How do I always do this?
Well, not this. Not exactly.
Admittedly this is a new pickle I have managed to put myself in. I haven’t made a habit of getting my shoe stuck in escalators. This is certainly a new level of “What in the world, Jake?!”
Where I am and what I am doing at any given moment is almost irrelevant. I have learned there is no depth to the absurdity I am capable of sinking to.
I mean those were brand new shoes that were gifted to me recently. Not to mention the horror that swept across my wife’s face in the moments before the escalator’s emergency stop kicked in. In her mind my leg had already been eaten by the escalator and I was headed to the hospital. Then, sprinkle in a bit of shame from the stares of onlookers. None of which were happy with having to trek up what now just a fancy set of stairs. Far from the hero to each of those people. I was the villain in this story.
From one perspective this could have turned into the lowest point of the four days my wife and I spent in Seattle. From another it was one of the most memorable moments.
All in all Seattle is a beautiful city, with wonderful food and incredible sights. We had a great time away from our home in Austin, Texas and created memories that will stick with us for some time to come.
And after it all shutting down an escalator has been the story I have told the most.
Well, for one it is downright funny. My wife and I painted a pretty clear picture of what insanity looks like walking back to the hotel laughing hysterically with one toe hanging out of my right shoe. Sometimes all you can do is stop and laugh at your ill luck.
Secondly, and more importantly, some of the best stories — the most authentic stories — come from the messiest moments in our lives. When things are almost too absurd to be believable.
I believe who we are in a mess shines the most direct light on who we truly are. How we handle less than ideal circumstances tells the true story of the state of our heart. When the shit is really hitting the fan — there’s not enough money at the end of the month or an unforeseen illness sends us to the hospital or any other number of true adversities — I have a choice. I can let one thing ruin everything and use my circumstance as an excuse to spread misery. Or I can stop and look for the beauty in my mess and what can be learned from all this.
It is a subtle shift in perspective, but an important one to master before trouble comes knocking. Losing a shoe is beside the point and a small price to pay for the practice at learning to laugh at the littles things.