FML…really?

I mentioned this months ago on Facebook, but now that I’m blogging I want to expand on my dislike for the acronym FML. For those unfamiliar with this gem, it stands for Fuck My Life. I’ve seen people post statuses on FB with things like “smudged my pedicure – FML, had a flat tire – FML, had to drop my class and have to retake it during the summer – FML…” Anyway, you get my point. Something goes wrong and people are ready to throw in the towel and loudly proclaim “Fuck my life”!

I always want to reply something along the lines of “Really? You have the ability to air your grievances on Facebook, I think you’re going to make it”. I will be the first to admit that I see the world through rose colored glasses and often believe in people way longer than they deserve. A co-worker told me soon after meeting me “Amy, you’re such an otter”. After I looked blankly at her she said, “You know. Some people think the glass is half full and some think the glass is half empty, but otters clap their furry little paws together and exclaim ‘oooh, oooh, I have a glass!'”. I took that as one of the greatest compliments ever. Despite these levels of positivity that can grate on the boyfriend’s slightly more realistic nerves, I do understand that bad stuff happens. And bad stuff happens to good people. But that doesn’t mean you give up. Nope, that’s the time to pick yourself up and give it another go.

KnockedDown

No seriously, I understand that bad happens. Here’s my 2011 in a nutshell – my husband of 8 years tells me he is gay while we are living overseas sponsored by the US Air Force. At the time, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was still in effect so there were very few people I could tell and had to fake that everything was just fine for about 4 months. During that time of the most amazing poker face ever, I sent out over 50 resumes and applications and was rejected by all but 3 positions. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that by following my Air Force hubby I had accumulated about a ten year hole in my resume. Let me tell you, when your husband has just told you that he’s gay, every rejection letter hurts just a little bit more. Out of the 3 jobs that wanted me, I accepted the one in my hometown. That seems all peachy and grand. What could be better than returning to where your loving family lives? While I’ve got a great family that loves and supports me and saw me through the divorce (shoot, my sister acted as my divorce attorney), I felt like a huge failure returning to where I had started. In addition to that, I had to leave Okinawa early and leave behind the best friends a girl could ask for in my WOOT (Women on Okinawa Trails) women. I also had to leave my dog behind because it was too hot for her to travel when I left (no worries – we were reunited 8 months later). For the first four months I lived in Gainesville, I stayed with my best friend and her husband while searching for a house, adjusting to life in America (I’d been overseas for 6 years), and learning how to be a professional (seriously, I used to wear waders at work and electrify fish). I gained weight, lost a lot of hair, and was scared and stressed for months on end. On New Year’s Eve I was ready to kiss 2011 goodbye and have a symbolic end to my run of bad luck. Nope, not quite yet. On New Year’s Eve my dad had a stroke. Yeah, that was a big nutshell, but you get my drift, right? Not everything has been unicorns and rainbows. But you know what you do when life deals you a shit hand? You suck it up and keep playing.

I have a friend with a young son who recently went through a bitter¬† divorce because her ex-husband is a lying, cheating douche. Yes, she was stressed and yes, she asked for help, but not once did I hear her utter “FML”. She’s still adjusting and her string of bad luck recently popped up again with a parking ticket and her friend running out of gas on a busy road while they were both wearing skirts and heels. You know what she did? She laughed about it. What else is there to do really? Will crying help? How about some cursing? Ok, I like profanity and probably would have dropped the F-bomb before laughing along with her.

Some of you are probably thinking “Big deal. You guys had to get divorced and moved. That’s no big thing.” I agree, there are much bigger things in life than I’ve experienced. For example, a good friend of mine’s father recently found out that his cancer that he fought and beat is back and is at stage 4. Did she give up? No. Did her dad give up? No, he’s doing all he can to kick cancer’s ass again. And while I know it is eating away at my friend that this is happening to her dad and she can’t be closer to him, never once has she said, “FML”. The same goes for our front desk lady. Within a month of passing her 5 year cancer-free exam, she was diagnosed with the same stage 4 cancer that she had already beaten. She has been an inspiration with not only her positivity, but just her willingness to¬† come to work every day. No matter how tired or how worn out she is from her treatment, she is at her post smiling and greeting visitors. She is incredible.

One of my favorite volunteers also passed on the opportunity to say FML. Charlie is an 89 year old retired 3-star general that started volunteering at the museum almost 2 years ago. He has some incredible stories, but my favorite has to be how he met his wife and their incredible love story. Seriously, this is the stuff that movies are made from. Shortly before he started volunteering with us, his wife passed away from cancer after 62 years of marriage. It would have been easy for him to give up and say FML, but he didn’t. He made the choice to find something to keep himself going.

That’s the thing with FML. Once you buy into it you’ve given up your power, you’ve given up your freedom to make choices for yourself. You’ve let yourself become a victim and are willing to take what happens to you. Well, forget that! I want to be in charge of my life. So, go ahead and OMG, WTF or SMH, but this is your life. Make sure you’re going FTW!