Sometimes I wonder why I take the road that I take. Sometimes I look into the darkness in front of me and wonder why in a world I trusted that everything happens for a reason and that I should take the dark path towards the darkness. I wonder why I trust that there is a light at the end of this scary looking road. Especially, when the alternative is a well lit, well known, extremely predictable path.
But then again, you could also ask, why would you not trust that, in the end, everything will be exactly how it needs to be?
I guess, no matter what you do, no matter what choices you make or what path you choose, it will take you somewhere new. Not necessarily better, but definitely new and different.
I always have to remind myself that even if I think I see where I am going, many times it has turned out to be a visual trap. I think I know and I think it is safe but, in reality, it is just your mind playing tricks on you.
How many times have you slipped on something in a well-lit area? How many times have you hit your head or cut yourself in the middle of the day when you supposedly see everything and are aware of surroundings? Would you say that a well-seen path is safer than a path taken in the dark? And I do not mean it literally. I mean it in a way of making life-changing decisions with or without a clear path.
I hate to admit it but I have to say that either way you are still not safe and still have almost same odds of getting hurt and/or going down the wrong rabbit hole. So, there is no way of knowing except when you make a choice to take the road that seems right. YES, even when it is a road embraced by the darkness that leads to who knows where.
I guess the truth is, we do not know where we are going anyways. We don’t know where tomorrow will lead us. We don’t know what is going to happen in 5 minutes. We do not know anything. We make choices that, no matter what, will take us on a journey of unknown events and experiences.
That is LIFE in its glory.
Nothing is given, nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed, everything that seems right turns out wrong, and everything that seems wrong might be the right thing. I know, too philosophical…
So, here is the answer to the question I had – regardless which road you take, the final destination is not what you think it is.
We all know how precious life is. We all know that tomorrow is never guaranteed. We all know that 5 minutes from now could be the last 5 minutes of our lives and we’ll never see it coming.
If we know all that, why don’t we live to the fullest? Why don’t we pursue our dreams? Why do we still succumb to irrational fear? Why do we still hold back? “Why..” seems the most common question that comes up without a definite answer. There is always some kind of excuse or random explanation…
A few times in my life I have stopped and demanded a straight answer. No excuses, no standard answers, no brushing off the question, no avoiding, no hiding, no pretending.
And I have slowly built an understanding of what and why. It is me. Nobody else. It is me from a different world. I do not mean like a parallel universe or some kind of mystical place. I mean me who was raised to be a certain way. Me who was raised to continue to be like my people. Me who was supposed to inherit same beliefs, same values, same judgments, same standards.
Me who was supposed to develop the same vision of the world and become one of them with same fears, same insecurities, and same inability to accept anything out of the ordinary.
I can’t say I was supposed to become like all of them because there were different people, there were people who lived and laughed, lived and loved, lived and never judged, lived and brought light to other peoples lives but I was not surrounded by them. I did not get to experience anything different than suffering, sadness, and a lifelong struggle, so I started to become one of them.
Yes, I know, I am laughing out loud right now because this sounds so dramatic, so dark, so sad, but it was true and it was so long ago. I was getting influenced more and more by the people I was surrounded and experiences of jealousy, unhappiness, sadness, hopelessness, need to prove yourself, and etc.
I got out and decided to become a different person and learn a new way of living my life. I decided that I don’t have to prove to anybody that I am worthy of love, I don’t have to care about what other people think of me, I don’t need other people to be happy, and I do not have to worry about anything but my choices and path that I take, experiences that I have, love that I give and receive.
However, I still have not been able to fully get rid of that other me. That other me who sometimes sticks her head out of the shadows and reminds me that I might not be enough. Still reminds me that I am supposed to always be sad and wait for other people and things to make me happy.
This other me doesn’t exactly mess with my head too much but it is quite annoying to catch it in action trying to emerge out of the shadows and just jab. This is especially annoying when you are having an extremely good day, you feel happy, you smile, and then there is this quiet voice coming from the deep within you that kind of whispers, kind of gently reminds you that this is not going to last forever, that this is not real, that life is about suffering and not happiness….
I so need this other me to die. I am so tired of the voice in my head that kicks in when I just want to go with the flow of life and enjoy. This other me is not welcome and is not wanted. It was me but not anymore. I should have a choice to choose who I want to be. I should not need to fight it or constantly tell it to go away. It just needs to die….
” No, don’t judge yourself by the years. You are as young as your heart feels”, says a granddaughter to her grandma couple days before her 90th birthday.
“Well, then I am already buried”, she answers…
These words struck me like lightning. Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease. It takes a healthy mind a locks it up in a dark room with no memories, no past, and no future. You are in the darkness, scared, confused, and basically almost dead.
We all make the same mistake. We think we have enough time to do or say whatever but, in reality, we don’t. Her answer keeps echoing in my mind over and over and the more I think ( I know, I should stop thinking) the more
Her answer keeps echoing in my mind over and over and the more I think ( I know, I should stop thinking) the more I realize, the death is near. Yes, it could be 50 or 100 years away but it also could just a second away. It doesn’t have to be the actual physical death, it can just be something that erases the awareness of who I am.
Of course, people are not afraid of death, they are afraid of non-existing, they are afraid of not being able to think, to feel, to relate to their surroundings.
Feeling, thinking, relating to situations, people, and surroundings is existing. You don’t actually have to die to be dead. So, when you have one of your fits about your broken nails or rush hour, of not having milk in the fridge, or that annoying co-worker, just take a deep breath. Feeling and getting angry or annoyed means that you are still alive. You are not trapped in your body not knowing who you are or who you are talking to.
When you get worked up about something, remember that how we perceive the world and people in it is not actually what is. You need to remember that everyone has their own perception of reality. Every situation has two different stories and two different realities. The world doesn’t revolve just around you.
However, life is also way too short to beat around the bush. Say what you mean. Don’t insult and be rude but be honest and true, be open-minded, and be ready to learn that what you think might not be the only way.
When we live in a narrow world of me…me…me, we put hurdles in our own growth. I don’t mean that other people should tell you what to do but I am saying that other people might have an interesting perspective. You might not agree with it but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t mean that they do not allow you to see beyond your own narrow-minded beliefs.
Being stuck in a dark room with your own thoughts that you do not have any control over is the scariest thing in my books. Being trapped in your mind where you can’t tell what’s real and what is an illusion. Being trapped in a chaos of thoughts that don’t make any sense. Being trapped in a vacuum of no memories – that fear alone makes me want to get over myself and my ways of looking at the world.
You do not have to like people. You do not have to agree with their choices. You do not have to do anything. Life is at your feet. You can choose any path you want. You can keep any person in your life and you can exclude any or all of them. You can make any choice you think is right. Just remember, whatever you are afraid of and whatever you are using as an excuse to not do something, it is nothing compared to being afraid of just being because you suddenly realize you have no clue who you are…
That moment when people talk to you like they know everything about you and your life but you don’t know who they are and you do not know who you are must be one of the scariest nightmares a person can live through…
So, find a way to get over yourself. Whatever it takes. Dance, listen to music, quit your job, learn a language, travel the world, get divorced, get married, rescue an animal, tell your boss to go somewhere, don’t show up for a party, tell someone you love them, buy a stranger a cup of coffee…
Life is extremely unpredictable. When you think it can’t get worse, it comes up with something spectacular and blows your mind. Not necessarily in a positive way.
Small ups and downs are just a part of the ride but major blows that tear your heart apart is hard to comprehend.
Not enough that some people are a living proof of a day-to-day struggle of trying to make ends meet, or trying to stay sober, or trying to kick an addiction, or just trying to not kill themselves, Life sometimes decides to add an extra special gift of taking away what you love the most – a life of someone dear.
Every struggle is different, every fight to get over whatever you need to get over is something that nobody but you will be able to experience.
There are more questions starting with: ” how do I…” than answers that start with: ” This is how you…”
Why do we as a society pay more attention to teaching how to celebrate a win, a victory, an achievement, instead of teaching how to make sure you are alright when you suffer a loss?
So, when the sun goes down in your own life or your friend’s life, how do you figure out what to do? There are many books written about “how to..” but we are all still lacking this important life skill and we are at a loss when the time comes. You can’t possibly suddenly rush to read a book for dummies on “how to…” and still be able to comprehend and adjust your feelings to feel or do the right thing. And what is the right thing to do?
We are so unequipped to handle any loss in our lives – loss or a job, loss of a house, loss of a pet, loss of a friend, loss of a family member, and even less equipped to handle anything when a friend suffers a loss.
I am just curious, why we do not teach our kids that death is part of life, that loss itself is inevitable, and how to deal with that.
Why do we just hide and hope that it will pass? Why do we awkwardly turn our heads away in emotional horror when we see a person who just lost a family member?
When the sun goes down, we all are left to deal with sorrows on our own and hopefully, someone is there for us to offer a helping shoulder when you feel like disappearing into nothingness to avoid feeling.
When the sun goes down, for some people it might not ever come up again. So how about bringing a little piece of your Sun, your strength, your presence?
“Fostering is what brings us together today” as Peter Cook would say.
When we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat in 2015, I thought my heart was shattered in pieces and I would never be able to have another cat. Oh, boy, I was wrong.
Truth to be told, no other cat will ever be able to fill Alex’s shoes as she was an extremely special girl who taught us so much about unconditional love and trust. However, she opened up a door that is impossible to close.
Forward 6 months, we decided to open up our house to a new adventure – fostering. We didn’t choose a cat to foster. We decided that we want a cat that needs us, which just meant that we asked for a cat that is going to be hard to adopt and requires a very attentive foster house to work with. And the Universe has heard us, we have had an amazing ride with many amazing special needs foster cats.
I don’t know how people can say – that is just a cat or that is just a dog or that is just a bunny. There is not such a thing as “just something”. Same as humans, all of them have personalities, all of them have things that they like, things that they hate, things that make them happy or angry. You just need to make an effort and give them a chance to show you.
It doesn’t matter if you are fostering animals or you are fostering children, it brings a different meaning to your life.
Fostering has opened up a floodgate in my heart and sometimes I think I might not make it out alive. I used to live in ignorance and stay in my comfort zone. I used to…now I can’t.
I chose to close my eyes to the most obvious truth – if I do not care, there won’t be anyone else to care.
Fostering taught me that no matter how much it hurts, it makes you a better person for yourself. You stepping up and unconditionally loving your foster – be it an animal or a human child, gives your foster another chance at having a good life. You opening up your heart shows that humanity still exists.
Every foster (rescue) that dies or gets adopted breaks my heart. They take a little piece of my soul with them but, I know, I have done my part. I have shown them that humans can be trusted and that humans do deserve a second chance.
I feel responsible to provide as much love as I can to make up for the evil that walks the earth hurting and abusing those who can’t stand up for themselves.
One of my foster fails – a 15 pound Maine Coon has two BB pellets embedded in him. One is embedded in his shoulder and the other is stuck in between his throat and the spine. Someone used him as a target practice and a punching bag. Do you think he hates humans?
He is a cat, I wish, the majority of humans would be like. He loves everyone – dogs, cats, humans. He is a gentle giant who trusts without hesitation. It blows my mind to think that he still trusts and loves humans in spite of what they have done to him.
His unconditional love is something I wish for. I can’t say I have the ability to forgive and move on like he has.
So, fostewwing….is something that definitely makes me a better person in my own eyes. It gives me hope that I will never live in blissful ignorance again.
Haven’t you thought that it would be wonderful if you could just stop hitting your head against same walls? Sometimes it seems to me that I can never learn the lesson.
The adventure of the repeated nonsense and the foreseeable end result could be something to write a book about but it gets old and gets definitely annoying.
I thought about it and decided to come up with the list of most common walls we as humans keep hitting and wondering why things never change.
The list of walls to avoid:
- The Trump wall.
I don’t mean it in a political way. I am talking about the wall that he hides behind. Some people are so insecure about themselves that they require a constant approval from others on how great they are. They keep trying to boost their own confidence by affirming to people something that they think is extremely important for them to know. Something like – I was chosen by so many people; It was the best ever and will be remembered forever.
This wall takes us nowhere. We keep going in circles and, eventually, people turn away from you. They get tired of hearing how great you are and how many wonderful things you have done. They start seeing you either as a person who constantly puts himself/herself above everyone else or a person who needs help.
- The wall of flying under the radar.
This is a tricky wall as there is a slippery slope. You either do good because you are just a good person and you do not need an acknowledgment or you do it because you need to prove to yourself that you are a good person.
How do you know which category you belong to? I guess, if you keep doing good and feel that you are not doing enough and you do not get satisfaction, then you are hitting the wall.
Whatever you do, make sure that you do not do it just to make yourself feel useful and worthy. You do not need to save the world to be somebody.
- The wall of Ignorance.
This wall comes in so many colors. Anywhere between living in denial and being afraid to change anything to just simply choosing to be ignorant while being well aware.
The wall of ignorance is usually the one that always leads to an extremely painful outcome. Karma is not a nice person, she always finds a way to pay back.
Are you ignoring your illness? Are you ignoring your financial troubles? Are you ignoring your unhappiness? Are you ignoring somebody else? Are you ignoring your feelings?
I have gotten hurt so many times by this wall that I have to say that at times it seems funny and at times it definitely does not seem funny at all. However, I have learned to question my attitude – Do I ignore the obvious? And if I do, why do I ignore it? If I keep this up, how hard am I going to hit the wall and how much is it going to hurt?
- The wall of self-pity.
Don’t we all know this wall intimately? “Oh, poor, me!”….”Why me?”..”What did I do to deserve this?”…
If you are hugging this wall and keep hitting your head for years, it’s time to step back and give yourself a chance to have a life.
If you use this wall to get yourself back on track, then this wall is just a step to have that heart to heart conversation with yourself and then pulling yourself together and moving on.
Self-pity and Trump’s walls, in general, make your life miserable.
- The “I can’t do it..” wall.
I love this wall. Anytime I don’t have the guts to admit to myself that I don’t want to do something, I hit my head against the ‘I can’t do it” wall. Anytime I am afraid of failure, I end up going at it.
It is a brilliant wall, that’s for sure… can’t I really do it or I am afraid to do it or I don’t want to do it?
There are so many other walls that we should probably keep an eye for and maybe try to avoid them. Nothing good comes from them. They impact your growth. They definitely impact your happiness as I have yet to experience any feelings of happiness after hitting my head or plastering my entire body against the wall. Even though we are talking about emotional walls, the pain and discomfort these walls cause, are quite detrimental.
I am walking down the street. I see you but I do not care for you. I see others and I also do not care for them. Sounds insensitive, sounds offensive, almost sounds like somebody to isolate from the society.
But, guess what, you are also walking down the street and see me, and you also do not care for me. You do not care for the person next to me or the person behind me.
You will care for me only when you have a space for me in your life. You will care when I mean something to you, only when I either create positive or negative emotions. So till that day comes, you don’t care.
As longer you live as more you understand that your space is reserved and it has a limited capacity. As more people you let in as more cluttered it gets. This doesn’t mean that you are a selfish person, that you are a snob or that you are a cold-hearted person. This just means that you know who you are and what you need to be able to grow.
There is nothing wrong with not caring and there is also nothing wrong with caring as you have to be extremely careful and keep your space available for those who come into your life to either leave footprints in your heart or teach you a lesson.