Sciencey Stuff

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve quite possibly come across the fact that when I first when to college I was a Music Education Major, and when that kind of fell apart after a fairly short time, I ended up going back to school and I have a B.A. in Psychology.

After starting out majoring in the arts, and then going into what is a softer science, even in college I tried to avoid the hard sciences like the plague.  And yet, I’m fascinated by all kinds of science.  One of the web comics that I read on a regular basis is XKCD, which is very science driven and very funny (if you check out the website, be sure to go to the What If? section, which is one of the high points of my week every Tuesday or Wednesday when he uploads a new question).

I came across a really interesting article recently talking about the Fermi Paradox, and if you’re interested in science, or even just Science Fiction writing, it’s well worth a read.  Here’s the link to the post.

Turning bad into good.

I don’t know if I’ve said this on my blog anywhere before, but I know I’ve said it in life.  I believe that if you look at your past, and think about the worst things that ever happened to you, you can ultimately find that something good ended up happening as a result of the bad.  And while I fully believe it to be true, there’s a big problem with it, and it’s really a simple problem: time.

Unlike the books that I read so many of (albeit fewer these days than I’d like), we often can’t see how something bad will turn into something good within the 10 or so hours it might take to read an average book.  It often takes months and more likely years before something good can come from something bad.

As an example, early in college I had – what I thought was – a fairly serious relationship with a girl that I really cared for.  Things fell apart and it sent me into a fairly bad depression, probably the worst episode of depression that I’d had to that point in my life, and arguably still the worst that I’ve had to this point.  One of the things that suffered was my focus on my classes.  I was still a good student, but I had lost a lot of my drive towards being a music teacher.  But while that fell apart for me, I later ended up studying Psychology, which I really enjoyed, and I ended up ultimately getting my job where I work now, which leaves me more time than I’ve ever had in my life to bowl and spend time with my friends.  In some ways it might be a bit of a stretch, but I choose to look at it as a very bad moment of my life leading into something ultimately good.

That said, last weekend I had another fairly bad incident, a DUI.  For a lot of people, this would be a crippling incident, and I readily admit, it’s not going to be easy to get through.  Fortunately, I have a very understanding family willing to help me through the situation, a boss who is understanding and willing to stand by me through this time, a job where I’ll be able to work around my court times, and good friends who would run through a brick wall for me, much less do something as simple as pick me up from time to time so I can go to bowling.

So while this is easily a bad moment in my life, I’m choosing to focus on the good parts that will come from what happened, both in what I have in my life, and what I’m going to do from this time forward to try and improve my life.

You can’t always control what happens to you in your life, all that you can do is try to put yourself in a situation where something good can happen to you.  And when something bad happens, you have two options; you can either let it lead to despair, or you can rise with the occasion and let it lead you to something better.  For one of the first times in my life, I’m going to skip the gap that normally takes a couple of years and focus on the good things right away.