(Can you tell I’ve been really into gifs lately? Who doesn’t like GIFs? Yes, Eva, welcome to the 21st century…)
Today, I wanted to share with you about a little life phenomenon I’ve come to appreciate lately. I call it the “consolation prize.” Yes, it’s exactly like what it sounds like.
I came to appreciate the existence of the consolation prize years ago; I was out to sushi with a girlfriend of mine, and something specific on the menu caught my eye. I used to never order seaweed salad, well, just because I always thought pure seaweed was a surefire way to trigger my gag-reflex if I’ve ever heard of it. But, I had somehow come to really enjoy it. A man I had dated once had insisted on ordering it whenever we went out for Japanese food. I don’t think I would have ever tried it of my own volition had it not been for him. It’s delicious. That being said, I made the crack to my friend that if there was one positive thing that had come from my previous relationship it was my awareness of the existence of seaweed salad.
It’s sort of sad to say, but when we emerge from tough situations, whether it be a less-than ideal job or partner, sometimes all we can do is try to find a little bit of the silver lining. This might not happen overnight, hell, when I left my first “real” desk job, I had a difficult time finding the prize. I felt a little bit like I had given up, that I had flunked out of adult-land, knowing that a rigorous desk job in a corporate setting wasn’t really for me. Oddly enough, I came away from that job with better relationship with my father. Being at the same company, in vastly different departments, he would walk by my desk, find me buried in paperwork, and insist on taking me to lunch. We weren’t speaking very much at the time, and rarely saw each other outside of work, but, after a year, our conversation became a lot more than just about the weather. In a strange way, we bonded over work. The same thing goes with most relationships that don’t work out the way you hope they will. Some of the best things that have come out of some of my dating mishaps were wonderful restaurants, the discovery of new neighborhoods, or a really great pair of shoes. I try not to let how I’ve come about these things color my opinion of them.
The boss lady always tells me that much of your quality of life, of who you are as a person, has to do with how you deal with disappointment. Sure, I’m not going to tell you that I’ve never locked myself inside, drank a ton of champagne, and spent some time lying face down on the floor. A lot of things in life straight up suck. They suck, and there’s not very much you can do about it. I think people don’t tell you this often, but sometimes it’s true. However, you can pick yourself up, and find yourself with that consolation prize. You can change your bad experience into a decent, maybe even good one.
You can do it!