For those of you who have been following my blog for a while (thank you kindly!) or if you are a recent follower (thank you kindly, too) you often see that I post a lot of photos related to Chicago sunrises, architecture, and the like. You might also notice that I like to write about inspiring moments, uplifting encounters and observations that I come across and feel you might like to read about.
I have also written about Chicago facts and findings from in and around the Chicagoland area. However, today’s post is of a completely different nature. I’ve been writing a lot lately about stress and the importance of managing its nasty occurrences. For me, humor is a huge stress reliever. With this in mind, I thought I would write about something that happened to me many, many years ago, in the hope that you will see the humor and life lessons in my tumultuous tale!
Many, MANY moons ago, after recently graduating University (college), I met a guy who, by all accounts, seemed, ‘nice’ at the beginning of our very short dating stint. He was smart, decent looking, and had a beautiful hot tub in his backyard that he built himself!! *LOL*
I realized shortly after getting to know him that this fellow had some very unpleasant character, “flaws”, shall we say. *Note*: When someone tells you they are, “Just kidding; I don’t really need to have EVERYTHING my way”, delete the, “just kidding” part, and take the rest of the sentence as categorically, TRUE!
Now, where was I? Ah yes, I was ready to tell you the rest of my life lesson anecdote. One night, ‘flaw-guy’ asked me to go out for dinner, and noted he was taking me somewhere special. Dressed in what I felt was appropriate attire for a ‘special dinner’, ‘flaw-guy’ picked me up sporting old jeans and a t-shirt. Perhaps the word, ‘special’ meant something completely different to him than it did to me! One could only hope!
We ended up at a Chinese restaurant. Not fancy, not a dive, but clearly somewhere locked right in the middle of the dining experience continuum line. From what I recall, not too much dialogue occurred between us. I was more interested in the bobblehead ‘fish decor’, and he seemed enamored with his chopsticks. After what seemed like an eternity, our food in all its grandeur arrived at our table. Hoping to salvage a bit of fun in what was clearly a date that was going down in a blaze of glory, I attempted to pick up a sweet and sour chicken ball with my chopsticks.
As if by some unwanted comedic timing, as I put the chicken ball to my mouth the words, “I think we should see other people” drifted across the table and smacked me right in the face. Cue the comedy: my chin dropped, and so did the chicken ball, straight down into my cleavage! He began to laugh. I mustered up what tiny bit of decorum I could manage, reached down into the front of my shirt, grabbed that chicken ball, threw it onto my plate, and walked on out of that ridiculous scene.
Without a taxi in sight (and not too many people were using cell phones yet), I managed to find some change at the bottom of my purse, looked for the nearest bus stop, and onward home I went.
Life lessons come in all kinds of packages, don’t they? In my case it came in a Chinese ‘to-go’ carton. So here is my take on what I hope will have a positive impact on someone who reads this post.
Life Lessons I Learned From This Food Fiasco:
- When someone ‘shows’ you who they are, believe them. You will not be able to change them; it does not work that way. You cannot ‘make’ someone into something they are not, or change someone who chooses not to change or work on themselves.
- Do NOT settle. Just because the trappings of another (okay, I liked the hot tub, it was nice) are compelling does not dictate ignoring the sludge of the situation. One bad part of the apple CAN spoil the entire experience.
- Listen to your inner self. The inner “GPS” is definitely a guiding force that can keep you on the right path. If your GPS tells you to turn right at the next juncture but you turn left and end up at the Walmart instead of Macy’s, the GPS wasn’t trying to trick you; neither is your inner self.
- Believe that you deserve better. Despite the fact you have experienced something with another person that was downright crappy, this is not the only person in the world. The Universe has not suddenly become deprived of wonderful individuals for you to meet. They have been there all the time; it is simply YOU who needs to fine-tune your inner self to attract a person that is as incredible as you are. YOU deserve it!
- Teach people how to treat you. We humans are quite adaptable (this is both a good and not so good thing). Set your boundaries, do not allow anyone to compromise your personal sphere with anything less than respect, kindness, and caring.
- When you realize it is you, not anyone else that has your power, these lessons don’t show up any longer. That is when you know you’ve ‘passed the Universal test’ of a particular life lesson.
Well, I feel I have come a long way from this particular life lesson. I needed a few extra reminders after this situation. However, I can honestly say that I am now onto other lessons. Hhhhmmm, yet there is still something unsettling about chicken balls………