Apr 29 – Turning Negatives Into Opportunities

Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  Have you ever spun a crisis into an opportunity?

I think, if anything, I’ve always used a crisis as a learning opportunity.

I’ve learnt how resourceful I can be when it comes to the crunch. I’ve learnt a lot about other people, and how extremely selfish and destructive they can become. I’ve also learnt through experience that the only person I really can count on is always going to be myself.

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Mar 21: Selfish or Selfless?

Do you do more for yourself or for others?

I would say that I have an equal balance of both. Yes I do a lot of things for myself – I certainly buy myself a lot of stuff, but I’m also always willing to help out others if and when they need me.

It’s something that I’ve been aware of for many, many years. And it’s certainly changed significantly over those years.

When I was younger, I was constantly putting myself second, and everybody else was first. I was an incredibly selfless individual. I was always off doing something for somebody else, and completely disregarding whatever I had to do for myself – usually resulting in something not getting done, or getting it done quite late.

I often referred to it as ‘Country-boy Syndrome’. I would put everybody elses needs before mine, because that’s how I grew up as a kid in the country. Back then, being selfish was unheard of, and you always go out of your way to help other people – that’s one of the qualities that makes a decent human being.

When I moved to Melbourne, I brought this philosophy with me. Being the naive country kid, most of the time I didn’t realise that others were taking advantage of my good, generous nature. And then as time passed, I began to cotton on to what was happening around me. Yes it was disappointing, because people were always asking for my help, but on the very rare occasions where I would ask them for their help, they were all conveniently busy – even when I asked them weeks in advance.

The final straw was when I was in my early twenties. I’d spent the last couple of years being messed around by various housemates; I’d spent so much time being messed around by my ‘ex’ (G), and something inside of me snapped. I’d had enough, and things were going to change.

It was time to start putting ME first for a change, and when I did, everybody took note. I learnt how to say no to people. I learnt how to actually do things that I wanted to do for a change. I was also working full-time and earning my own money, so I was able to buy things for myself, which I’d never really been able to do before – financial independence!!

Since then, I’ve grown and matured, and seen people for who and what they really are. Unfortunately, as a result, I have a less-than-positive view on society in general. People label me as being negative, or a pessimist, and make it sound like a really bad thing, but I prefer to call it being a realist. I always started out with a view of life being sunshine, puppies and rainbows, but then over time I realised that it was all bullshit, and I was completely oblivious to what was really going on. Now that I am, my views have changed. I see people for what they really are. I’m not saying that everybody is like that, but generally speaking, people in society are extremely selfish, and will do whatever it takes to get something that they want. People are ruthless. People are not afraid to throw you under the bus if it will allow them to achieve something.

Yes, there are still people who see the world as sunshine, puppies and rainbows, and, well, good for them. They choose to see the ‘good’ in everything, however, I just see it as being ignorant. That’s not how society is. That’s not how people operate.

Daily Prompt: Daring Do

Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

This one time, (at band camp…. just kidding) I rescued a baby possum.

It was quite a few years ago. I was living in a share-house in Camberwell, and one of the girls that I lived with had a cat, Beauchamp. Beauchamp was a small tortoise shell and she LOVED attention. She also loved destroying the furniture and all-but destroyed one side of the couch.

This one day, the three girls and I were in our typical frantic morning routine. Racing around the house trying to get ready, fighting for the bathroom, and trying to eat breakfast. One of the girls, left for work, and the two (poorly) closeted lesbians and I were left.

I was in my room getting dressed, B was in the bathroom, and H was in the kitchen.

B walked out into the loungeroom wrapped in her towel to get her work shirt that was hanging up with the other washing on the clothes rack, and suddenly let out this squeal. As I walked out of my room towards the loungeroom, Beauchamp went flying past my ankles and straight out the back door.

I go into the loungeroom, and B is standing on a chair, in her towel, with water slowly dripping onto the carpet. Her face was white and her eyes had dilated to the size of dinner plates.




H, appeared behind me. ‘A rat, you say. I bet it was that damn cat! Beauchamp? BEAUCHAMP?? BEAUCHAMP!!’ The cat suddenly appeared in the doorway. It arched it back and started to growl. The ears went back and the tail started flicking from side to side, and in an instant, it had literally dived under the couch. Then there was all this commotion.

H and I crept up to the couch, and we could hear the cat clawing around and growling inside the base of the couch. Just as we lifted the couch, something dark and furry ran past our feet. We both squealed and dropped the couch and jumped up on the armchairs.




B was still standing on her chair, still in her towel, still dripping water. She was terrified to move. She was too scared to even look at the floor.

H saw the cat dart around the side of the couch and behind the back of the chair I was standing on. Next to the chair, between the chair and the wall, was a pile of old magazines. I could hear some scurrying around underneath a magazine that had fallen down in the space behind it, and I could hear Beauchamp growling.

I slowly crouched down on the chair, whilst H grabbed the cat. As I lifted the magazine, I saw it, and squealed again.


‘I… I don’t know, actually…” I saw this small dark brown furry thing, curled up in the corner. It certainly wasn’t a rat. I used the magazine to poke it. ‘OH MY GOD IT’S A BABY POSSUM!!!’

Just as I said that, Beauchamp clawed H in the arm, and she dropped her, and the cat tore around the back of the couch and grabbed the possum in it’s mouth and just as quickly, ran back under the couch.


H and I grabbed the couch, and completely flipped it over. We could see the cats back legs and tail hanging out of a hole in the base of the couch, and we grabbed her and pulled her out. H threw her into a bedroom and closed the door.

We saw the possum curled up amongst some of the springs, but couldn’t reach it to grab it. I didn’t know if it was dead, if it was injured, if it was even still alive. It was so dark, and I couldn’t see anything. I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and stuck my hand in to try and grab it, but it let out this high-pitched squeal, and I panicked and yanked my hand out of there so quickly. In doing so, I cut my arm and the top of my hand on a sharp piece of broken metal spring. I grabbed a towel to absorb the blood from my arm, and as I did so, the possum ran out of the couch and under the arm chair next to me.

Without thinking we grabbed the chair and carted it out into the backyard. I wrapped my arms in towels, and grabbed the baby possum and yanked it out from amongst the springs.

Not the actual possum, but this is kinda what it looked like. Tiny and adorable!

It was curled up into a ball, and was so tiny, it fit into the palm of my hand. It didn’t appear to be moving and I thought it was dead. I examined it for any bleeding and / or puncture wounds, but there weren’t any and then all of a sudden, it’s tail started moving and it started squealing again.

Further down the backyard, there was a rustle in the trees, and then this giant possum appeared on the fence.

‘ahh, H, I think that’s the mother…’

‘But shouldn’t we take it to a vet first?’

‘I dunno. What if we put it on the ground and see if it moves?’

So we layed the possum on the grass and took a few steps back and just stood watching. It didn’t move. We thought the worst. B appeared on the back steps, ‘is it dead? Oh my god, why isn’t it moving? It’s dead, isn’t it!?’ She was a heartbeat away from bursting into tears.

The possum didn’t move.

‘B, grab a couple of teatowels and the shoebox out of the recycling!’ I wasn’t wasting any time. There was a vet just down the road, I was going to get them to look at it.

H confronted the possum on the fence, ‘I’m really sorry, Mrs Possum. Beauchamp did a really shitty thing, and we’re going to take your baby to the animal hospital. We’ll be back soon, so don’t go anywhere!’

We took the possum down to the vet. H and I were still in our pyjama’s and were barefoot, an I still had a towel wrapped over my cut arm, but we didn’t care. They took the possum in, and came out a short while later. It was just in shock, and they were giving it a bottle, and if we came back in a couple of hours, we’d be able to take it and release it back to it’s mother.

We went home and I called work, explaining that I was going to be late, and I made an appointment to get a tetanus shot later that afternoon.

H called me later that morning to say that she got the possum back and that it was fine. Not even a scratch on it. Phew!! She took it home and released it into the backyard, and it reunited with it’s mother a couple of minutes later.

I may have ended up with a few cuts on my arm and a tetanus shot, but it was worth it to save a baby possum. I felt so great after that. It really lifted my spirits.