Humans 101

Is It a Tragedy or a Transition?

Life becomes less devastating when you learn to celebrate the tough stuff

Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readFeb 16, 2021

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Illustration: Nunny/RawPixel

Well, well, well. Here we are, in the throes of a pandemic with no end in sight, surrounded by a million reasons to hate life—job loss, homelessness, illness, fear and anxiety, stress, stress, and more stress. Many of us are being put through the wringer right now as we try to juggle working from home with homeschooling kids, “occasional” day drinking, and a desperate need for personal time and self-care. Looking around, many of us can probably name 10 things to hate right now.

As an eternal optimist, however, I like to look at the other side of pessimistic coins and find the message in the mess, the blessings and the lessons, and the beauty in the beast. Because of this, I tend to celebrate life events that others may see as tragic. But I ask you: Is it a tragedy or a transition?

They say that when one door closes, another opens, and I find this to be true. However, this adage does not mention that sometimes you’re the one who has to build the doors. Some opportunities appear to us, while others are discovered by us because of a series of baby steps we’ve taken that bleed into our larger journeys. Still, this mantra is an optimistic one that urges us to look on the bright side of things. You may have lost your job, spouse, home, or an opportunity you’ve been counting on, and naturally, losing anything or anyone feels like a letdown. But one of the most extraordinary facts of life is that if we live long enough, everything starts to make sense.

When you get another job with higher pay and better benefits, or when you finally start that business you’ve been talking about, you realize why you had to be pushed out of your old employer’s nest.

If we live long enough, everything starts to make sense.

When you finally meet the person who perfectly complements you and makes you happy, you don’t miss or even think about your exes. It makes sense why none of those relationships worked out, and you’re glad they didn’t.

After months or years of bunking with your parents or roommates after your finances changed and you could no…

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Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Human Parts

3x New York Times bestselling author, art enthusiast, and design girlie living between Los Angeles and New York City