfect. And running slightly amok of perfection is not bad - it’s the human condition.
I challenge you to question your stories and your labels this next week. The next time you find yourself labeling yourself or a situation as “bad,” pause for a moment… Are all the facts in yet? Are you judging yourself against impossible standards of perfection or standards of myth? Whose story are you truly telling yourself?
Give it a try and then drop me a line or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you find!