Oops. Oh well. Turn around.

turn around

“Everyone has a story and every story has value.”

A few years ago, I went on a road trip with one of my best friends. Did we have a map? Not really. We played it out spontaneously, day by day, getting our directions from the Internet with a laptop. (Back up, back wayyy up, this was before Smartphones!) Now, when all you have is a set of handwritten directions and you are in unfamiliar territory, you are bound to make some mistakes as you go, like missing a turn or taking the Northbound entrance ramp instead of Southbound. We had so many oopsies that week…we laughed, we cried, and we developed a mantra: “Oops. Oh well. Turn around.” We knew it would do no good to get worked up over it, and there was an easy fix- just turn around.

Since then, that mantra has remained an integral part of my life philosophy. “Oops.” Admit you made a mistake. “Oh well.” No point in flipping out over it, that won’t get you anywhere. “Turn around.” Start over, work your way back to where you want to be, fix the problem.

Did you think it only applied to driving? Oh…hardly! No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Some are tiny, silly little things, and some are great big obstacles to overcome, but my mantra applies to them all. Berating yourself over a mistake of any sort only hinders you in moving forward. You have to forgive yourself, do what you can to remedy the situation, learn from it, and keep on truckin’.

So the next time you get on the wrong expressway,
or date someone who tramples your heart,
or eat the questionable leftovers from the back of your fridge,
or take a job that is not aligned with your values,
or push the door that says “Pull,”
just remember:

“Oops. Oh well. Turn around.”


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8 thoughts on “Oops. Oh well. Turn around.”

  1. It’s like I found a long long sister lol… i am just about to write about my first road trip and depression is also on the agenda.

    Spontaneous trips are the best. Even when I have google maps I still make mistakes lol and getting lost is the best part, that’s how memories are made.

    Life has knocked me down a lot of times and just like you, I somehow manage to fight back harder and stronger

    1. Road trips of any sort are healing for the soul!! You are SO right- the mistakes are precisely where the memories are made, there’s not much exciting about a smooth ride. I would love to read your piece when you have it finished. :)

  2. Do you prefer to be called Haley? At any rate, this is so simple and so wise, and yet, myself included, fail to think of this perspective on missteps, or react to them in this manner. It is funny how certain things can trigger something; your post brought the song “Shattered” by O.A.R. to my mind. If you listen to it, you’ll understand the connection.

    1. Yes, I go by Haley. :) I know the song, and I see the connection…you’re quite right, it’s funny the things that our feelings and minds can automatically string together. It’s a beautiful song, thank you for nudging me to listen to it again.

  3. Haley, I completely agree with your personal philosophy. Everyone is bound to mess up in their lives, but it is how we let those screw ups affect us that is important. If you dwell on your failures, and keep beating yourself up over them, you will never be able to move forward. My philosophy is that there are only two things we can control in this life: attitude and effort. So, if you try your hardest, and it does not work out, just shrug your shoulders, and tell yourself that you will try harder next time. That is how one succeeds.

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