People never seize to amaze me, no matter where I am or what I do. Every time, I am either pleasantly surprised by people or a little taken back, like wow, is this for real. As a result, while some people want to save the planet, I want to save people, from themselves and from each other sometimes. I want to dedicate my life to this cause, for the most part I have always focused on this. But for me, it is truly perhaps the most important cause, trying to save mankind, humanity from humanity. It is a big enough task and well we need all the help we can get because people don’t even realise sometimes what it is toxic for them or how their environment is no good for them.
So what exactly do I mean? I’m talking about the voices in our head. That little voice which becomes so very loud when we want to do something new or attempt to face our fear. That voice which tells us to take care, to focus on what other people think and eventually it creates unnecessary and unwarranted anxiety and uneasiness. We all have this voice in our head, I for one do and it tries to talk me out of seizing the day or maximising a opportunity. I have this voice in my head and sometimes I think my head will explode. It was this voice that tried to talk me out of leaving London in the first place, it is this voice that tells me not to live my dream and worst of all it is this voice that tells me to go home.
Now, of course, we all have a choice. We have a choice to make each time, do we listen to this voice, do we cave? Do stay on the side of caution and let this voice get the better of us? Do we turn down opportunities which could have become amazing memories? I have had many instances growing up where I wish I had said something, done something more or something different. This pile consists of all the things I regret, for the moments that could have been something but are nothing because I didn’t instigate anything. For the most part, however this list is not as long or overbearing as the list I have of things I have done, dreams I have chased. It took me a long time and it was bloody hard but I have learnt for the most part to take the plunge, to dive in, to go in blind and hope for the best. Because I know even if I come crashing down, even if I lose, I will learn something from each and every moment and most importantly I know I tried, I tried to make something happen and this for me is key.
It is coming up to 9 months that I’ve been living here in Encarnacion, Paraguay and I have experienced and felt things that I never did. I have tried things and done things that I love. From volunteering with children, teaching English and learning Spanish, to painting murals to volunteering with environmental organisation. I then managed to gained employment, despite not being a qualified, to teach at a institution. I managed to work as a receptionist at a hostel which helped my Spanish but also resulted in me working 14-16 hour days. The highlight perhaps for me was selling Indian food here at a festival. My dream is and remains to open and run a Indian deli, somewhere, somehow and to share the goodness that comes from Indian vegetarian food. Especially amongst cultures which have no exposure to Indians and have little knowledge about what it means to be Indian. My latest and for now my final experience consist of doing henna at a spa here on women who have never had henna done but find it beautiful. Simultaneously, I am volunteering at a women’s centre to help survivors of domestic violence, something which I am very passionate about. And here a lot of support is needed because it is still such a taboo and so there is little awareness or understanding.
I know that I will leave feeling more than satisfied, I will leave knowing I made of the most of my time here and did many things that I wanted to. Living in a town or a country is very different to what I imagined. I thought it would be hard, hard to interact, to make friends, to feel at home and to be loved. But I was wrong, so very wrong, from the moment I arrived here and up until this day, I have felt nothing but love and warmth from people. I’ve had endless people help me, support my ideas, listen to what I want and then helping me make it happen. I felt at home even before I wanted to or realised it which is why I never left. It would have been wrong for me to get up at leave and every time I thought I would or that I could, I couldn’t. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move and so I never left. Many people don’t understand it and some people laugh at me still being here and for me it’s fine. I know that I belong here and I am meant to be here right now. I lived and understood a culture very different to me, I learnt to communicate in another language, to support and help others and to give back as much as possible. My experience, knowledge and skills.
I learnt for the most part to be my best self. I learnt to be the best I could be even at times when I’ve been unsure or worried, I try and push through. I’ve met many patient Paraguayans who have managed to understand me. They have helped both my Spanish but also my confidence immensely. They have seen something inside of me, they have sensed my energy and seen my soul. People sense and like my positive energy, some like my lifestyle but for me, what moves me is when someone understands me. There is some amazing connection and stories are shared, laughter and craziness. Many people are beautiful, they have a wonderful smile but what I look for is a beautiful soul. I look and grave for depth. This is much easier back at home when you speak a common language. But when travelling or living in a country when this is not the case, it is harder and things are not as clear. Despite it all though, I feel alive, more alive than I have ever felt. I feel many things all at the same time, I have days which start of with me feeling so happy but later change and I’m crying and I don’t even know why sometimes. I’m living with every bone in my body, it’s hard and many days I feel too much but I’m alive with emotions running through my blood.
There was a time when I was emotionally dead. Whereby I didn’t have the time or feel the need to focus on me or my feelings. My standard and most frequent response was I’m fine and of course at the time I would have denied it but I was far from fine. Now, most of the time when I hear this, I know the other person is not fine despite what they say. It took me a long time that I had in fact become a machine and I felt as little as possible. I shut down emotionally and along with it, the world and everything it had to offer. The thing is, when you are in the phase, it is hard to see or even understand that it is wrong. I didn’t see how I was, as a problem. I was defensive and adamant that I was more than fine. I wasn’t even at the pre-contemplation stage but then I was blessed because my life changed and I met people that helped me grow. I became more aware of my inner self, my inner being and more importantly my self worth.
I learnt to love me more, to listen to myself more, to be kinder to myself and to be more patient. I and many others are so careful to be empathetic and kind to others but how many of us are kind to ourselves? How many of us give ourselves a break when we need it most? I’m not talking about a physical break, I mean a psychological break and creating a safe environment where by we are loved by ourselves. A environment where we learn and accept that we are more than enough as we are, right now. We are more than just fine and we deserve respect, we deserve to be understood and accepted and loved for who we are and not for being someone others want us to be. Working on ourselves, on the inside is not easy and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is necessary and so very important. I don’t understand why we as people push ourselves to do things we hate, to be in situations where we don’t belong, to try and please everyone but ourselves. I understand social obligations and the necessity of attending events but is it always really necessary to put our own wishes and needs second?
I know for sure people are complicated beings and there are so many instances when I don’t understand people. I don’t understand me which perhaps doesn’t help either but it’s work in process. I’m complicated, at times hard, sometimes I don’t; know what I want, I’m too sensitive, I’m too empathetic, I spend time trying to please others, I’m confused and crazy. I struggle to tell people to their face how I feel, to be completely and entirely honest because I worry that it will hurt them too much. I would rather say a white lie, a small lie then criticise or burst someone’s bubble of hope. Honestly is not always the best policy and at times it is quite frankly overrated, Why can’t people be more sensitive or more aware of other people’s feeling? Why can’t people understand the impact of their words? We can not take it back once it’s out there, sure we can apologise and try to make mends but this is not always possible.
Some people take things too personally, they are too sensitive which I understand but if and when they learn that it is not about them but the other, it will be amazing. Very often, it is not personal but someone gets the wrong end of the stick and it’s done. So, then the issue is forgiveness. Why do people chose to hold on things? To events, actions, words that were said years ago? We gain nothing, no one gains, the only thing that remains is the bitterness, resentment and anger. I try to forgive people where possible, I try to let go and let bygones be bygones. But it is hard, to swallow your pride and accept people and their actions. To understand and to let go of all the hurting and to act as though that something never happened. To move on psychologically and to deal with the emotional baggage is something that takes a lot of time and effort but so necessary.
So, in short we are complicated beings, all of us and we are crazy in more ways than one. We all have emotional baggage, issues from our childhood or adolescence and some unresolved issues. None of us are perfect, we may have been the golden child or the cheer leader at school but we all have underlying issues that remain there until we deal with it. The aim isn’t to disregard or to devalue these issues, no it is more about embracing them and learning to appreciate that this is what makes us whole, this is what makes us human. The raw, cold, hearted emotions that drive us crazy, this is what makes us alive. Our feelings matter, what we want matters, when we learnt the true importance and accept our self worth, the world will change. When we learn to let go of control, to listen to our gut and not the small, annoying voice in our head, our life will change.
It is when we learnt to respect and love ourselves that we can be our best selves. It is then that we can really share this energy and vibe with others and more so with the world. How can we expect to save the world when we can not even save ourselves? How can we continuous keep giving to others but nothing to ourselves? When we realise and understand that we need to work on ourselves not just for ourselves but for the greater good of humanity, life will change. People around us will see the difference and their will be a ripple effect. It is then we will focus on and appreciate beautiful souls not bodies, we will get high on conversations not weed and we will learn to love and live in the moment and not sit glued to our phones. So this is why I want to dedicate my life to supporting, saving and loving the human race because it is truly something that amazes me and something I can’t live without. My life would have no purpose without all of the wonderful people in it. I’m grateful for each conversation, each beautiful moment, each laugh, meal and love shared.