Guess what? We are not getting any younger as Benjamin Button did, and today I guess I will be celebrating my birthday. I always say to people who state that they are getting old that they are truly as old only as they feel like. You can be young at heart no matter what real age you have! Well... as you read in the title, I am getting closer and closer to that round age of 30 that everyone dreads. To tell you the truth, I did not feel any big changes and shifts in the nature until I reached my 25th bday. That was the year with my last big birthday party. I remember it even now, as I write... my first birthday on foreign land. I had my friends with me but I missed the sense of home somehow. After that year I did not see pretty much any point in having a big day out of nothing. That does not mean I don't still like to celebrate and have presents :) we just do that between the both of us - Marek and I.
It is said that as time goes by we become wiser and we figure out the true things that we want from life. Well... I still have to work upon that as I know I should be more responsible but some things just slip away from our grasp. I guess that is growing up - having to fight daily with yourself to do the right things not only for you, but for the ones you love and respect. Having the decency to care of people around you and not be self-centered and narcissistic is part of growing up. Also understanding your true needs and respecting the needs of the ones around you ;) To sum today up, I will not speak of cakes and presents and parties, I will tell you instead 10 things I have learned during my stay on this green land:
- Being positive can be a shield - the world is not pure and not everyone will be nice to you. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you throughout your darkest hours and place you back on track. There is no point in moping around and being a sour lass/lad when you can change your future and put a smile upon your face. There are so many things in life that we should be thankful for, just start to pay attention and you will see :)
- What you do matters - your work is important and matters. It does not make a difference if you are making bread, selling auto parts, saving lifes in the ER or being part of a corporation and doing any IT related job. We are all interconnected and we live in society. We are bounded to eachother by invisible strings. That keeps us together and binds us, even if we do not know it.
- Take some time off - it can be a day, a weekend, a week, a month or even a sabatical year off. We all need to unplug ourselfs from live as we know it. We do not actually need the TV, nor the radio, nor the Internet. We have become addicted to certain things without even knowing. We need to let go of those things from time to time.
- Get out of your comfort zone - and you will get to learn more about yourself than you would ever will if you remain stuck where you are now. Push your limits and don't be afraid to jump. Adrenaline, once in a while, is good for all of us ;) and getting out of your safe place allows one to know more about oneself. Live in a different country - or at least city - than the one you were born. Take a chance and make a change in yourself!
- Travel as much as you can! I really cannot reinforce this as much as I would like. Travel enrichens your soul, your heart and allows you to know yourself more. This point is very much related to #4. You need to broaden your horizonts. When you travel, you are placed in unusual/out of the ordinary situations. You can exercise the languages you learned, you can find out more about other people/countries and you can break down the walls of prejudice.
- Show people that you care - do that before it is too late and you will be sorry for not doing that earlier. If you love someone, say it out loud... shout it from the rooftops and be happy about it. If that person does not feel the same, do not worry! It is better to know where you stand, than be uncertain of what could have been and what you could have said. Be fearless! Be strong!
- Read as much as you can. Devour books! if you cannot travel they will take you to places you have never dreamt of before. The books are the ones that opened my love for travelling and the hope that one day I would see different places as well. I remember being in 3rd grade and reading Alexandre Dumas. I was imagining myself in France, with the characters :) Guess what?! Eventually I went to Paris, after years, and went to Dumas's grave to pay my respects :)
- Make memories and don't hoard things - this still comes and goes with me and I need to learn more on self-control. I know and the last 3 years or so, I have become a more and more rational type of buyer. I was before as well, but living home - with your parents - gives you the kind of sense and security that you need not bother about things that will come. Now I think more before buying anything. Do we actually need that cup? Don't we already have several others that work fine? Do I need another dress just because this one is blue but the one I had was purple? Now it depends on your priorities but I believe that it is more important to travel, learn new things, create memories, than sit at home and do nothing than watch TV and listen to music or play games on the PC. Maybe that's just me, but I believe that in the end all we take with us is our heart and soul - the time we spent with the ones we loves and the things we have learned.
- Be proud of who you are, even if times are hard and you believe everyone is better. That is nonsense! Everyone is special in their own way. We all think differently, feel differently and have different tastes in everything. Marek loves ketchup and loads of pepper. I could not stand pepper at first, when I came to Poland, and I absolutely cannot stand ketchup. I love mayo and I love garlic sauce. He loves volleyball and I love ice-skating. We are different and we are individuals that God loves equally, no matter what! That is the beauty of it! :) It took me a while to recognize myself and love myself, and I must admit my Mum/Granny/Marek had a huge helping hand in it! and I must say I believe I am getting better :) Once you are at peace with yourself you can start making peace with people around you. Be proud of who you are, as you are the sum of your experiences + the genetical background of your family!
- Love with all your heart. You cannot go wrong with that! People may turn you down, may choose to hate you instead, may choose to stop talking to you, but in your heart you will know you did your best and you will know your heart is pure and not darkened. Love with all your heart as love is the only feeling/emotion that is worth having/experiencing. It makes you feel fulfilled/blessed and it can take you to 7th Heaven :) There are so many things to be thankful for and so many things that you can love - from yourself to your family, your friends and especially your enemies. I still have to learn and work on that but... hey! nobody is perfect :)
Today I give a special thanks to the fact that my dear sweet husband is coming back from India. I miss him very much and I am sorry the weekend cannot be any longer than it is. To our defence, we do have a bit of travelling planned for this next Tuesday :) We will be going to see the castles around Krakow. I never did that and I can hardly wait. This came almost as a birthday present from #DiscoverCracow - you rock guys! and so... Happy Bday LadyBug Lady! :)
The Twisted Red LadyBug - OFF For her Bday :)