“Let’s do ramen.”

A couple of friends were in the neighborhood of my work right around dinner time and suggested that we meet up at a noodle place a few blocks away. The Curmudgeonly Lion was game: Wednesday night has become our night out, and we were always looking for new places to try.

It had been months since I’d gotten proper ramen- the last time that I tried I got stood up, waited an hour for my food, and ate it cold after schlepping my sorry self home on a bus for another ninety minutes. The experience was more than a little bit disheartening, and even four months later I wasn’t sure I was over it.

The noodle place our friends suggested was within eyeshot of my bad memories. We stood on the corner waiting for a table and I struggled to resist the urge to keep looking around as if I expected to see my past self come walking around the corner at any minute. I imagined flagging her down and telling her to go ahead and catch her bus- that things weren’t going to pan out and she might as well head home and have a hot meal and an early night.

Even as we sat at our table, tangling chopsticks in thick, slippery noodles, I had to work to keep the bad experience from haunting my peripheral vision. I regretted that it had had such an influence on my life- I wanted to believe that I was strong and stable enough to let disappointment roll off my back like raindrops on a windshield, but instead there I was- struggling to pay attention to the conversation while history played out on a frayed reel in the back of my mind.

In an effort to gain better command of my mind, I recently went online and ordered a book called “How to Make Yourself Happy” by Albert Ellis, but the book that arrived was called: “How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable” by the same author. For a while I considered returning it, but then decided that maybe it was a hint that I ought to take a different approach to managing my feelings and decided that I might as well keep it. I haven’t started reading it yet.

In the end I made it through. The ramen was delicious and the company was amiable. I suppose I can count it as a step towards moving on from the bad experience: gradually rewriting the bad memories with better ones.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 9, 2019.

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