How to Cope When Things Are Not So Rosy

So far, my blog posts have been mostly about gratitude, having fun with my family, and being happy, because most of the time, that’s what my life is about. However, I’m currently dealing with a not so happy situation that we are still trying to work out. Due to my superstitions, I won’t talk about the sitch until it’s resolved, but I got up at 4:30AM this morning to work on some personal projects and now feel too dejected to be productive as I woke up to an email notifying me of an unexpected setback. Sigh.

Whenever something bad happens in life- and admittedly, I am grateful that there are really only a handful of times I can count where I feel like this – my instinct is to question why. I believe there is a reason for everything and a lesson or lessons to be learned from all challenges. Everything works out for the better after it’s over.

When I got rejected from colleges I wanted to get into simply for its prestige, I ended up spending my first year at Cooper Union, which was great because I had a full scholarship, and this led me to apply to USC for a transfer, and USC turned out to be an excellent experience for my personal development and growth.

When I graduated in 2010 without a job lined up, I ended up being able to take advantage of the time to join a free Chinese immersion program in Taiwan, and that was one of the most fun things I did in my 20s. I left the program early by one or two days to interview with Turner Construction, a job where I would go on to meet the best coworkers who I’d share so many good times with, and I was able to go into the interviews with jokes about jet lag as I’d just flown back from Taiwan the night before.

When I went through a family breakup over money (my mom’s siblings decided the cost of their relationship with us was only worth $125,000), I learned how money can really change people and I was able to remove a lot of negativity from my life. I also vowed not to let myself be such a slave to money that I’d screw over family members like that.

When I got rejected from out of state MBA programs, I ended up at Columbia, which turned out to be the perfect fit as I didn’t want to do another round of long distance with Daniel. The commute was also not bad because there was a bus two blocks away that took me straight to the Morningside campus.

When we were trying for Chloe it took much longer than expected, and each month was a wave of disappointment, but ultimately we were blessed with the perfect baby and her timing was impeccable in terms of where I was at work and also so we could hibernate in the winter time while she’s so little.

That brings me to the current issue. I tried to think of more examples where I’d felt this way before, but really the ones I’ve listed are more or less it. Right now I’m still in the thick of a terrible situation, so I have absolutely no clarity on why it’s happening and what I can learn from it other than the immediate lessons of not making the same mistake again. I hate feeling so helpless and at the mercy of some authority figure. At least it’s just money. As a friend from Columbia once taught me, if it’s a problem that money can solve, it’s not a real problem. I should be grateful for that, and I am. It’s just been so long since we’ve been stuck in this situation and I am tired. I want this to be over already so I can move on.

Well, at least I’ve learned one thing- it’s nice to have somewhere to write this all out. Unlike a private physical diary, which might get displaced, I’m glad that my children might one day come across this post and I hope they’ll be able to learn something from it. The other day Olivia came home from school seeming very much unlike usual happy self. At age 3, her world is mostly rainbows, sunshine, and butterflies, and I’m proud of the happy childhood Daniel and I have been able to provide her with so far. So it was jarring to see her seemingly hiding some sort of sadness from us. We prodded her to see if we could learn if something was wrong, but ultimately perhaps she was just tired and she was fine as the night went on. Seeing her that way brought a sad thought to my mind that Daniel and I cannot protect her from sadness and disappointment forever. All we can do is help her build a good foundation to deal with the things life will throw at her. I’ve no doubt Olivia will be grow up with the mental strength to handle whatever comes, and I hope we are also able to teach her how to prevent some of these things, but however sad I’m feeling right now, it hurts 10x more to think of one of my children feeling this way. So kids, if you’re reading this, know that if you ever feel super down, you are still very, very much loved and I would do anything I can to help you feel better!

Remember- it’s not a real problem if it can be solved with money.

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