I’m fairly certain someone (me) once said “When life gives you WTF moments, figure out how to turn them into FTW celebrations.” Which is only mildly less annoying than the phrase involving lemons and lemonade. Or the one your aunt always repeats involving lemons and tequila which she repeats so often you’d think she thought of it rather than reading it on a forward that she’s sent you roughly 34,595 times.
But phrases like that are around for reason (and not just to be complied into lists that your relatives forward you from now until eternity), they make sense. And when I started thinking back on some of my biggest WTF moments, (sidenote: Anytime I type that, I actually find myself shouting out ‘WHAT THE FUCK?!’ like I’ve just been done wrong by my man), I find that there is always a FTW silver lining. Sometimes life is cool that way.
WTF Moment #1: Two words: Junior. High.
Middle school was my jam. I loved it. I loved that my friends were a cohesive group- we chased boys, they chased us and we all went inside feeling adored and slightly giddy when recalling the sweaty hand of the one we crushed on as it slapped our back hard. And I loved learning- through book reports and novel studies and class presentations. Then junior high started and suddenly everyone was too cool for everything we had enjoyed the year before. Now it was all about carving your name in a desk and picking sides and SO MUCH GIRL DRAMA. I still can’t decide if I was too young to be in junior high or too old for it, but either way, I lost myself and the whole experience was one big WTF catastrophe.
FTW: Though my junior high years were not the highlight of my school experience, I learned the responsibilities that came with being popular. And how to revel in the pressure free existence of not being popular. I learned about things like karma and gossip and bullying.
WTF Moment #2: My first heartbreak
There’s the long version but the short version is my first REAL (as in serious, as in the one I introduced to my mom, as in the one who came home for the holidays) dumped me on my 22nd birthday. Over dinner. And used my debit card for pay for the dinner when I stormed out crying. Oh, and then he asked me to give him a ride to the bus station since he didn’t have a vehicle and needed a way to get home. He asked me this after we had to share the same hotel room that night since he was too cheap to pay for his own. We spent 9 hours in separate beds. Him snoring softly, me thinking of ways to murder him with my Roxy flip-flops. Hello operator? Can you put me through to WHAT THE FUCK?!
FTW: I learned to make better mistakes.
WTF Moment #3: Discovering I have Celiac Disease
Learning that I could no longer eat anything tasty (see: cereal, bread, pasta, pastries, sandwiches etc), was like saying “Here brandy, I just diagnosed you with a case of LET’S MAKE YOU HATE YOUR LIFE FOREVER”. You may think I’m being dramatic, but I was diagnosed years ago- before the word gluten was the common word it is today. It meant being the annoying dinner guest, the grouchy lunch partner and the envious person at the wedding who watched everyone else eat cake. In short, it made me miserable. And terrified that my love affair with food had been short changed by a nasty mistress named Gluten.
FTW: I felt roughly 19,345 times better. And now gluten free eating is trendy. So basically, I’m considering myself the trendsetter for healthy eating. (Novak Djokovic? YOU ARE WELCOME.)
WTF Moment #4: The ending of Lost
FTW: I’ve got nothing. I still can’t even talk about it without wanting to stab a nun.
WTF Moment #5: The last year and a half.
If you read my blog regularly or at all- you’ll know the events that have happened in the last 18 months. The highs (hello grade 3 burritos, I adore you!), the lows (cancer? depression? what?) and the so lows I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to lift my head again. (And let’s add in this STILL PSYCHO event because seriously. SO PSYCHO. Like, watching strangers while they sleep sort of psycho. Or collecting the hair of someone and making a hair doll to cuddle with psycho. Or… okay, I think you get my point).
FTW: When you’ve been that low, being anywhere BUT there is a FTW victory. I learned that I can’t control what other people do, but I can control how I react (later, rinse, repeat. Five thousand times). I learned how love can shift and change and grow- despite circumstance or sometimes in spite of circumstance. I learned about things like karma and gossip and bullying. Just like in junior high.