On August 29th, I woke up at the crack of dawn on the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy… and everything proceeded to go wrong.
Perhaps anniversaries are more powerful than I expected.
It’s just another day on the calendar. The one-year milestone of a pretty crappy rock bottom.
Just another day. I had planned on celebrating. And yet…it seemed like bad juju had been implanted from the second I woke up.
I missed my flight because the taxi came late. And I missed the possibility of the next three flights because I left my passport in the hotel room – an hour away from the airport.
An hour of driving to the airport, an hour of driving back to the hotel, and then another hour of driving back to the airport. All with a taxi driver who didn’t speak a lick of English and didn’t understand I was in hurry until the last leg, at which point some serious car sickness ensued.
This was exacerbated by having had just an espresso for breakfast. Not only was this pure acid eating away at my car sick stomach, but as a diabetic, my blood sugar was in the danger zone by the time I got back to the airport.
After a serious struggle to put together a RyanAir flight to Bologna with a doubtful connection to Paris, where I needed to be in order to catch my flight home to SLC the next morning, the next discovery was that the hotel in Paris had been booked for the night before.
Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong.
Except for me.
Yes, I was in pain. Yes, I’ll admit I threw up at the airport while women eager to relieve themselves kept knocking at the stall door.
But, I felt good.
I controlled what I could and rolled with the rest. All I kept thinking was how happy I was to be in Italy (a big checkmark on my own Rockstar Comeback list) and if my bad juju was hell bent on keeping me there, I would by all means enjoy my delayed return.
Embracing adversity is a practice. It takes a lot of reframing life’s little curveballs and you’re own blatant mistakes to consistently lift your head and spot the silver lining.
But it is so worth it.
The more I opened up to the experience of the moment, the more my luck turned.
After ordering a much-needed panini, I learned that the little cafe in the Sardinia airport only took Euros – no credit cards. Of course, I didn’t have enough.
The compassionate cashier simply took what I had and threw in a bottle of water.
The RyanAir flight to Bologna pulled in 5 minutes late, which makes a big difference when you have less than 20 minutes to get off the plane, go through customs and security again, and then get to your new gate at an international airport.
But I made it to Paris, against all odds.
And then I had the best dinner of my life. And walked down the Champs-Élysées at midnight to the Arc de Triomphe.
365 days of incredible, life changing experiences later, and I can honestly say that I am grateful for what happened.
I appreciate the wake-up call that shifted my life trajectory permanently.
I woke up in Sardinia. I toasted to my rock bottom in Paris.
I’ve experienced more in the past year than in the rest of my life combined. And none of it would have happened if I hadn’t gotten a taste of how ugly, unfair, and painful life can be.