We’ve all had bad days – the kind of days that make you wish you just stayed under the covers. Everyone knows these days, some more than others. This one particular day was worse than a bad day: it was the most terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.
It was March. It had snowed the night before and the sky was that eerie grey color it gets when it looks like the heavens are about to open up and pour down on us. I love snow as much as any other winter-loving fool, but when I have to trek across campus in it…it’s not so great.
There I was, stranded in the middle of campus, trying to decide which path to take. Literally. The snow had only been shoveled on half of the sidewalks across campus and none of the paved ways led to where I needed to go. I decided to take a short cut through the snow, thinking it would be quicker than walking on the paved sidewalks that lead in directions I wasn’t heading. I walked through grey slush, slipping and sliding the whole way to class as I silently cursed the entire university for not cancelling classes or shoveling sidewalks.
I was almost to my building and I get so excited to be inside that I start walking faster when –
The earth moved. I swear it. One minute I was upright, practically running to class and the next minute I was face-first in the snow, starfish style. What I was feeling doesn’t even come close to embarrassment. I was mortified. Thoughts were immediately running through my head about how to transfer schools because surely I couldn’t show my face around here anymore.
I would later learn that this would not be the worst part of my day. I managed to pull myself up and get myself quickly inside the building with snow still sticking to my hair and jacket. As I sat through class that day, a giant puddle of melted snow formed under my grey seat, as if showing up to class looking like I just came out of a freezer wasn’t embarrassing enough.
Later that day, I was heading to the library to finish a midterm paper. I plopped my stuff at a little cubicle on the first floor of the library and headed to the café to grab a coffee. As I rounded a corner, the second worst thing happened that day. A boy and I collided, which resulted in his steaming cup of coffee to spill all over my shirt.
I wont lie: it burnt my skin. But I went to the bathroom to clean myself up and finally went to go get a coffee. I silently praised myself for wearing a grey shirt that day so the coffee stain wasn’t so noticeable, but at this point in the day I was expecting something more to happen.
That something did happen just five minutes later. I sat myself down at my cubicle and got ready to work on my midterm paper. I plugged in my grey flash drive and waited for the files to load on my laptop. Unfortunately for me, my midterm paper had mysteriously disappeared from my files.
I have been known for exaggerating, but this had been by far the worst thing to happen to me. A 15-page paper for a sociology class was due the next day, and my draft copy was missing. The whole paper had practically been finished, but now it was gone. Thanks to my tech-savvy father, I managed to do some trouble-shooting and was able to recover the first six pages of my paper. I still had nine to go.
I sat and stared at my laptop for 20 minutes before I even began writing anything. I really couldn’t believe the day I was having and I was so sure no one had ever had bad days like this. I remember looking out the windows of the library watching the grey clouds as snow started to fall again. I looked down at my coffee cup ready to take a sip when I saw what was written on the side of it: “It’s a great day to have a great day!”.
All I needed was that gentle reminder that no matter how many times I fall in snow or have stains on my clothes or lose my files the world will still keep on turning.
The world does not end when something does not go your way. Life will throw you different curves and passes, and maybe you won’t be heading down the path you want but that’s not an excuse to take any short cuts. Take everything as it comes; every lesson is a blessing in disguise.
I realized suddenly that grey didn’t seem so bad anymore.
So I sat with newfound willingness to rewrite my paper, coffee-stained shirt and all. I only made it to 12-pages, but I learned how to pick myself up after everything that happened that day. And as I sat and typed my paper, I glanced quickly out the window. I’m almost positive I saw some yellow shining through those clouds.