Things Need to Happen

Melanie - Sammamish, Washington
Entered on November 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: purpose, setbacks

In the beginning of our lives, we are taught that we are to move forward and towards our goals. In this philosophy, people are afraid of setbacks and think if they are not moving to their goal they are headed in the wrong direction. Also, that any kind of slip up is stopping them from reaching what they strive for; but in a more self aware world, people should open their eyes to these setbacks and read the message it gives you.

Let us take for example myself when I was only twelve years old, and it was the summer vacation before seventh grade. I was a highly competitive figure skater, and in three months, on the road to nationals. The training I endured was well above any normal amount of physical activity a kid my age, and doing it successfully made me feel like skating was my only direction if I wanted to be any good at anything. I remember that day very clearly, it was the day after The fourth of July so I was tired from being up late. On the last jump in my program, my blade caught in the ice. Instead of my skate spinning, my knee took the wrath of the centrithical force and I tore the ligaments in my right knee, but it was primarily my medial collateral ligament, and could not skate for six months.

At the time this was the end of the world to me, but with all of my free time then and now I take a whole new look on the situation. I view it as a positive experience, although injuring yourself is not a good thing, what I got out of it changed my life. The reason why I got hurt in the long run was because I didn’t want to be a super competitive skater. Without that injury, I would never have started riding horses. I have had more fun in the two years I rode horses than the five I had figure skated. The injury pushed me off of the road to being a national figure skater, but gave me a chance to become someone else.

I look at setbacks as ditches in a field. If you live your life walking through the field in fear of falling in a ditch, you will not learn to solve problems, such as climbing out of them, and may miss out on other opportunities than where you are going now. You could find a tunnel to get up, or some treasure at the bottom. If you fall in a ditch, don’t panic, you will get out on the other side stronger and in a better place. If this ever happens to you, look at the positive side of the event. “Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” –John Wooden

Don’t be afraid of a setback, I believe everything happens for a reason.