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If you’ve got the poison, I’ve got the Remedy

Five years ago, on a breezy September morning, an 18 year old girl drove into the nation’s capital during rush hour traffic. With her windows down and music blaring, she was full of adrenaline. All her hard work had paid off and now she was starting her new life as a college student. Full of hopes and dreams, plans that have been in the making for years, she wondered if she could make it. The next four years of her life was set. Finish her undergraduate years and then move on to law school. Naturally, she’d be working as well…The only thing she had to fear now was losing her scholarship…and surely that wouldn’t happen if she just kept working as hard.

Her first semester went on without a hitch. Dean’s list, 17 credits, 2 jobs. She’d found her rhythm…She thought that she wouldn’t need a remedy because nothing was poisoned…

Now five years later, when I drive into the same city, I’m not that naive girl who thought that as long as she worked hard, things would be OK. I didn’t count for the fact that I would run out of steam or that I would fall in love…nor did I count on the fact that I wouldn’t graduate on time because for once in my life, I’d have to take a break for me. I didn’t count for the circumstances or the struggles that I had to live through and I certainly didn’t count on the fact that I would be strong enough to take on the obstacles and steer my life in the right direction.

Five years ago, I thought that I would be in law school right now, halfway across the country.

Instead, I’m still driving into the city early in the morning, only to go to my full time job. I don’t have my scholarship or diploma but I still have my determination. As long as I’m determined, I will get that degree. Looking back at the past 5 years, or even just 3 years, I can see the tangible change in me, my soul and my dreams. I am still the same overachiever who wants to accomplish 124 things before I die but my perspective on life has changed.

I’ve learned that I’m allowed to make mistakes.
I’m allowed to be selfish once in a while.
I’m allowed to change my mind.
I’m allowed to give myself time to heal.
I’m allowed to be loved and cherished.
I’m allowed to let go…

Life is ever changing. It’s good to have plans but it’s also important to be flexible and sure of your own capabilities enough to mold your life with the changes that come your way.

I refuse to live with “What if”s which is why I usually take risks but I was thinking about the What Ifs of the past 5 years…What if I hadn’t had the obstacles thrown my way…

I wouldn’t have been in pain.
I wouldn’t have had my breakdowns.
I wouldn’t have had to let go of my dreams.
I wouldn’t still be here, trying to finish up my degree

But then again…

I wouldn’t have met my amazing friends who are now such a huge part of me.
I wouldn’t have discovered what it meant to write for an audience.
I wouldn’t have found my voice.
I wouldn’t have started this site.

I wouldn’t be who I am today.

So sure…I am not where I wanted to be in my life at 23…but you know what? I’ve come further in so many directions that one little detour has actually brought me to a point where I am incredibly happy, fulfilled with a long, incredibly journey ahead of me. Thank you for being a part of it…whether you’ve been with me for years or weeks.

This was triggered when I heard the song “The Remedy” the other day…the same song that was playing on the radio on that September morning five years ago…

Do you have a “trigger” song that reminds you of a significant time of your life? How have you dealt with the curve balls of life? What has been your “remedy”?

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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Damaris September 15, 2008, 12:51 pm

    I truly believe that all the curveballs lead us to where we need to be and who we are destined to become! Without them, our victories wouldn’t be as sweet and we would never learn life’s most valuable lessons! It’s getting through them that’s the hard part. How does one recover from a broken heart? What do you do when your plans take a turn for the unexpected? Of course, the answer to these questions is to have faith and keep on going… which is easier said than done! Nevertheless, we cry our tears and keep on moving… There’s no other option! Life goes on… and so should we!!!

    Great post, love!

  • pecosa September 15, 2008, 12:57 pm

    Thank goodness for detours. If it weren’t for them life would be perfectly boring.

    Trigger songs? I have many. And it gets pretty ridiculous. I can’t even listen to some genres without getting a revolting, angry feeling in the pit of my stomach.

  • Damaris September 15, 2008, 1:32 pm

    LMAO! I thought I was the only one that happens to!

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 1:45 pm

    I’ve found faith and patience to be two of my strengths, which surprises me sometimes because when things are going good, those feel like my weaknesses.

    I guess you can’t figure out just how strong you are until you are tested to your limits…

    I really thought I hit rock bottom 2 years ago but it turns out I still had something in me to keep me going πŸ™‚

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 1:46 pm

    You know, I don’t get that angry feeling in my stomach anymore…I actually realized that on Saturday…there wasn’t even a numbness. I think I’ve finally gotten over my biggest hurdle and it feels so great.

    I can’t wait until you’ve healed enough so that those songs won’t give you that angry feeling πŸ™‚

    Love you!

  • Kate September 15, 2008, 2:42 pm

    “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose” by Circa Survive.


    This was me when my daughter was born. It isn’t me anymore, but it helps to remind me how far I’ve come.

  • PacketRat September 15, 2008, 3:31 pm

    very well written and I agree 100 percent. Our trials and tribulations are what make us who we are.

  • Andy September 15, 2008, 3:36 pm

    Well put. To often many of us lose sight of the fact that there are usually positive outcomes from any situation. In any case its up to us to choose which, if either, to focus on.

    Whether I look back on the past 5 or even ten years makes no difference. Life has put me through many trials, each of which presented both negative and positive aspects. In the past few years, I have been beginning to pay more attention to those positive things. I now find myself happier than I have ever been.

    In the end each of us creates our own reality and has the power to mold it in whatever way we choose.

    • Dre September 16, 2008, 1:33 pm

      I stumbled into the bathroom and we have this night light that plugs into the wall and it’s flat and it was plug up and I just stepped right on it. Had to get a tetanus shot and they gave me crutches =s

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 4:01 pm

    Thanks babe πŸ™‚

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 4:02 pm

    Well, 5 years is a pretty big chunk of my life considering I’m only 23…I know that 5 years from now, or 10 years from now, when I look back at TODAY, I will look back through many more obstacles and paths that I’ve overcome.

    Life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.

    • PrincessQ September 16, 2008, 9:17 am

      Awww, I wasn’t laughing!

      Good times are always awesome to remember!

      I want a dance merit badge dang it!

  • WickedCourtni September 15, 2008, 4:04 pm

    I have trigger songs for all kinds of things.

    Music is such a huge part of my life that it seems like there are theme songs for so many different defining moments.

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 4:10 pm

    I think you’ve def grown a LOT since she was born and you’re gonna make her so proud when she’s older πŸ™‚

    • Cassie September 16, 2008, 9:31 am

      Join the girl scouts!!! hahahahahaha

  • PrincessQ September 15, 2008, 4:11 pm

    Pick one.

  • Dre September 15, 2008, 5:58 pm

    I’m always looking for songs to go with my moods. If I can’t find a specific one that I feel applies I’ll try to write one. It’s always helpful just to sing at the top of your lungs about how you’re feeling. I’m not sure if I’m making sense I just woke up and this morning I had a plug go through my heel. . hahaha.

  • Tara September 15, 2008, 8:24 pm

    I really admire a person who has been able to take the dissapointments in life and find peace with them, even learn from them. I cannot claim that I am grateful for my losses or that they made me a better person. Frankly I could live without them. What I can’t live without are the good parts that came before. My trigger song is “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. He says, “Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.” I couldn’t agree more.

    • PrincessQ September 16, 2008, 9:32 am

      Yeah…have you forgotten who you’re talking to?

  • PrincessQ September 16, 2008, 8:52 am

    How’d you have a plug go through your heel? OUCH!

    I always look for songs to fit my mood too but some songs just bring back such vivid memories…Doesn’t happen with all of them πŸ™‚

  • Cassie September 16, 2008, 9:16 am

    I have tons of triggers.

    The one that makes me happiest right now is “PYT” by Michael Jackson…for two reasons…it was the song we earned our ‘dance’ merit badge for in Girl Scouts (YES, I was a girl scout…stop laughing!!!!) and b/c it reminds me of a time a came together with a bunch of loverly ladies to celebrate!!!

  • Damaris September 16, 2008, 11:50 am

    “I’ve found faith and patience to be two of my strengths”

    Can you bottle some of it up and send it my way? LOL

  • Glyphrunner September 17, 2008, 4:07 am

    February 13, 1995 at the Plaza Twin Theater in Grand Forks, ND. The one true love of my life and I went on our first date to the movie “The Lion King” and we were together for 5.5 years from that point on. It brings back incredible memories, but at the same time horribly painful shortcomings on my part. It’s one of those perfect half empty / half full songs.

  • Glyphrunner September 17, 2008, 4:09 am

    Well, that didn’t work. Tried placing a link to YouTube. The song is “Can you feel the love tonight.”

  • didi September 19, 2008, 8:12 pm

    Very insightful blog and I really liked the comparisons between what you thought your life should/would be and the reality of what was and how it changed your perspectives.

  • ok September 24, 2008, 3:13 pm

    good site etfizq

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