A friend of mine told me something a couple of years ago. He said I always seem to assume the worst about things. At the time, I defensively replied, “No I don’t!” but the more time that passes, the more I realize he was completely right.
There wasn’t really a bigger, more shiny example of this than my birthday weekend. I worked feverishly to win a contest to see and meet one of my favorite bands who were coming to town from Nashville. The contest deadline arrived and I was proclaimed the winner (I literally never win anything). I was so excited. I told anyone who would listen. The day of the show I was supposed to hear from someone about the details of the meet and greet. Unfortunately, the show came and went and I never heard from anyone. I reached out to the contest people but they weren’t able to help me. I was pissed and I was crushed. I felt so stupid for having gotten so excited about it because I automatically assumed the band was just too good to meet with a fan or found out I was the winner and didn’t want to meet me. I didn’t really entertain any other possibility, even when my super cool and positive friend who went with me tried to talk me out of it and give them the benefit of the doubt.
So when the show was over, when the band announced they were going to hang out, instead of sucking up my anger and pride and talking to them, I left. I sent them a message that night and a couple of days later I got a very nice message from their lead singer. She gave me her personal cell phone and asked me to call her. As it turned out, they didn’t even know they had a meet and greet for the show because the contact with the contest who was supposed to give their tour manager my details to contact me hadn’t. She was super sweet and offered to send me some signed merch to make up for it.
Almost immediately after it dawned on me that I’d missed the only opportunity I would have for a long time to meet a band I really loved. I was so caught up in being angry and not wanting them to think I was some clingy groupie that I didn’t just go up to them and talk to them or ask them what happened. At the end of the day, no I shouldn’t have had to even make the decision so I can’t beat myself up for the decision I did make. I was hurt. The meet and greet should have happened as planned and the band took full responsibility even when it was really only indirectly their fault. But it taught me a very valuable lesson about myself, one I think I really needed to learn. I can’t keep assuming the worst on things and assuming the worst of people. I’ve become so bitter and jaded this year and am still so unsure of myself and the value I offer this planet that I just assume people are jerks at the drop of a hat. I assume that everyone is going to let me down or that I’m not someone worth meeting. It made me really sad (still does) not just because I realized those were the core issues with what happened but because I’d felt that way and because I made the decision I did, I was left a big regret. For what I’d missed out on. I can’t get that night back.
Like I said, it was a lesson I obviously needed to learn in a big way and if there’s something I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I like to learn things the hard way sometimes. This happened in order to allow me to step back and take a hard look at the way I go through the world and exactly how much I’ve let my faith in people falter.
I can’t always choose what’s going to happen to me in my life but I can choose how I react to it. I can choose what my mind tells me, what my perspective is. I can make the conscious choice not to assume the worst because in the end, I’m the one who loses out when I do. I’m a year older now…it’s time to be a year wiser.
(The band’s called the Kopecky Family Band btw and I highly suggest you check them out. They are uber talented and I think the way they handled this really speaks to what kind of people they are).