“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again…”
These are the opening lyrics of one of my favorite songs by Simon and Garfunkel back in the mid-60s: “The Sound of Silence.”
Somehow this song has become my security blanket over the years…whenever I feel like I just can’t deal with [whatever], I play it over and over in my head.
It’s not “fun” hitting those periods where I truly do ask myself what’s the point in going on. Not that I’m thinking about doing something stupid, mind you…I just feel like no matter what I do, it’s just not worth it. I want to crawl into a deep, dark cave and just hide.
But there’s another set of words that I do my best to remember…actually just said them in my last post: “Count your blessings.”
Whenever the “darkness” sets in, I quite literally tell myself to stop focusing on those “bad” things and to, instead, think about all the good things that have happened over the years. And there have been a lot of those.
Some of them didn’t start out seeming like they were going to be good things…like graduating from college and, exactly a year later, getting on an airplane heading for Vietnam and what, according to everything that I was seeing on the news, was a terrible war in which a LOT of people on both sides were getting hurt or killed.
But I wound up doing something that I really enjoyed…teaching “English as a Second Language” to the Vietnamese military. Interestingly enough, as many of you know, teaching has been my professional focus for the past nearly-20 years, after having worked in various aspects of public relations for the previous 30-ish.
More important, though…as I also mentioned in my last post…thanks to a confluence of totally unpredictable circumstances and totally uneducated choices on my part upon arriving in Saigon, I met a young lady who has now been my wife of nearly 47 years.
The point to this rambling is that something that started out as a “What the hell did I do to deserve this?” situation evolved into a “Wow, I’m really glad I decided to do that!” bonus.
This is what I keep reminding myself of day-in-and-day-out. There can be good in just about everything that comes your way. You just have to trust that it will happen. And you have to be proactive in reminding yourself that it will, in spite of all the not-so-good things that might come your way.
“Hello darkness, my old friend…”