I came up with this name recently, when I was thinking about The Big Events of My Life – the things that changed me for the better.
Guess what? Many of these Big Events were not fun or positive. They weren’t your typical “Bucket List” things like “trek the Inca Trail” or “fly in a hot air ballon” or “witness a solar eclipse”!
No, no! I realized that it was as if by accident I got my hands on the “Bucket List From Hell” – and decided to make sure I did all these foolish, soul-crushing, serotonin-depleting things on this list instead!
1. Get to experience being backstabbed – frequently – in a job at an ad agency – so much so, that it’s surprising I can still drink a glass of water – and not have it spurt out the knife holes in my back.
2. Get to experience the emotional high of leaving this back-stabbing ad agency – to pursue my dream of writing a book – only to be quickly followed by the self-esteem-obliterating experience of being rejected – and rejected – and rejected – by over 28 disinterested agents (before I find one who was game for taking me on).3. Get to experience a sexual assault by a building manager – who appeared to be a kind and helpful man. Then suddenly need to move out of building and find an apartment within 1 week – in NYC’s competitive and expensive real estate marketplace.
4. Get to experience falling in love with a man – who turns out to be a big-time cheating Prince Harming.
5. Get to experience the emotional roller coaster ride of I.U.I. for a few years (with a wonderful partner) – which then turns into a monetary roller coaster ride as it gobbles up a majority of savings.
6. Get to experience the emotional high of finally getting pregnant via I.U.I. – quickly followed by getting to experience the huge emotional low and blow of miscarriage.
7. Get to experience a huge betrayal by a close friend – who I help (for free) to create and publish her dream book – for back-end commission only. Watch her tell the world it’s a #1 best seller – while telling me she hasn’t earned out advance – while refusing to show me royalty statements – thereby breaking our signed legal contract – as well as moral code.8. Get to experience the emotional high of finally getting pregnant via IVF – as well as a new weight high – where I gain 90 pounds – and thereby get to experience the double whammy of high cholesterol and a diabetes health scare.
And diligent me, I managed to meticulously check off each and every single heart-breaking challenge on this list.Guess what? This “Bucket List From Hell” turned out not to be completely horrifying…
Thanks to my“Bucket List From Hell” I wound up growing into a better, wiser, stronger, more compassionate me.
Some of the topics near and dear to my heart (and heartbreak) were inspired by my “Bucket List From Hell”: the importance of forgiveness, how to heal and move on from toxic love, the qualities of true friends, the importance of eating healthfully, the struggle of feeling hopeless, curiosity about karma, doubting the universe knows what it’s up to, never giving up no matter how much “you gotta be friggin’ kidding me” life throws at you, etc etc.. Well, it’s because of my “Bucket List From Hell.” And thankfully I’m now on the other side of this list – and – thereby I am passionate about helping as many people as I can to focus on (and believe in) the light at the end of their tunnels – which is really the light found within.
There are many days I still have many justifiable reasons to crawl into a fetal position, lay on my sofa, and cry. But I mindfully choose not to tell my stories as sad ones. I choose to view myself as a “Champion of Challenges” – someone who makes it a “must” to turn all “tales of woe” into “tales of wow” – and keep on “faith-ing forward.” Every time I’m faced with a challenge I make it a “must” to never leave the scene of the challenge without gathering up at least a few golden nuggets of insight to pocket away.
It always makes me chuckle when I hear this. My life has been miles – and miles – and miles from easy.
But in the end I don’t regret a thing – because it’s made me who I am today – and I am truly wiser and stronger and even more loving – because I appreciate all that I have – and all who I have – with so much extra gusto.
In the end I’ve taken the broken pieces of my life – and myself – and I’ve mindfully built something beautiful out of it all.
Admittedly my accidental “Bucket List From Hell” didn’t have fun “Bucket List” things on it like “get to experience skydiving” or “get to experience riding a camel.” But in the end, I wound up valuing the surprise dives I took and the bumpy rides I traveled because it brought me to where I am – and who I am – now in this moment.
Share below: What comes to mind when you read about my “Bucket List From Hell”?
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.