I learnt many things growing up. Some of those lessons were valuable and some not so valuable. Very importantly I learnt how to take care of myself. That was a big one. I have since also learnt that everyone, regardless of who they are, needs love and people around them for I do not believe that anyone can really make it alone. I learnt that kindness above all else should be shown, that a real bear hug could actually be fatal, that not all people are good and kind and have your best interests at heart and that there is no secret formula for happiness.
I understood to always treat people as you yourself would like to be treated, to be humble and to not attempt to defrost your freezer late in the evening after consuming almost an entire bottle of wine on an empty stomach while nursing your broken heart. And especially don’t do it over someone who does not and will not love you in return. He actually said that and they were harsh words indeed to hear! Talk about learning a lesson the hardest way humanly possible. Of course life would be peachy if it were perfect but without having a little suffering along the way, it would also be pretty tedious and unimaginative.
I learnt too that you have to be a grown up which is not always easy. That sometimes you have to be the one to say ‘I’m sorry’ and that you are the only person you can trust. I observed that people you may have once previously believed were strong are in-fact very weak, not to make eye contact with anyone while eating a banana, that you have to pay bills and you must be brave. Again, this is not always easily done but without bravery in your life and bravery to tackle the world around you, you shall remain forever small.
I have happily learnt that you need to find something that calls to your heart and fills it, that which you love and that which also brings you the most immense joy and for me that is the ocean. That I will never be 6 foot 4 and gorgeous and that men are very much like cars in that they will always give you trouble. The last two being undeniable lessons.
I have also learnt quite recently too that you need to trust that not all friendships are peppered with betrayal, heartache and drama and that there really are some good people out there and you will find each other because you are meant to. To be always thoughtful, generous and to always work hard, to use my voice very loudly for those who do not have one and to never change or compromise my beliefs and values. Point here is that you should never lower your standards just so someone will like you or because you feel you need to fit in with the herd! When you believe you have a good heart and voice and mind follow it and not that of others.
I learnt it is perfectly okay to unfriend people when done for the all of the right reasons on that scourge of the internet Facebook, that sleep really is essential, that you cannot change people, you really can eat far too many cherries and that consuming large quantities of gin – again that tragic broken-hearted story but there is nothing like heartache to make you re-evaluate yourself…….or to make you give yourself a serious upper cut! and that in consuming that said gin, will not make for a soft landing the next morning. I have also learnt to look at and to appreciate this wonderful, magnificent and amazing world and those in it without a filter, without bias and without prejudice.
Most importantly I have learnt to educate myself daily! This, I believe, is so essential just as it is to be compassionate, to be smart and to master standing up for injustices that sadly you will sometimes not overcome.
I know too that no matter what life throws at me, be it good or bad, that I will come out on the other side. At times I have thought myself to not be quite made for this world and all its cruelties (especially from that of unkind people) but therein itself is another lesson. I will always look for positives even in the shitties, crappiest and screwed up hell holes of a situation and believe me, there have been a few although having said that, there is no positive outcome if you have super glue in your hair although I did learn that I would suffer some seriously bad hair days.
I have importantly learnt that terrible, beautiful, brutal, amazing and heartbreaking things will happen and continue to happen in my life. That life is an unpredictable journey and I will not be guaranteed a happy ending but I do know that the trip will be incredibly interesting to say the very least.
Sometimes I wish I had learnt these lessons earlier but I could not help but wonder that you cannot know something before you actually know it…..if that makes any sense! Hindsight is a wonderful tool but we are only meant to learn something at that exact time and not a moment earlier otherwise, my guess would be, it would be a complete waste of time.
There are some lessons that take much longer to learn and having said that, I still have much to grasp. I acknowledge that I should not worry about what people think of me or say about me but I do. I care, I do care what people believe or are told and I cannot be one of those thick skinned who says flippantly ‘I don’t care about anything’ because I think I always will. Forgiveness is another difficult one. That element does not always come nor sit easily with me especially when I see those with something I believe they do not deserve or they are somewhere their actions should not give them the right to be. I do know however that you cannot move forward and your ability to heal is limited beyond measure when you do not forgive and that in itself is a bloody difficult lesson.
My other lessons to master are that I need to stop being so continually critical and hard on myself. That I need to stop demanding such a high level of continued excellence from myself because I am certainly flawed and far from perfect although…….. I was recently referred to as a ‘trophy wife’ so perhaps someone sees me in a far better light than I actually see myself!
I have mastered that life is not going to work out exactly to my plan and that I also need to acknowledge that I do need to accept that not all people hold the same ideals and values that I do and in doing so, does not make either of us right or wrong for our beliefs. I mean even the Dali Lama and Socrates have had their critics.
Having said all that, what I did not learn at an earlier age, and which would have been so invaluable to me is the art of telling someone where to go, the best way they should get there and how to do it in such a way that they would actually enjoy their trip!
That lesson is a tough one. I am yet to up-skill to this but I know it requires me to muster my courage, stand up strong and say two very simple words yet important words and they are – ‘fuck off’………..(please feel free to insert you name on the dotted line). They are not the most agreeable of words to use or hear but they do get the point across and sometimes that is all you really need to say apart from ‘and enjoy your trip’.
So go forth and embrace what you have learnt in life, move on gracefully, show yourself some compassion and care and look forward to your next lesson as it will certainly serve you very well xx