Photograph by Alice Karayiannis
One day it just clicks. You realise what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realise how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that they’d never recover. And then you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.
As yet another year comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on the lessons I’ve been learning over the last few years; such a never ending process… I've learned that patience and hard work are rewarded, one way or another, sooner or later. Nothing you give your best to goes in vain. I've learned that things don’t usually turn out the way you planned, or the way you thought they should. After all, you were never in control and you never will be, so you just need to let go and accept what is. The more you try to be in control the more you will lose. I’ve learned that not everything that goes wrong can be fixed or get put back together the way it was before. Because no matter how much you try to put things back together, some things are just meant to stay broken. Then again, I've learned that if something is meant to be fixed, the stength and courage to put it back together will come to you no matter what. I’ve learned that sometimes your happiness will depend on letting go of things that no longer serve you. And it will hurt, but it’s been quite heavy and you need to feel light again. I've also learned that kindness goes a long way; so remember to be kind whenever you can, even when you don't feel like it. I’ve learned that the essential element of wellbeing is peace of mind. And I’ve learned that it's okay to let go of whatever does not give me peace of mind. Because accepting what is is not always easy to achieve and sometimes you need another way out. I’ve learned that people come and go, so invest in people who invest in you. Invest in the people who have always been there and loved you even when you weren't very lovable; people who want to see you happy. Those are the genuine people in your life. Most importantly, I’ve learned that things are real only when you are. So keep it real with the people you invest in, vulnerability is your greatest strength and it simultaneously keeps you grounded. Tear down those walls and just be; be your Self.
We never cease to learn and our experiences continuously shape who we are. But this process of self-growth is so much more endurable when you’re surrounded by people who love you. People who replenish you and bring you peace. People who care about you and seek to help you grow. There are so many things to be grateful for in every single day and this is just one of them. A simple thank you is never enough, but just know that I feel so blessed to have you!
P.S. A special thank you to Ruby, my dog, for her infinite love, the way she greets me when I come home and the way she looks at me no matter how she's feeling, no matter what is going on in her world, no matter what. If only she could speak...