Positive Personal Development thru Embarassment

It was 1964 in Flushing Meadows, New York. I was 12 yrs old (old?) and we snuck away, took the train to the New York World’s Fair and it was heaven. New sights, sounds, smells, ideas; it was sensation overload in a good way. Anyway, Charlie and I went to the Hollywood Pavilion where they had sets from famous movies. Like any young kids on their own, we pushed our way to the front of the crowd to get a good look at the sets from some of the most famous movies of the time.
The beautiful young woman who was the guide was speaking into a microphone that didnt even have a wire attached to it. I mean it was the high tech future right before our eyes and there we were, up front, close and personal.
And then it happened. That gorgeous Hollywood guide said, “… and over there is the set from Ben Hur… and there is the set from Gone with the Wind.. and, (pointing at me)…young man, your fly is open!” People looked, some chuckled.
SHE TOLD THE WORLD THAT MY FLY WAS OPEN. My reaction was immediate and intense:
My life was over as I knew it.
People stared, my friend was too red faced to make fun of me.. he knew a disaster when he saw one. Game over. Life will never be the same.
Then, in that fit of despair, I looked around. Everyone was focused on her next topic and presentation. They had no interest in me or my open fly. My life, which was totally destroyed just minutes ago, was, in reality, not changed at all. What seemed like the worst situation in my life passed into nothingness, insignificance, nada.
As a pre-teen, I went about my day at the Worlds Fair in pretty much the same way that I would have if the ‘open fly caper’ never happened. It was a great day. We went on rides, saw the DuPont pavillion on chemistry, the Kodak pavilion, the GE World of the Future show which included some amazing developments like dish washing machines, instant cooking ovens and more.
On the train home, as I reflected on the day and the ’emotionally traumatic experience’ and came to a HUGE realization that has been a valuable lesson ever since.
Things get tough. Life gets tough. We sometimes feel like we’re in a real bad spot… and sometimes we are. This experience taught me that, while the experience had all of the potential of being devastating, leaving a negative imprint on my psyche for the rest of my life……IT WAS UP TO ME.
I was young. Happily, I was in a space that was distracting, breaking the pattern of negativity so that I was able to later face it as it was, follow it and reflect upon it and then fix it in my mind that it need not be carried any further. Drop that load by the side of the road and walk on unencumbered of distractions, be more present and open to living a BIG LIFE.


One response to “Positive Personal Development thru Embarassment

  1. I love your post. It’s so true that we THINK when things happen to us, it must mean something. However, if we just let it pass and not let judgment get in the way, it would just be an incident and that’s it. Congrats that you were able to learn that lesson and move on.
    More info can be found at http://www.bummedoutboomer.com

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