Tag Archive : relationships

20151010_131604.jpgKnowing that “we’re doing our best at any given moment”- and yet we want to do better. We want to be better, to be perfect, basically. At the same time, we are afraid of perfection- because once you achieve it for a minute, or a day, or a month, you begin holding yourself to an immaculate standard all the time.

Why not relax?

Why not praise ourselves for good choices, and forgive mistakes?

This relaxed, flexible, confident approach to progress is the only approach that leads to actual progress. The other approach leads to shame… and to more failure.

After I began cutting myself some slack- as I would others- I became happier. I began achieving my goals.

 

1) Graduate from college 
2) Travel
3) Fall in love
4) Get married 
5) Have a baby 
 
The route I have taken:

1) Travel  
2) Fall in love
3) Have a baby
4) Graduate from college
5) Get married

There is no one right way to live our lives. We figure things out along the way. And if I wouldn’t have traveled while going to college, I would’ve never met the most perfect person (for me) to spend my life with. We would’ve missed each other. 

Him from Kenya, me from the U.S, met in Taiwan at a 7 week english summer camp. I’ve never been more happy in the presence of another person, and I have a lot of factors to thank for our meeting. One of which, the most powerful one, is my own choices, my own free will in life that I can exercise at any given moment.

Previously trapped in a horrible relationship, I have the freedom to remove myself. Needing healing and insight that cross-cultural experiences can give me, I have the freedom to stand up and walk into a plane headed for Taiwan.

What I received in return: the love of hundreds of students, the love of new friends, the love of the person I’m going to marry, and the love of a culture I had no previous awareness of. All of this I lacked before I left. All of it I gained in 7 weeks.

Society may instill in us from an early age a blueprint for living our adult lives. But the blueprint I’ve followed is a different one. An outsider might look at my 5 steps and think that I made poor choices. And yet the choices I’ve made have given me so much happiness and gratitude for living. What is a wrong choice? I think a wrong choice is one you make to please other people, instead of assessing your own needs and acting accordingly. We know what truly makes us happy- we are the only ones who know this secret.

How can I condemn my choices if I am self- directing my life?  If I love myself, if I love my nature, I will expertly guide it to the fuel it needs for contentment, to the people/ places/ ideaa it needs to be exposed to. Sometimes this is accomplished by picking up a book. And sometimes it’s accomplished by picking up my entire life- transporting it to a new all-compassing bubble of direct, stimulating, foreign ways of thinking. 

Whatever I do to improve myself, when the work is finished, contentment is found here. . . in a mind full of gratitude and self-love.

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I find meaning by living in accordance with nature. Nature gave me life. It wants me to live- it’s rooting for me. 

Evidence of this is seen simply within my body: my heart, my breath, my blood…they are all working as a unit, for me to survive. My meaning and my objective is to live a fulfilling, happy life and to die humbly and graciously, thankful for the opportunity to witness something so beautiful and complex.

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Crater Lake, Or

Some days I’m unsure whether I should accept circumstances- or fight them. Is it time to give up on living ten lives? And instead live one or two?

So many places I want to go. So many jobs I want to master. So many lifestyles left unexplored. Physicist, biologist, anthropologist, animal conservationist, science teacher, book writer, travel writer…when is it time to give up?  Or do I keep barraging myself? Criticizing myself for not being able to make definite progress in any one field. Instead, feeding all interests, simultaneously, ineffectively.

Why is there a burning inside me? One that won’t go away unless I’m fantasizing about the day that I have achieved all these goals?

I don’t want to give up… I want to fight. How much longer will I be able to fight, I wonder.

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learning all over again how to see

exploring not who I am but who I can be

learning from others

others learning from me

traveling is to me

reexamining nature

taking a second look

noticing beauty I can’t glean from a book

traveling is to me

erasing my assumptions

replacing them with love

now I understand- your beliefs are hard to let go of

To live each day as though one’s last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinizing – here is the perfection of character. 

M. Aurelius 

Today I choose to forgive others for their wrongdoings. I choose patience instead of anger- and I take the initiative to love others who don’t even love themselves. Today I strive to achieve the perfection of character.

I have never felt more joy than in this moment, when I feel my viewpoint is no longer focused on myself but on others. If I am thinking of myself, I am contemplating how I can better myself so that I might be able to give more to others. I have never cared more about other people- not truly- until these last few weeks.Until now, I don’t think I knew how to.

11811304_10205168430145117_4936715151639915644_nThis may bring shame to the perspective I used to have. I feel exposed and slightly embarrassed. But that’s the truth; I never knew how to invest myself in another person without expecting self-centered pleasure in return- without being in want of attention or affection. I never thought I’d perform a task for any other reason. I’m ashamed to say this. However, I finally feel ready to admit it to myself and to others. I hated myself for functioning in this way. Sometimes I still do.

I’m glad I’ve found a part of me that I can admire again. I’m relieved to discover a part of of me I never knew had potential- the part of me that can love others selflessly and honestly.

Teaching is something my 15-year-old self would have never considered as part as her future. My heart would pump out of my chest, my face would turn red, and I would sweat profusely every time I had to speak in front of others. If someone even looked at me for more than a second, my embarrassment was apparent to everyone. It is weird to think that that person was me…I no longer identify with any of those feelings. And yet, when I was feeling them, I thought I would be bullied by  fits of embarrassment forever. A few years ago, I stopped feeling this way for the most part. After teaching for just three weeks, I don’t ever feel this way.

I thrive in silliness, in drawing attention to myself- so that other people might feel liberated enough to do the same. So that other people might stop looking at themselves, and begin observing the situation from above. . . so that others might begin to love themselves as I have begun to love myself.