What doesn't
kill us makes us bitter. I used to believe that to be both funny and true.
Years later I learned that pain could also be the touchstone for personal
growth, which of course points back to the original saying, "what
doesn't kill us makes us better." Not funny, but perhaps closer to
the truth. Or at least the truth I choose to believe in these days. So, having
recently experienced a bit of pain, am I better? Well, let's review:
I think I'm fairly immune to name-calling now. I'm not sure I could have made
that claim a few years ago.

I've also come
to see that the things I used to think were big deals, are not. Problems appear
to be relative. If you have a big one, it makes all the others seem almost
charming in comparison. And finally, when your life takes a path you could
never have foreseen, it's humbling. In a good way. It's kind of like a friendly
reminder from the universe that while you may think you have the starring role
in the movie of your life, you're actually just a bit player trying to grab a
quesadilla off the craft services table when no one's looking. So, to sum up: I
now have a thicker skin, I'm less likely to sweat the small stuff, and, perhaps
most importantly, I have a renewed sense of humility. All in all, better.