While I just finished off another fantastic weekend in Dubai with good friends, this isn’t another “look at how lucky I am” post (well in a roundabout way maybe it is). I do feel lucky, but the reality is I didn’t just luck into the path I’m currently on. I worked toward it, and I fumbled, cried, bled through many mistakes and hurdles before getting here (and I’ll fumble through quite a few more before my time is done).
I read one of those internet articles that tells you what you shouldn’t be doing on social media if you want to keep your friends from defriending you — FYI writing such articles is probably one of them. Anyway, it mentioned how you shouldn’t brag about all your travels and how lucky you are, and I was like oh shit that’s pretty much all I post about. And then I remembered that, wait a minute, my Facebook page and my blog (my only social media outlets) are all about me being me with my peeps around the world (and anyone else who wants to crash the party for a bit). No one has to read a word I write, but I’m glad every now and then some people do. Maybe we’re connecting on a good level?
Then I got to thinking about what I think about my life now, and I realized that there are a few things I’ve always done that helped me to get to where I am now. I wish 51-year old me could tell much-younger me that I should stop wishing so damned much because I’ve totally got this, but you can’t tell younger you jack shit because A. you’re not a time traveler, and B. young you won’t listen anyway. But, for what it’s worth here’s what I’d tell me:
Quit taking what others say you should do as gospel, but do listen to what they have to say. Do learn from them, but know you’ve got some pretty damned nifty insights that will help you navigate your way through life.
- You know you’re not great. You’re aware that you’re as tragically flawed and effed up as the next poor soul. You know that when you do succeed at something it’s never because you did it alone. There’s layers to every success and failure … every single time. And because you’re so damned flawed you do sometimes judge, gossip and bitch about others, but then you remind yourself to shut the heck up because hey they’re human — although you do this back and forth thing a lot (might want to work on reducing the judgy moments)
- You’re incredibly grateful — even during the lowest moments in your life you will find something to be grateful for. Never, ever lose that. [And thank you to the people in my life who’ve cultivated this wonderful gift!]
- You change paths when you need to — even if it’s a long, hard road you really don’t want to take. [Younger me is giving the “are you crazy” look — no flipping way would I have ever thought I’d do half the hard work I’ve done to get from point A to B, and then change it all up again because I realized I needed a different alphabet, several times! and god help me, I’ll do it again].
- You don’t grow old — well your body is a bitch because she will age, despite your efforts. But your childlike wonder keeps you amazed and constantly wanting to know more. Please don’t squash that (although there are times when you’re exhausted and child like wonder is put into time out).
- You don’t seep in your sorrow too long. You grieve, you rage, you do all the craziness everyone else does when the proverbial shit hits the fan, but you’re usually pretty quick about taking a deep breath and accepting it for what it is and then finding a way past the bad parts.
- You smile wide and laugh loud. Sure you look and sound like a fool a lot, but damn it feels good. And not only is it good for your soul, I’m pretty sure it’s good for others too (unless they’re trying to sleep).
- Speaking of which you hang on to the people who also feed your soul, and you love them even when you kinda, sorta wanna slap them. You let go of those who solely feed off of you, even if you once loved them with everything you had.
- You’ve got a list just as long, if not longer , as this as to what you’re not good at, or what you don’t do well for yourself, but the good news is you pay attention to that too. You don’t always fix your flaws, but you try, and you admit (eventually) when you haven’t quite got it right.
And why I felt the need to share all of this in my blog is beyond me … oh wait that’s right I wanted to point out that the very good things going on in my life right now aren’t pure luck. I worked very hard to get to this point, and I’m okay with admitting I’m proud of myself for that.
Hard work and doing all of the above does not guarantee a life of happy, happy, joy, joy, but it sure as hell has helped me find my many different versions of success. And, I guess that’s what this rambling post is all about: discovering and embracing the bits about you that help you succeed in what matters (even when your definition of success doesn’t gel with what you once thought it was supposed to be). Mine is this crazy overseas life, my loved ones, and the stuff that happens in between.
And, hopefully, my posts about all of my joys and discoveries, are somehow connecting with you and your bits of goodness — and not coming off as me just bragging.
Okay time for me to give into my brutal side and do something else I’ve been enjoying lately: watch another Vikings episode. Holy moly, I’m so glad I wasn’t alive back then because then you’d be hearing all about the fools I eviscerated, and how blessed and lucky I was to have had the chance. This show might just turn me into a vegetarian — too much blood and guts (and, yet, I still watch).