Disappointment and I have a long history together. Maybe it goes all the way back to birth. I suppose it’s possible that it goes back earlier than that but birth is probably sufficiently early for this discussion. You’re probably suspicious that I’m being facetious here, maybe even devious or deliberately deceitful. On the facetious part, you’d probably have a case. But, in point of fact, I was a breach birth.
Nowadays, there’d be a surgeon on hand and as soon as it was determined that I was determined to be difficult, they’d whisk Mom right into the operating room and C-section that little brat right out of her. But, in the dim days of my transition from womb to room, if the baby was positioned for something other than head first entry, well, that’s what happened.
And so it was that my little feet hit the air before my head and I was birthed into this world before I’d got the chance to have a look around. Not that an opportunity to reconnoiter a bit would have changed anything. But at least I could have seen what I was getting myself into. Instead, I came sailing into this world feet first, backwards of most everybody else and seeing things differently right from the get-go.
Most likely a disappointment to the doctor, my parents and everybody else that was around at the time. I think most everyone got over it pretty quickly, once it was determined that none of us had apparently suffered any ill effects of any significance. Except, of course, for the permanent effect on my psyche. I’m not sure if I was born ready to run or ready to kick. Ready to get away or ready to give chase.
Regardless of all that, regardless of my beginnings or anyone’s particular reaction to my arrival, I am pretty sure about one thing: learning how to deal with disappointment is right critical to making a good life. And a big part of that is cultivating a deliberate inclination of realizing that things can be quite different from what you expected and still be pretty darn good.
Even a baby that’s born backwards has advantages over one that’s born sideways.