Spilled Milk Is Just That

Andres - Alpharetta, Georgia
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that spilled milk is just that.

In my case it wasn’t milk that got me into trouble, but orange juice, and later on milk. When I was about 7 years old, I was sitting at a Waffle House at a natural time of day, not after midnight when you meet life’s true philosophers, and there I was having a jolly old time with my mom, dad and sister drinking my juicy and frankly better-than-Tropicana, orange juice. At 7, let’s just say I wasn’t the smoothest of all operators, almost as smooth as peanut-butter itself, and I tended to move and act and think rather impulsively, which almost always translated to disaster in some way. In this case, I jolted towards the bread in the middle of the table, and as my hand moved oh so lightly across the plates, the spoons, the coffee, and even the Waffle House menus themselves, I failed to care for my own glass of orange juice, sitting so innocently in front of me, and lo and behold I thrust through the cup of the yellow liquid and sweet tasting juice spilled all over my mom’s dearly coveted leather purse, and I was dead.

Quite frankly, if someone were to spill OJ on my sneakers, or sports bag, or really anything, I’d think twice about it, but probably wouldn’t bother to care, as these things happen, and to err is human after all. In my case, I was supposed to be the perfect and the pristine young child at the age of 7, free of any flaws in my character or behavior, and after having spilled my very own drink on my mom’s very own purse, I never heard the end of it. She scolded me, reproached me for being such an inconsiderate and rambunctious child, and truly engraved in me a never-spill-your-orange-juice-again ideology that has stuck with me ever since, but now I see an even more positive side to the story.

Whatever one spills, be it any type of juice, milk, or even fudge on a wedding dress, and no, I am not guilty of doing that, yet, one will always be able to pick up, clean up, or just replace a ruined item, and life goes on, regardless of a fault in the past. Today I apply this thinking to whatever I do, whether it’s a low grade on an AP US History quiz, or a failure at home to recognize my parents’ enormous efforts to provide for me a life so blessed as I have now. Whatever aspect of life that I mess up, I will always be able to amend the situation, maybe not instantly, but over time through recuperating, learning from my own mistake, and moving on, having become a better person for it. One should never dwell on a slip-up, an error of judgment, and think of oneself as less because of it, because any fissure can be amended, and any wrong step can be retraced, and for this reason I live life happy that a day does not go by that I cannot improve myself in some way, and eventually become the change that I want to see in the world.

Thus, I did indeed end up cleaning the mess I had created at Waffle House that morning, and did indeed receive some harsh treatment for my completely unreasonable actions, but days afterward I felt better, learned to think before I decided to act, or at least to think a little longer, and today I only spill water and things like that, so I guess you could say I’ve moved to better and brighter things. I know that my life will be one of many spills, for I am flawed, but I truly do believe that spilled milk, or orange juice, is just that.