Our lives are houses of cards.
I don’t care who you are, or how well you have things put together; our comfort and situations depend on the people who support us. This applies also to the loves in our lives, whether we like to admit it or not.
I felt a rain of cards collapsing on me back in 2004, when my live-in girlfriend left me with a mortgage to pay plus the bills amounting to much more than I made on a monthly basis. I was quickly underwater, and failed to sell the condo in time; further down the road, I was filing for bankruptcy. In fact, by the end of this year that bankruptcy should have stopped negatively affecting my credit score. Ten years after the fact.
Did I hold this against her? I most certainly did. You see, the situation was not my fault; I found out from the neighbor across the hall that the reason my girlfriend – let’s call her… Melissa, for arguments’ sake – moved back in with her parents was because she had cheated on me, and then was rejected by the guy she cheated on me with. The exact motivation for actually leaving me was unclear, and I don’t know whether I did something wrong or not; but I like to think that maybe it was a preemptive strike – that somebody said that they were going to tell on her, and she broke up with me rather than having to tell me herself. In fact, that might be the reason in any case because she was a coward about those kinds of things.
In fact, the exact story I got was that she was hanging out with him at a park and pretty much jumped in behind a bush. So much for the strength of commitment.
As for this guy – let’s call him Matt the hockey douche – breaking the Bro Code, I can only attribute it to weakness, considering that he couldn’t handle that situation like a respectable man. Maybe he has a testosterone deficiency, or something. Maybe an accidental hockey-blade castration, I don’t know.
This far down the road, I am past the forgiveness stage. I hold no more grudges because my personal life is awesome. I know she’s married but last time I talked to her she was complaining – her usual method of communication, so maybe she’s happy enough. I like to imagine that Matt the hockey douche has found happiness as another guy’s catcher or something.
But the whole debacle and the years of cleaning up the seeming financial ruin of my life taught me a few valuable lessons. First of all, the situation is a house of cards, and it is so true that no man is an island. We lean on others – other cards – in this massive community structure, and if they pull out without warning for any reason we could find ourselves woefully unprepared for the fall; even though Kevin Bacon is never far away, it is unlikely that he will be able to assist you in your time of need. The trick, then, to dealing with the new situation comes in three key pieces of advice:
1. Stay calm and accept the fact of whatever happens, whether you can address it effectively or not.
Stress sucks. Losing your cool sucks, especially when you look back on it. This kind of blowback can sometimes push us further down the spiral, causing extra unnecessary loss – your job, your friends, your health, your freedom . . . if you get me then you’ve probably been there. When life sucks, don’t be a sucker. If something comes up that you’re unprepared to deal with, put a pin in it and kick it down the road; you will get to it in time.
2. Get help whenever you have no clue where to start.
By that I mean in doing anything. If you want a new car you visit a car lot, right? And you know those guys will walk you to the bank to get you into a new car, if that’s what it takes. The same thing applies to buying houses and filing for bankruptcy, or basically anything. Would you like to take up spelunking? Find an expert and ask for help. Don’t expect it to be free, though!
3. Keep telling yourself that nothing lasts forever and it will get better.
Do it because it’s true. Not only will it get better but with time, patience, hard work, and a heavy dose of cool it can be better than ever.
Now quit stinking this place up with your coolness; go live your adventure.
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
What do you think? Have you exacerbated a bad situation by losing your cool? Have you had someone pull the rug out from under you? Have you met Kevin Bacon or Kevin Spacey? Have you eaten bacon on a spacewalk? Let us know in the comments!
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