Most of those who know me, know that I’m a pretty indecisive person. Have been for a while now and there are days when sure I have a gut feeling but for the most part, I spend many a days trying to work out what to do. Now most of my friends or family will ask – what do I want to do? But here’s the thing, if I knew what I wanted to do, I would do it. I’ve been told to do whatever I want and sure that’s what I want to do. I believe when we truly want something the universe conspires together and amazing things happen. But, if we don’t know what we want how can the universe work it’s magic? So, I’m learning to stop, breath and listen or try and listen to my heart. I sometimes get a gut feeling about things and it doesn’t always make sense but I just know that I have to go for it.
Part of this indecisiveness stems from having so many voices in my head. I have my voice then I hear my mum’s voice, my sister’s and a few friends. So, yes it’s pretty crowded and I tend to over-think everything. I got talking to another volunteer in the house about this and she like many others told me that I should essentially only have one voice in my head and that should be mine. I shouldn’t have 10 voices bouncing around in my head because not only is it tiring, it’s unnecessary. So, I’m going to eliminate all the other voices and just have one voice, my voice and go with that. Decisions are hard enough to make but they are a sign of growth. Also, very often it’s not about the right decision, we may make a ‘wrong’ decision but we just need to deal with the consequences. We can’t fix everything but that’s just the way it is.
This combination of voices in my head makes things a little chaotic but also impacts on how I feel. So, I can hear my mum’s voice and I can hear her disappointment so I’m left feeling guilty. I’m left feeling I should do more, I should be better. But again, here’s the thing, I feel guilty when I left my job because I wanted to do more, I wanted to continue supporting the women I had built a rapport with. I’ve always had this sense that no matter how much I do, I could always do more. So, essentially even when we are doing something good, we feel that we could give more, help them more, in some cases these feelings are inevitable. But, I’ve learnt to accept that if I do everything I can then I shouldn’t feel guilty. Also, if I do the right thing then I have nothing to feel guilty about. Others may not agree or accept my decisions but if I’m helping others than I have nothing to feel guilty about.
Other people will judge regardless, most say they don’t but let’s be honest we all judge one another at the best of times. I’m learning to not let that affect me, others may not like what I do or how I act but that’s on them. I’m simply being me the best I can and if others dislike that then it’s on them. It shouldn’t matter what others thing and I’m growing not to care. Here’s the thing, I’ve had many people say ‘oh my god’ or ‘that’s crazy’. And, yes whilst it be crazy, it’s absolutely fine. A little crazy is good. Ultimately, the opinions or reservations of others shouldn’t determine what I do, had I let that be the case, I wouldn’t be sat here in Rio.
What I do may not be acceptable or viewed favourably but at least I’m honest and open about what I do. Over the years, I have increasing tried be honest about my dreams and aspirations even when I know they will seem outrageous to others. I’m also aware that my dreams are some what very different to that of my parents or to other respectable, elders in our community. I know that I can’t make everyone happy, I stopped trying to a while back. But I also know that I may never fulfil my parents expectations, I will not make their dreams come true. For this, I ask for forgiveness, I apologise and I wish there was something more I could do but there isn’t. I love my parents, very much so and no matter what, they will always be my parents and I will always be grateful for everything they have done. But that doesn’t mean that I will pursue their dreams or live my life trying to be someone I’m not.
Sometimes love isn’t enough. I love my parents, I miss them but I don’t miss them enough to want to go home. I’ve met many a people that have fallen in love whilst travelling and it’s great. It’s a different kind of love, this love has a time limit well at least for most people because eventually we all move on. So unless one of you changes your travel plans, your loved one moves on. So, is it better to have loved and lost or not loved at all? I would much rather fall in love several times over then be cold. I would rather have these amazing conversations, beautiful moments, great memories than none at all. Yes, it’s hard, every goodbye is hard and more so with people I connect with but I have so much I can take with me. I fall in love with a person’s personality, their passion to make a difference, their enthusiasm to seek something more from life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many amazing conversation and whilst we part ways, I will forever have their words of wisdom with me which I can then pass on to someone else.
I love people more than places. I love experiences I’ve shared with people, fellow travellers or volunteers who later grow to become good friends. It really is about who you travel with rather than where you travel. When travelling, essentially you can see some amazing views and marvel at a world wonder but for me I would much rather see something round that corner with amazing people. I will forever remember a place, a mountain or a hike but it’s the conversations that we shared that I value more. It’s the endless laughs we shared when we thought the hike would never end or sharing views on life whilst watching the sun rise. Whilst I know some people will remain in my life for a short period of time, a week or a few days and that I may never see them again, I try and give all of me. I try and be open and in many cases there is some connections. If I stopped caring or bothering then essentially it’s not other people that lose out, it’s me.
Whilst talking to another volunteer about how we value people, she went on to explain the love language. We all have a language, we all do something which gives love to others and in turn we get love back. So, mine is physical touch, I love to hug people, always have done, family and friends, when I’m super happy or excited or when I’m feeling stressed or low. There doesn’t even need to be a reason for me to want to hug someone. For my mum, she serves, she cooks and runs around doing everything and anything she can to help and it’s amazing. As for my dad, he loves to talk, embark wisdom, share his experiences so we can overcome any situation. He’s a pillar of strength, he’s the one who taught me to be fearless and that nothing is impossible.
Love combined with amazing people results in nothing but happiness. Essentially, parents want their children to be happy and they will do everything they can to ensure they are happy. My parents think I’m crazy, I do my own thing but over the months, they realised that I’m happy. Whilst initially, my plan of volunteering aboard was deemed unacceptable, they have come round to the idea. So, they don’t like it but they no longer disapprove. This makes it easier for me because I am so happy here, I love it, I love travelling but I love volunteering more so. I love Rio because people here are so warm and welcoming and they’re so giving. In some cases, it’s not words or an object, its just love. Having been surrounded by this for 7 weeks, even if I have nothing, even if I can’t have a conversation, I always have love to give. I’ve learnt to speak with no common language. In all my months of travelling, I have never felt so at peace, never felt so content and amazed by communities. I left home coming up to 10 months ago, I left all my amazing friends and family behind and now I’m here, I feel I have gained another kind of family and so many friends along the way.
I know what I want, part of me has always know but I have so much clutter in mind that it sometimes gets lost. I know I love volunteering and that I want to continue volunteering in other countries because every experience is different. I love travelling and meeting new people, sharing stories, having a laugh and discussing the meaning of life. I love studying, discussing new ideas and evaluating theories. Essentially what makes me happy and what I aim to continue doing is, to help people, as many as possible, along the way. No matter where I am or who I’m with, this is my calling, making a difference in the lives of others in some way. I will forever be grateful for my parents and my friends, for instilling so many values in me and continuously guiding me through life. I will always have love to share and I will continue to give what I can. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had people give things to me when I’ve least expected it and I like to think when I have given to others that they too will give what they can to someone else.
Through all the confusion in my head and emotional baggage that weighs me down, I managed to find some clarity. The numerous conversations helped as did the different perspectives. There is always a way, sometimes it just takes some time to find it but it’s there, it’s been there all along.