It’s Not The End of the World


One time, while I was EXTREMELY worried about my life and my job and my future and my finances and — oh everything I could find to pile on that heap — a dear friend said to me, “Kim…it’s not the end of the world.  Only the end of the world is the end of the world.”

And now you will see how immature I have been in my life because that statement was one of those huge moments of enlightenment for me.  It was a true revelation and it changed my life.  Up until that time I had almost zero coping skills and so anything and everything that went wrong or didn’t quite work out was — the end of the world.  I would panic at the drop of a hat.   And bore my friends to death, I’m sorry to say.

Yesterday, on my journey back from Antwerp to London, I found myself stranded at a train stop just outside of Brussels.  I had to catch the Eurostar from Brussels to London and the trains weren’t moving due to an accident on the tracks ahead.

I found myself in a small suburb that I did not know — struggling with a language that I did not speak.  I was told to take a bus, then a tram, then another tram.  I followed the directions I was given (or so I thought) but I found myself in the middle of a strange neighbourhood which was clearly nowhere near the Eurostar terminal.  I asked directions again. I took another tram and got off at the stop that I ***thought*** was the correct one and yet, no Eurostar terminal.

By this time I had missed my train back to London and the sun was setting.  I felt a little tiny sob developing in my throat, and then — “it’s not the end of the world.  Only the end of the world is the end of the world.”  I heard that voice and I had new resolve to find my way.

I shook it out.  I powered through.  And I found my way.

I asked person after person for help and I was directed to the right tram and to the right terminal and to the right metro stop.  Once at Eurostar I explained my missed train to the very important official at the train station and I was given another seat on the next train.

The world didn’t end.  I made it home.  I solved a problem.

Why do I feel like I deserve a standing ovation?

9 thoughts on “It’s Not The End of the World

  1. Oh you so do deserve that standing ovation. Brussels isn’t the easiest place to be lost in because it is so easy to get lost in. I wish you had phoned me because Gert is so used to getting me back from those dark strange places 🙂 but okay, you did it yourself and that’s grand … although worthy of a standing ovation, FOR SURE.
    I love that … it’s not the end of the world. x

    1. Thanks, Di. Deep down inside I think I knew that I wasn’t in any real trouble. I was just dealing with loss of control and when that happens it’s helpful to get curious. Which I tried to do. I thanked everyone who helped me and gave them a tiny blessing. In my head, not out loud.

  2. And you got to see parts of Brussels you would never see. Mark and I had a monumental argument in Prague when we missed our tram stop because I think I know everything. We had to walk back in the dark, in the rain, while Mark berated me. He does not know that it isn’t the end of the world.

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