I have given myself many titles, but one of my favorites is Queen of Silver Linings.
I don’t know if I was always this way, looking for the bright side. I can remember watching Haley Mills in Pollyanna with my mother & kind of making fun of her for being all glassy eyed as Mom watched the little girl find her sunny outlook again.
Somewhere along the way I learned if your world falls apart you need to believe there is a way out, otherwise there never will be. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, right? Because if you don’t believe there is a path back out of the darkness you won’t look to find it.
I’m not totally naive, nor am I trying to blow sunshine up your booty. Bad shite happens. A lot of it. I don’t just mean on a personal level, of course. Listen I live in NYC; I was here on September 11, 2001. Life routinely turns on a dime & punches us in the throat.
Long before that tragic day, Mister Rogers reminded us to look for the helpers. To shift your focus onto those who are working to make it better. Here in NYC, I’ve witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of kindness & generosity by ordinary individuals. First in the aftermath of the attacks. Two years later there was a massive blackout on the East Coast & I saw that same spirit of togetherness resurface immediately. Then again in the wake of Sandy, the storm that tore apart much of our region.
I’ve been lucky, I guess. Those large-scale tragedies have never directly impacted my family. Just the run of the mill bad shite darkens the clouds in my sky. And yet I’ve witnessed the same empathy & kindness directed toward me, momentarily cutting the dark.
Still, I imagine most folks who meet me would never know I live with chronic pain. They’d never imagine all the surgeries I’ve had to repair my knees, my foot. They’d never know by looking about the losses, the poor choices, the humiliations. All the pieces of my life that I often feel are barely stitched up & held in place by a single fine thread.
I used to feel like I wore a mask. A mask made of my choice to live without regret, my choice to look for the up-side, my choice not to focus on the pain but instead focus on what good things have resulted from that pain. So I worried I was being disingenuous.
But I’m beginning to realize I don’t have a false facade, after all. Rather, how I choose to view the world somehow shines from me, like the silver lining around a dark cloud.
So I can say with hesitation or fear of misinterpretation – Serendipity is the Queen of Silver Linings.