9 months ago

It’s Hard to See the Big Picture When Life Sucks

big picture

When you’re in the shit, it’s hard to see the light. Shit is pretty dark

Here’s a shitty thing or two

Some of my worst moments in the last 9 years:

  • When I realized that I couldn’t stop drinking and using drugs, and that my life was fucked at the age of 25. I couldn’t go on like this.
  • When I found myself living in Panama, not speaking Spanish, totally alone, and trying to set up a hostel for motorcycle travelers. I was sad, frustrated, lonely, and desperate for sex. No one wanted anything to do with me.
  • When I was labeled a sexual predator after a job interview at a tech company because of what the company thought of The Love Drive. I spent months second guessing my life and thought about flushing The Love Drive down the toilet so I could be accepted by tech bros.
  • After all three of my most recent past breakups. I wanted all three to work and all three failed. I thought I was broken and unsuitable for partnership and would probably be alone for the rest of my life.
  • When my application to study sexology in Montreal was rejected. I felt shitty and again questioned everything that I’d done to land me here. I should never have quit corporate America back when I was 27.
  • When I was evicted from my first apartment in Montreal in the dead of winter. Roger and I had to move all my shit into storage and scramble to find a new place to live. Montreal is a hard place to find a place to live when you have a dog.


Dark and light

Those were dark times for me. You might think those episodes weren’t that big a deal. And you might be right. No one died and I didn’t get seriously injured. There have been no lasting negative repercussions.

But it’s all subjective.

My life hasn’t been as bad as most peoples, and it’s been worse than some. No matter where your life’s taken you, or what’s happened to you, when you’re in darkness, you’re in darkness. It’s your reality and your experience.

Bob Ross said it best,

Gotta have opposites, light and dark and dark and light, in painting. It’s like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in awhile so you know when the good times come. I’m waiting on the good times now

Bob Ross, right? RIP that beautiful sweet kind genius of a man.

Can’t always be happy, but you can’t always be sad either.

The forest for the trees

Funny expression. The more I write, the more curious I get about expressions. I like this one.

Can’t see the forest for the trees.

It means I can’t see the big picture because I’m stuck focusing on the details and I’m too close to the situation. I’m so concerned about how one situation is affecting my life that I lose grasp on the big picture.

But sometimes even if I can zoom out, the big picture hasn’t been revealed yet. Life unfolds at the speed that life unfolds at and there’s nothing I can do to speed that up.

So now I’m in the shit and there’s no solution but to wait until the big picture gets revealed. That sucks. I wish there was a shortcut.

Oh wait. There is.

I’m exactly where I need to be

Fully accepting that I am exactly where I need to be, right here, right now. If I’m in the shit, then that’s where I need to be. If I’m happy, then that’s where I need to be.

Right here, right now, is exactly where I need to be.

That’s the quick and dirty solution. I’m always looking for shortcuts to get out of pain. Always. I hate being in pain. I know it makes you grow, but when it’s happening, I’ll do anything to get out of it. This 2 minute shower in 10 degree water was pretty painful.

I did that to myself though.

When shit hits the fan, I need to accept that shit is hitting the fan. Eventually, shit will stop hitting the fan and it’ll stop flinging it all over the walls. Then I can start cleaning up the mess while I wait to find out what the big picture looks like.

When a bad thing shakes out well

Every bad thing that’s every happened to me has turned out to be the best thing. I just didn’t know it at the time. The big picture has always worked out in my favor. I’ve always learned something or been directed somewhere because of a situation that I thought was bad.

It’s shaped the person I am today, and has brought me to where I am today.

Here’s how it shook out:

  • I stopped drinking and using drugs, and slowly started unfucking my life.
  • After living Panama, learning Spanish, and running the hostel, I hopped on my motorbike and spent 1 year riding around South America. If you have 7 hours to kill, I blogged about it here. There are tons of photos of me with long hair. Here’s one.
  • After being labeled a sexual predator, I applied and was accepted to become a State Certified Rape Crisis Counselor. One company saw a sexual predator and another saw someone capable of counseling rape survivors through crisis. It was an incredibly powerful experience.
  • After experiencing the crushing loneliness and despair of yet another failed relationship, I went to the animal shelter and met Roger, my three year old border collie mix. Here’s what I learned from my dog about love.
  • After being rejected from the master’s program in Sexology at the University of Quebec I decided to throw myself full time into The Love Drive.
  • After being evicted from my first apartment, Roger and I found an even better place. It’s cheaper, on the top floor, and gets a ton of light.

The big picture rocks

The big picture is beautiful, when I finally zoom out enough to see it, or wait for it to be revealed. I’m always blown away when I think of the events in my life that have led me to where I am today.

Every fucked up situation that’s ever happened to me has led me to personal growth, understanding about the world and the people in it, a deeper connection with myself and with the universe, and beautiful relationships with beautiful people.

We wouldn’t be talking if I’d gotten that stupid sales job. It’s brought me closer to you and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

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Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He believes we all deserve love and works to help men (and women) develop more intimate relationships through honest and playful communication.

He lives, writes, and makes videos in Montreal.

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