I’ve lost a lot of things in my life. A house to foreclosure, a car to the repo man, a 27 year marriage, prosperity, status, friendships, parents, supple skin, thick hair, trust in humanity, wide-eyed wonder, and the ability to wear my red satin high heels. At times, I’m pretty sure I temporarily lost my mind.
Clearly, given my druthers, I would have chosen to hold on to all of these things. If cheating life would have kept those losses from happening, I have no doubt I would have gone for it. I’m fairly certain that makes me a sore loser.
There are about a billion people who had life rougher than I did and about a billion that had it better. I’m pretty much putting myself in the middle of the road when it comes to hardships. You will hear no complaints from me.
Being a good loser is something most of us are taught when we are kids. For me, the lesson fell on deaf ears.
Losing is not something I’ve ever come to terms with. I’d like to think that I’m gracious about it, but that would probably be a lie. I am competitive, plain and simple, and I have never had a clear understanding of any lessons to be learned by losing the people we love or things we’ve worked hard for.
That is, until now. I’ve come to understand that loss serves a purpose. It gives us a point of reference. A place in our lives where things were beyond awful, yet we survived it. We found strength. And then we found our way.
It’s about the bigger picture. You know, the kind you have to stand back from to see clearly. Sometimes you have to stand years back to recognize what a particular loss taught you.
I’ve also gained a bit along the way. A few extra pounds (thanks for nothing), computer savvy, dear old friends, a rip-roaring sense of humor, lactose intolerance, acid reflux, a wonderful loving man, and a deep appreciation for wine.
While I now value and respect the heavy dose of genuineness that loss brings with it, the truth is, I would have gone to almost any lengths to have prevented the loss of my parents, my home, and a few other things on a long list of loss. If only it had been possible.
I figure things this way: life doesn’t play fair. Given the opportunity, why should I?
I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m not at all sure I want to know.