The Bright Side

I switched elementary schools at that critical point when state capitals were being taught. As a result, I don’t know them all by heart.

I had a small music scholarship to a college in Indiana, but didn’t accept it. As a result, I ended up majoring in advertising…elsewhere.

I’ve never had a good New Year’s Eve when my plans involved other people. As a result, I am a huge fan of staying in, protecting the pets from the sound of nearby gunshots and making cocktails for a party of one: me.

But wait, there’s more: I have an obsession with maps — something that I like to attribute to my geographic curiosity that wasn’t killed by elementary school teachers.

I play music to this day, both “just because,” and also as a stress release — something I’m convinced wouldn’t be the case if I’d been a music major.

If I ever tie the knot, I think it’d be pretty fantastic to elope on New Year’s, or to have one heck of a cocktail party with only close family and friends. What better way to heap loads of love on — and instantly transform — a day that’s never been particularly exciting?

I recently told a story about a bush — my bush. To clarify, I’m speaking about a bush of baby’s breath that found itself sprouting from my head during my junior year of high school.

I’d gone to the hair salon for my first dance ‘do, and I was fairly excited. I took along a small, delicate bunch of baby’s breath with the intention of having a few tiny blooms strategically placed on my noggin.

What resulted was a horribly stiff ‘fro that had been severely pulled back and held in place by enough bobby pins to turn me into a walking, human antenna. I was told it was a French twist, but I suddenly wanted nothing to do with the French — ever — if this was their idea of a good-looking coif. Their fries, however, I’d make an exception for (natch).

Further, the entire wad of baby’s breath had been stuck into the twist itself. It looked like I was getting ready for a date with a weed whacker, not a dude.

It was brilliantly terrible.

I left, petrified of what my date would think when he saw me. I instantly checked my watch to see how much time I had to rework the mess, and there was just enough to work a miracle…barely.

After showering, busting a move with my mousse, hair dryer and curling iron, I dusted off an old friend: my banana clip from the 80s. It might’ve been nearing ten years old, but there’s nothing a little creative improvisation can’t remedy.

The point of all this? There’s a silver lining to most everything, and nothing is ever so serious or dire of a situation that it should ruin any moment of our existence.

Everything happens for a reason. And there is always a bright side.

Always.

Even if you might not see it right away, it’s there. Spin things if you must, and don’t feel bad about it — seeing the positive is good for the soul. Besides, there’s no point in getting bent out of shape about things that are over and done with. All we can do is vow to fix them or to not repeat the past. Obsessing doesn’t change a single thing.

Tonight I am thankful for the things I’ve not learned, for the curiosity that exists in place of knowledge, for bright sides and the seemingly random that always happens for a reason. Shifting one’s perspective can often shift your outlook — for the better.

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