Desperately Seeking Silver Linings


Things never seem to go as planned. The universe has an uncanny way of throwing things off no matter how hard we try to keep them under control. As adults, everywhere we look we see things that didn’t go the way we expected. Sometimes the new course is good but more often it seems bad; jobs are lost, relationships end, people get sick and loved ones die. At the same time, we can be so focused on the path we think we should be on that we lose sight of the other possibilities around us.

At times the curveball the universe throws seems completely wrong and is too much to bear, but there may be reasons for it. Sometimes we will be able to see those reasons for ourselves but more often than not, I think they impact other people in ways we may never know. It’s funny how something as trivial as a shrunken sweater can remind a person of all this.

As children, the world is wide open and full of possibilities. That magical time is often short-lived because too soon, they learn that the world can be hard and mean. But before that happens, anything is possible and one woman’s sweater disaster can become a new treasure:

Photo by Daniel Soderstrom,

I’m not saying that a shrunken sweater is the equivalent of job loss, death, illness or the other serious steps life takes us on. But I am saying that sometimes good can come from bad and that we can learn a lot from children. Seeing this photo of my friend’s daughter wearing the sweater I destroyed fills me with such joy, I want to ruin all my clothes to see more moments like this. It also reminds me to look for the good in the bad because as simple as it sounds, sometimes you can find silver linings in the darkest of moments. But in those darkest of moments, we have to remember to look  and that the world is still full of possibilities.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. – Alexander Graham Bell

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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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