Thought of the Week #1

Moving on and getting over.

No, I’m not talking about John Mayer’s new song. I’m talking about moving on from something that was special, or maybe still is special, to you.  Whether it’s a friend that has gotten a little distant, a special piece of jewelry you lost, a job, a pet or maybe an ex-lover.  The fact is everyone has something that’s special to them and everyone has a different definition of what “special” means.

And that’s what is so great about the world we live in, we are all the same being, we are all made up of carbon atoms or whatever (I’m not getting all scientific here), we are all the same species.  YET, we all have different perceptions, different thoughts about the meanings of words.  I find that fascinating and oddly satisfying.

To me, special means something that is almost indescribable.  Something that means so much to you that it’s almost an insult to attempt to describe it .  Explaining this in a non-romantic way is tough but when something is special to me, there’s an attachment, a sense of comfort, calmness,               .  SEE! I was trying to think of a final description to finish off that sentence but I seriously  cannot.

That’s why it’s so difficult to get over or move on from something special you have lost.  You’re losing something that means everything to you.  It can be in an instant, it could be over time.  Regardless, it will hit you the same way.  Losing something sucks, but unfortunately it will happen in a variety of different forms throughout your life.

Although, it is interesting to think about where the feeling of losing something special stems from.  Let’s look at two different scenarios, same object but different circumstances.

Scenario #1:  You lose your favourite watch.

Scenario #2:  Your father gives you his favourite watch before he passed away 10 years ago and you lost it.

Yes the circumstances are dramatically different but it’s intentional in order to emphasize my point.  The object is not what defines it as “special”, it’s the feelings and memories around it.  That is what defines how special it is. In scenario #1, yeah, you would be pissed right? You lost your favourite watch. You feel shitty, disappointed but, you can always go and buy a new one.  In scenario #2, would you be pissed? Of course! Could you go out and replace the watch?  100%. But you can’t go and replace the memories and experiences that were attached to the watch.  All the great times you had with your father after he gave you the watch.  You attach and link those memories to the watch itself.  You could go buy 20 of the same watch and it will never feel as special as the original.

I find that so funny because we live in such a materialistic world but if you strip everything down to its bare bones it’s all memories and feelings.

Why are you wearing a $500 pair of sneakers?  “Oh, because I really like the way the material feels and they are super comfy”.  Fuck off.  You wear them because they make you feel good and you get satisfaction out of it!  I’m not condemning wearing or purchasing $500 pairs of shoes,

*throws up in mouth a bit*

I’m trying to make a point. We get lost in the difference between what we think is special and what truly is special and unfortunately this lesson a hard one to learn.

Side note #1:  I’m not saying that everything in the world is like the sneaker example.  Obviously there are some people out there that truly do care about materials and need proper arch support.  There are numerous examples of how materials or physical features  make the object special.  BUT, for the sake of my post I am going to respectfully sweep those other examples under the rug.  Hehe

As I was saying, people have a tough time understanding what is special, and that is a shitty lesson.

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”

I’m sure most of you have heard this quote before.  I don’t know the first person who coined the saying, some say Joni Mitchell but I don’t know nor do I really care.  There are so many variations of this quote but they all mean the same thing.  You don’t truly realize what you have in life until you lose it.

This is such a hard lesson to learn and unfortunately it’s one you learn after you lose something special to you.  You lose a friend, you and your girlfriend or boyfriend break up, a pet dies.  That’s when you start to realize that maybe you took what you had for granted a little bit.

You realize how much you depended on something, how much something made you feel happy, how much something brought you comfort and joy, but you never thought of that before because it was all happening in real-time.  I know that is a little confusing.  It’s hard to explain because when you have something you’re not thinking about losing it, right?  You haven’t lost it and most of the time I think people never believe that they could lose something that’s so important and special to them so, they tend to take it for granted.  We all do it and that’s the reality.  When something is comfortable it’s pretty easy to start coasting.

So if you’re going to take ONE thing away from this post and use it in your life.  Don’t take things for granted!  I’ve done it countless times, it’s the worst.  You have something great and you start coasting.  Then all of a sudden one day it’s gone and you realize how amazing that thing was.  But, by the time you realize that it’s too late and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Actually……there is something you can do about it.  Appreciate the times you had.

I’m not saying relive the memories everyday and try to recreate the same life you had before you lost it but, keep those memories in there.  Physical and material substances will get lost and you might never see them again but you have to realize that the memories that are attached to those items mean so much more.  Those memories can live inside you forever.

So what’s the next step then? Mope?  Cry every night? Get pissed and replace it to void the gap or fill the pain?  I mean, you can do that if you want.  The fact is, those are all perfectly natural things to do, and again, we’ve all done them.  Hell, if you lose something that’s so special to you and you don’t cry then there’s probably a good chance that the special thing wasn’t very special to you in the first place.  Or you have some other reason for not showing emotional attachment…I’m not here to judge.

There are better ways to get over things though.  Instead of replacing it with something different, reliving every waking moment you had with it, or getting pissed, take a step back and look at the times you had with it and appreciate it (this is related more to pets, friends or ex-lovers).  Look at all the times you had, both good and bad, and appreciate them.  Life is full of lessons, things come in and out of your life for a reason.

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason.  So take the lessons you learned, take the memories you made, and put them in a little ziplock bag in the back of your brain.

The reason I use the ziplock bag analogy is so you can take that bag, pull out those memories, and appreciate them a bit more later in life.  It’s kind of like that cheat snack you have in your pantry.  You know the one I’m talking about..that cheat snack you hide behind that box of zero sugar, gluten-free, no trans fats, flavourless, “dessert”.  So go pull out that XL Costco size package of double stuffed Oreo’s every now and then when you’re feeling nostalgic or down and cheer yourself up!  Relive those moments.

That’s why it is important to self-reflect!  Sometime’s when emotions are high your mind gets clouded and you make very strange decisions.  That’s why time is the answer to loss.  If you lose something special, take your time, regroup, cry if you need to, and as time passes your mind will get clearer.  I’m sure we’ve all lost something special and realized later on that you are okay without it or that maybe it wasn’t that special in the first place. Regardless of where you stand, take your time, appreciate, never forget, and move on.

Side note #2: There are so many outcomes to losing something and we all deal with it differently.  I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or tell you how to get over things or move on.  I am simply stating my experiences and what I’ve learned from them.

Anyways, everything is easier said than done but, honestly things become a hell of a lot clearer when you follow those steps.

I feel like I got a little bit side tracked and started relating this to relationships more than I wanted to but that’s what’s going to happen during these “Thought of the Week” posts.

In the end, you gotta do it for yourself.  However you move on and get over something all depends on yourself.  I know the way I have gotten over things in the past is vastly different compared to how I move on from things now days.  It’s a developing process with  ups and downs but in the end, if you put yourself first, you’ll always get to where you want to be.

Just like the young, hip kids say, “You do you”.

Cheers.

 

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