Stuck In The Mud

08/25/2019

Squish...Splosh...Squelch

I could feel the thick, sticky substance clinging to my skin like molasses, as I stepped further down into the liquid soil. Having just been running through a field, I was initially surprised to feel mud engulfing my legs. A little too late to slow myself down, I took a couple more steps in the swamp, finally emerging from the depths only to find; I was barefoot. My flip flops had gotten stuck while I was tramping through the mud.

One might think that getting my shoes stuck in mud would ruin my evening, but instead a strange thing happened. Two thoughts simultaneously ran through my head as I looked down at my bare feet: "aw shoot, I lost my only flip flops, what am I gonna do?" and, "haha, welp, that was funny." In that split second, I decided I had a choice to make: I could either sit and dwell in the sadness, or realize the situation for what it was, a memorable experience I'll never forget.

I ended up on my hands and knees, shoving my arms deep into the mud, and blindly feeling around for my shoes amongst thorns, rocks, and roots. After a few minutes viciously fighting the brown muck to win my shoes back, I finally was able to pull my flip flops out of the abyss, though I and my shoes were a muddy mess. A few years ago I would have been deeply disappointed as soon as my shoes seemed lost, but, in this moment, I burst into laughter at how funny the situation was.

The more I've traveled, the more I've learned; any situation is only as bad as you tell yourself it is. Your outlook on life will change completely once you realize how insignificant most things are. And, by changing your attitude, you can have fun with all situations life throws at you. So, instead of complaining about walking back to the car barefoot amongst a sea of thorns, I decided to make a game of it; to see how far I could get rock-hopping, adding much more fun and adventure to the evening. Yeah, sure, my shoes could've been lost or broken, but, I can always buy another pair. In the end, I retrieved my flip flops from the quagmire and eventually cleaned them off. But, even if I hadn't been able to rescue them, I would've had a funny story to tell about how I lost my shoes in Ireland.

When I think back on that day, my memories don't first go to the fun things we did; the inflatable water park, playing frisbee, or exploring the outer islands of Ireland. What I remember most is the amusing time I had, digging up my shoes. I look back on that night as one of the most entertaining I've had so far, because it was an adventure. Getting my shoes stuck in the mud was a bummer, but it also made that night so memorable and funny. I learned that there's no point in wasting time being distraught over something that doesn't matter in the long run.

During this trip I want to remember that no matter how muddy a situation can be, humor and joy can always be found, as long as you dig deep enough.

                                                                                                  - T