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.

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4 Comments

  1. This was a great, inspiring post Adam. 🙂 I think we all need reminding about this once in a while.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • I wrote this post fairly quickly last night, and there was a quote from David Eddings’ Malloreon that I wanted to include but couldn’t quite figure out where to put it. In the third book of the series, Silk has one of the best lines from any book I’ve ever read: “It’s a failing I have. I’ve looked at the world for quite a few years now and I’ve found that if I don’t laugh, I’ll probably end up crying.”

      I’m simply choosing to laugh.

      Reply
  2. Hannah Bassett

     /  September 24, 2014

    I also got an OWI–but a couple years ago. Then, while on probation, I received a ticket for turning right on a red light, losing my license for another six months.

    I’m glad you have already found the good, but I’m still struggling. I like your attitude, and I’ll try to see the light in my mistakes and the actions of the people around me.

    Reply
    • It’s not an easy thing to deal with by any stretch of the imagination, but just like everything else in life, it passes.

      One of the things that really helped me was talking to one of the guys I went to the USBC National tournament with. He’s a good friend of mine, and he’s had 2 DUIs. But they were quite a while ago, and he’s been able to pick everything up and remain remarkably positive about it years later.

      A DUI/OWI is nothing more than a poor decision complimented by bad timing. If I had left my friend’s house 5 minutes earlier or 5 minutes later, the cop that pulled me over would have never seen me. I was just unlucky that night, but it could have just as easily been one of the dozens or hundreds of other nights when I’ve driven home after drinking more than I had that night.

      It’s a bad moment in life, but just remember that your worst moments will never define who you are.

      Reply

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