The sea was rough today. The tide had eaten away the sand, the waves hitting the rocks mercilessly. For humans, it had created an alien environment, a beach that was not anymore easy to navigate as one knew. Receding, the waves brought food for the little birds, and pristine pieces of beautiful corals.
In 2017 I celebrated a milestone birthday (I’ll leave it at that… 🙂 ). It has been a good year: I accomplished a lot, both personally and professionally, but most importantly it was the year that I was able to leave past traumas and uncertainty behind and look at the sunny side of life.
For 2018, my goal is to abide by the wisdoms 2017 taught me. Some are cliché, but they are based on past years’ “research” (aka, life experiences):
Learn to live with what life throws at you
Accept what comes your way and deal with it, there is no other way around.
Even when health breaks down, and things do break down as we hit milestones, get used to the ‘new normal’. Please, do not whine: other people have it much worse than you, with no respite and no hope.
You are your own hero
Even when there is no one to witness it, even when there is no applause or spotlights, you are not like the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it. You know what you’ve gone through and that it matters. Fighting demons, besieging castles, wandering in dark forests–they’ve shaped you and made you what you are today. Fearless. Resilient. Free.
Falling down is human
It is also divine: angels and demigods fall too. See it only as the ephemeral, fleeting moment it really is.
Always get up after you fall. Do not allow what pulled you down to keep you there. Put the past behind you. Look up, look forth.
Be your own best friend
Derive pleasure from being alone with yourself despite all the noise around you. Do less, live more. Be aware of your surroundings.
Choose whom you want next to you. You do not need to put up with self-absorbed, selfish, or BS people.
Appreciate your own journey.
Know your limitations, respect and be fine with them.
At the same time, know your strengths and be proud of them.
Be humble, brag in moderation. Despise arrogance. Let your deeds do the talk.
Push your limits
The limits of our human body are much greater than we assume.
Do not be afraid to test them. It will help you grow.
You will be surprised when you see where your body brings you and what it can do.
Remember: The hard part is not the race itself, but persistence, patience, and focus needed for the training leading to it.
Respect others to command respect
This is especially true when you live in another country. Do not assume that you are better; that you know more; that your way of doing things is the correct one.
You are the outsider. Learn to be silent and listen to what others have to say.
Be kind, respectful and graceful towards everyone.
Images: Heron Bay, Barbados. January 1, 2018. Photos by the author.