Past few months have been a havoc in my life. Things were spiralling out of my control and the more I tried to stop them, the worse they were getting. I was beating myself over it, until I realized that sometimes you just have to sit tight and let the storm pass. Looking back at those few months, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons.
1. Don’t live to make your presence noticed; live to make your absence felt
A few weeks ago my grandmother died. One of the saddest moments of my life was standing there by the grave as her coffin was being lowered in the ground. Sun was at its peak and the day was roasting hot. There was a pile of dirt next to the grave with a wooden cross stuck in it. The choir was singing a farewell song, a song I picked for her. Standing there, sweating in the sun, I lost the last bit of composure I still had. I started crying uncontrollably. This is how it all ends, for all of us, isn’t it? A coffin, a pile of dirt, a wooden cross and a sad song. One day (hopefully many years from now), when it will be me in that coffin that is being lowered in the ground, who will be standing by my side?
I am guilty of often living my life by chasing the wrong things, trying to impress the wrong people. Sometimes I’m shallow, blinded by empty promises and a desire to be successful, to be adored. Sometimes I’m self-centred and take the people I love for granted.
If it was ever unclear to me before, it became clear to me at that moment: People come and go, but the precious ones you should hold on to. Because one day, they will be the ones to feel your absence.
2. There is no right or wrong choice
I turned the last few months of my life into a mathematical equation that needed to be solved. I thought that more parameters I had, the closer I’b be to an answer, to an ultimate answer of life the universe and everything. The only problem is – I’m not that good at math. I got a bit lost in the equation and I lost a bit of myself trying to solve it.
There is no one answer. Our choices are half chances, just like everyone else’s. Sometimes we take the right turn. Sometimes we take the wrong one. Sometimes we end up on an unknown road, unsure of where it will take us. But the beauty of it all is that we get to make new choices, choose different paths, take new turns. Every single day.
3. Love. Even if the people you love don’t deserve it
When you let someone really close, you expose yourself to them. You share your thoughts, fears, desires and emotions with them. You imprint a part of yourself on that person, you give them a part of yourself to carry with them. You take a chance and sometimes you lose.
I spent a last few months feeling hurt. I felt like the part of me I gave to another person was lost for good; I felt weak. But then it dawned on me – the ability to let someone this close, to fight for them, to love someone is the exact opposite of being weak. It is what makes me strong. It makes me human, it makes me who I am. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. But love.