When life pulls a fast one on you…

Have you ever had those moments when your life feels a bit like a sitcom? That there is some cosmic candid camera on standby and a hidden audience laughing at whatever unfortunate or painfully coincidental circumstance is happening to you?

Like when you meet up with the guy you’re seeing in order to break up with him, only to discover he’s prepared you a romantic candle-lit dinner, with music from your new favourite film playing on your arrival?

Or when you’re doing therapy on old, unhealed wounds from a high school bully, only to bump into that very person, whom you haven’t seen in 10 years, in the same week?

Or when your mother decides, with no warning, to take in a family of five Romanian gypsies who don’t speak a word of English because they were living on the streets?

(And yes, these all happened to me.)

Well, life pulled another fast one on me a day or two ago.

I was inadvertently drawn into something I generally avoid like the plague: a social media argument. Bleughh!

So basically, I was responding to some criticism someone had made towards me. I’d never met this person – it was a friend of a friend. They then replied critically (again), and it just kinda spiralled from there. It had been a very tough week and this encounter was just the tip of the iceberg for me.

Suffice it to say I had a minor meltdown and ended up deleting the whole post in a moment of pure frustration and weariness. The person who had instigated the criticism actually reached out to me privately. We had a bit of an exchange, with me ultimately asking the person to leave me be.

In that moment I did what a girl needs to do: called a friend. In this case, actually, it was my sister. After a lot of tears (and curse words) on my part, she gave me some good advice, a prayer to say and finished the conversation by telling me not to think about it.

I was already running late for a party so I dried my eyes, reapplied my mascara and headed off.

About an hour after I arrived, who should walk in but the very person I’d just had the online tiff with???

Oh Life, you sneaky devil, you.

Just to put this picture in context: never had I met or even seen this person in reality, and yet after having this awkward encounter online, they literally turn up at the same party as me just a couple of hours later. I ask you – WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?!!

I immediately resolved to avoid this person for the remainder of the evening. But oh, no! Life had other plans; and so while I was trying to find a bottle opener, I approached a couple of people from behind to ask if they’d seen one. And yes, you guessed it! One of them was that person.

It was awkward, of course, but surprisingly amicable, given the circumstances.

And you know what? In hindsight – I’m actually glad it happened. Because as awkward and uncomfortable as it was, it reminded me that sometimes you’ve just got to laugh at what life slings your way. (Plus the other person actually had a bottle opener so – happy days!)

God most definitely has a sense of humour, and I think situations like this prove it. Yes, you could choose to bemoan the injustices of life, but I preferred to take a different lesson from this experience. Namely, not to take things in life, and yourself in particular, too seriously.

And in the end, it wasn’t serious at all. There was a disagreement, but we came to some place of mutual understanding, and that was that. No harm done.

In conclusion, here is the prayer my sister sent me. It’s short, sweet and profound:

Lord, thank you for the beauty and love you scattered on my path, they reminded me of your constant presence.

Thank you for the challenges, they reminded me of my weakness.

Thank you for my confusion, it reminded me to call upon your presence.

Peace out, friends.