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Yes, I know. We still have about another month left in 2017 before it is New Year. Since I had my birthday recently, it is a brand new year for me already. So, I figure it is fitting to write this now.
As it is the custom, birthday tends to make you reflect on life in a deep way.
On average, we live to about 80 years old. In the 20s, you are busy with college and navigating adulthood. By the 30s, you are building your professional career and if you’re lucky, you’ve met that special someone in your life and you’ve started a family.
I can’t tell you what you’re supposed to have accomplished by the 40s and upwards because I haven’t reached that milestone yet. 🙂
But, what happens when life decides to play a joke on you?
It’s been 2 years since my own life was turned upside down. For those who are reading my post for the first time, the short version is: I had to leave a place I had called home for 16+ years and move to the other side of the world. (Or you can check out the full story here.)
Instead of thriving in my career and building a family, I lost everything and I had to start all over in all aspects of my life. I was thrown into a deep depression for over a year. My faith took a major beating, but over time I did heal.
I started this blog 5 months ago as part of my healing journey.
There has been a huge learning curve. I didn’t know anything about blogging and social media before I started. Now, I can say I had built a website. It could use some tweaks here and there, but I am proud of what I had created. I figured out how to set-up media channels (Now onward on growing them!)
The best part of all of these is that I have met the most wonderful people with stories that showcase the unbreakable human spirits in the face of adversity.
Have you ever participated in meetup groups? I was active in them while I was in the Unites States. You get to meet new people all the time. If you keep going to these meetups, you’ll meet some regulars that can become your lifelong friends.
Blogging is similar to these meetup groups. You come across stories of complete strangers when you read other blogs on your own or when you are participating in group threads. The only difference is that there are no small talks about the weather or how your week was.
Most often than not, you get right smack dab in the middle of the most heartbreaking stories you’ll ever read: losing a husband unexpectedly at a young age, dealing with a divorce after 10 years of marriage, losing a teenage daughter to drug overuse, surviving sexual abuse, dealing with infertility and chronic illnesses. And the list goes on and on…
I am not saying that one struggle is better than the other one. When we are in the middle of it, each struggle carries its own weight on our soul.
But, learning that others are going through such a hard time (even harder situation than us?) and they manage to pull it through give me a sense of hope that this too shall pass.
In the second part of my birthday week, I went to a startup weekend in Bali where complete strangers form a team to work on a startup idea. (Read the first part of my adventures here).
Two of my teammates shared a beautiful story of their lives. One is a young woman who survived drug overuse, depression and being broke due to her problems in her 20s. She is now a thriving young woman in her 30s who runs her own business and help others design the life they love.
The other one is a guy who had hit rock bottom in both his personal and financial life. Now, he is a successful entrepreneur and a yoga teacher.
The first time you meet them, you would never guess that they had gone through such an ordeal.
I suppose it is true that each person we meet in life carries their own battle scars or maybe they are dealing with the battle of their lives at the moment.
Be mindful of this the next time you are interacting with someone new. Look a little deeper into their eyes to see if they are holding tears that are about to burst. Are they hiding traces of sadness behind the smile they give you?
Along with the heartbreaks though, come stories of triumph in the face of adversity. They have gone through hell and come back stronger.
I may not completely there yet. But, I can say that it is well with my soul now.
What’s in store for next year?
My life is completely out of sync with what the normal expectation is. My friends from high school have been married for almost a decade now with 1 or 2 children. My friends from college are thriving in their careers.
Yes, a tinge of sadness hits me every time I open up my personal Facebook and see the lives of my friends that should have been mine too.
But, what is “normal” anyway? Each of us has our own journey and our own time to shine.
There is about a month left in 2017. I am going to use it to dig deep inside and figure out an AWESOME plan for 2018.
I am going to re-read a book I love to help me with this journey. It’s called One Month To Live by Kerry & Chris Shook. (Seems fitting, no?)
The whole premise of the book is:
“If you only had one month to live, what would you change?”
So, this is my challenge to you for December, my dear readers. Consider these questions for the whole month as you do your own reflection of the year past.
Have you accomplish your goals this year? If you know for sure that you only have one month to live, what would you do differently? How will you live your life for the next 30 days?
Would you join me on the journey?
Please share the love. Thanks!