November 20, 2014

Day 408: People

We all lie about something or another.  For some of us it is white lie and it means no harm. For others, well the stakes are higher and we intentionally want to inflict pain.  I´ve lied, about nothing major but yes I´ve lied.  I wish I could just say the truth, have it out there but sometimes people are aren´t ready for the truth.

Generally, the back-packers and fellow travellers I have met along the way have been open and honest.  And of course I will never really know if they did lie, I only know what they told me and I´m not really there to question them.  I have also had the opportunity to meet locals and managed to become quite good friends with some.  I´ve connected with people as crazy as me and ones not afraid to dream.  The age, gender or cultural difference of course does not matter, it never does.

Now people, people are interesting because along with all the good there is of course the other side, the bad, the ugly, the discontentment and the blues.  I don´t believe people are inherently ´bad´, this not so pleasant side is deep rooted and is a result of many things.  How does one even define bad? Those of whom who lie, steal and cheat?  Or those who commit great crimes in the world?  For me, someone is bad when they intentionally seek to inflict pain on others; they seek pleasure in someone´s misery and think it´s justified to see you walk on the road to gloom because they had to.  We all have issues but how we deal with issues is the point. So for me, it´s not justified to inflict pain on someone else just because someone inflicted pain on you.  An eye for an eye really does just make the world blind.  Violence doesn´t solve anything, it never has.

Having admiration for someone or something shouldn´t then turn into jealously or resentment.  I understand that there are jealous, discontent people anywhere you turn and they feel life is unfair.  The energy from these people is nothing but negative and clouds over any feelings of hope or happiness.  What gets me is that life is unfair, life has always been unfair, really shitty things happen to really good people and it´s not right but there you have it.  There was no small print telling us that life would be fair.

Then you have those who spend their life waiting, waiting for things to get better, waiting for someone or something to come along to pick them up, to make things better.  All of this waiting is justified because all things come to an end, no matter how bad.  But, devoting your whole life to waiting, is insane. It makes no sense to me, if you want something to change, something to get better or just something to happen then you have to make it happen. It´s not easy, it never is and if it was then well everybody would be doing it.

Some people just want it easy, they like things to be simple and clear.  And hey, that´s fine, it is not easy making things happen or trying to change things.  But then that´s all you are left with, the same, comforting things in life.  It is a choice and again for me it´s no issue but I wish people would take ownership of it.  Rather than say I would do this but….or I wanted to do this but…I understand there are hoops and hurdles down every road we take but why not say I tried this but I realised it wasn´t for me.

People say I´m brave, ok yes I´m brave, I´m brave to have made this decision and to still be out here.  But I went through many hoops and hurdles and continue to do so.  I had to deal with the reactions of my decision.  This was something I wanted and all I knew is that I wanted to make it happen, so in the same way if you know what you want, go after it, stick with it and try and make it happen.

The universe may throw many things are way and continuously we may feel challenged or let down.  But we have it in us to overcome these problems, even if we think we don´t.  For some of us, we just want a break from it all or we just want to run. For others, we just want it to end.  But, in hindsight, when you look back at how far you have managed to come, it´s pretty amazing. There are times we don´t feel ready to take the plunge but the universe thinks otherwise.

For me, I was lucky enough to be surrounded and supported by many friends. Friends of different ages, gender and cultures, some of whom I have known only for a short period of time.  I am thankful for all the emails, messages and calls I receive from friends even though I am a millions miles away.  I continue to have an outlet, an opportunity to share my feelings, fears and plans with friends who want nothing but the best for me. I am nothing but grateful and appreciative of such amazing friendships.  I am also conscious that recently I have perhaps off loaded too much, gone on about me too much and my life.  So, whilst I have sent some individual message´s acknowledging such greatness in my friends, I want to step up and be a better friend from here, I want to give more, listen more and just try and do more for my friends back at home.  None of them have said I ramble on but I know I do and it´s something I´m working on.

What else helps achieve your dreams? Or overcoming pain? Belief, belief in something better, belief in oneself, I can sit here and go on until the cows come home about how great some of my friends are but ultimately if you, yourself do not buy it, it is no good.  I wish sometimes I could just get my friends to see all the greatness, all the potential they have because then they really could move mountains.  Impossible would really be nothing. Sometimes it´s hard to have this belief when so many shitty things have happened and I understand that. But for me, having this belief in something bigger existing out there in the world works.

I believe the universe works with us to make things happen, opening doors or letting in light when we least expect it.  I also believe that sometimes nothing works out and everything we ever wanted falls apart.  I´ve seen dreams being crushed and lives changing as a result.  I think we all have and it´s about what happens after that really matters.  I also believe that some things don’t work out so other things can come together.  At the time of course, none of this is evident and life is all doom and gloom but then when we look back, things don’t look so grey anymore.

The unknown is also not as scary as people make it out to be.  Of course, for most of our lives, we have been bought up knowing where we are going and ultimately where we are heading.  And I understand and to an extent I agree with it.  What I don’t like though is when we turn 21, graduated from university with no clue about what to do with the rest of our life.  We have an ever increasing debt and no job and we move back home to live with our parents.  We are constantly told to think about our future but never encouraged to chase our dreams.  We are told to prepare and research but never told to make the impossible happen.  So ultimately, not knowing what you will do once you have graduated is not an option because before you know it you have applied for a masters or signed up to a graduate scheme in IT.

This constant need to know drives me crazy.  When people ask you so how long will you stay and where will you go next and when do you go home.  Well quite frankly, I don’t know and this clearly, for some, is alarming.  Some smile and nod, fellow travellers, who also are going with the flow.  But others, those who need to know, can´t understand how I don’t know and how I can be so calm about it.  For me, this last year has taught me that it very much is about waiting and then going with your gut.  Nothing is pre-decided, things happen, you meet people and plans change.  I´m not the kind of traveller that pre-bought flights or booked hostels so this gives me great flexibility and greater choice on how long I stay in each city/country I visit.  I have nothing against these travellers, I understand the benefits and the reason why people travel like this, but it just wasn´t for me.

The other thing that isn’t for me, are plans, I mean yes I have ideas and lists of places I want to visit but generally I don’t have a plan. I don’t have a plan of how long I will stay in each country, a rough idea sure but for the most part this has changed each time for various reasons. Sometimes it´s because I´ve made friends, other times because I´ve grown to like the city and with my current situation because I´ve got a job which I didn’t expect.  I don’t have a plan of when I will go home or what exactly I will do, sure I have an idea, many ideas but nothing concrete.  Having a plan right now, well it´s just not my cup of tea.  But I understand and appreciate that plans help and are very useful and no doubt once I´m back I will have some sort of plan.

They say you need some direction, a plan, realistic goals, drive, qualifications and skills.  No all you really need is courage, money, energy, determination, kindness and love to conquer your dreams and get to where you want in life.  I know people smarter than me, have more money than me, have had a 5 year plan in place but are they happy? Have they managed to live their life as they wanted? No, very often not because whilst you may tick all the boxes, it is not enough especially if that´s not what you wanted in life.

All parents have dreams and aspirations for their children.  They are hopefully that their children will get further than them but ultimately they want to see their child happy.  They don’t want their child to make the same mistakes they did, they don’t want them to have to fight the same battles and encounter the same problems.  Parents don’t always understand our dreams, they don’t have to, and they don’t even have to accept them.  But parents shouldn’t be the reason we don’t try and fulfill our dreams.  They may be impossible and crazy but we will never know unless we try.

Wouldn´t it be great if we could just all do the things we love?  If we all could just pursue our dreams?  Some of us don´t know what we love or we have so many things that we want to do.   But to love, that is something, to open up and give our everything to one person; it is dedication and beautiful.  It is hard and hurtful sometimes.   Things don’t always go to plan, hearts get broken and we suffer but for that period of time when everything was pink and amazing, love was the best thing that happened.  Love like life is not always fair and can´t always be understood.  Sometimes love is not enough and it appears to have caused more pain then we could have ever imagined.  But, I am hopeful and I am a believer so when this wonderful moment comes along, I will have nothing but love despite it all.  Heart aches take time to get over and it hard to trust again and not turn bitter but sometimes all we ever need to recover is love.

Being independent, having this freedom, living your dream, laughing and living life to the max is all very well and wonderful but for it to come alive, it needs to be coated in love.  Love from friends, family, neighbours, society, animals, local children and a crush.  So let us give nothing but love, let us share whatever love we have with everyone because we don’t know who needs it most and even when we feel broken let us sprinkle some love on someone else.  Because it really is about living, laughing and loving life.