I was challenged last week to do this and as you are about to learn, I tend to put some things off. However, I’ve had a chance to settle in and now we can get right to it. The following are just five things I am glad I learnt in life.
There is no time like the present
I have learnt that I procrastinate too much and often to my detriment. And yet I used to test myself I think, just to see how well I could do with last minute preparation. I’ve been caught writing an essay in class on the day and at the time in which it was due. I have studied for my finals the night before, using only the slides of presentations from the weeks past. I have time and again put up for later the things, which quite frankly I should’ve done yesterday. And I am glad that I can finally admit that while the test paid off, indelibly I was wrong. Because, what I have learnt is that to procrastinate is to live on borrowed time. I graduated with honours, but I could’ve done much better and my mother will kill me if I ever admit this to her face.
You can’t control some things
I learnt too that there are things over which I have no control. And much to my chagrin, this still includes the weather. There is not a damn thing I can do about this heatwave but open my windows, turn my fan on high and flash my peeping tom neighbours. I have learnt that things will happen unexpectedly and unwittingly and as much as you hope for a reset button, you’re an adult now. All you can do is drink and pray and roll with the punches. And rolling with said punches is a must, as you are now past the stage where you are magical enough to regrow teeth. There are many things in life that I can not control. Faith guides me through them.
That I can actually write
I think perhaps that this one was a surprise to no one but me but I learnt that I can actually write a thing or two. While this probably ties in with procrastination, I am thankful that I finally got my shit together and started this blog. I didn’t know that I could write poetry, I didn’t even know that I could string sentences along with cohesion. Jokes! But seriously, I knew I could edit the ass off hundred page papers, but I am thankful to know and find that there is more inside of me than what I had limited myself to be.
How to be a friend
This is a big one for me. I learnt that people can have “friends” but still not know how to be a friend. I learnt that it’s not a tit for tat business nor is it about the people you see everyday in class, your neighborhood, at work or in your social group. It’s about the connections you form with others, like and unlike yourself. It’s about listening, just listening to someone who needs some place for their voice to go. I’ve learnt that it’s about upliftment, encouragement, tear and laughter, joys and sorrow, love and pain. It can be thankless, it will be painful and you will fight, but it’s about finding people who will tell you what you don’t want to hear but what’s right for you.
How to love (even at the end)
And… I’ve learnt how to love. True to the subject nature, this by far I believe has been my hardest lesson. Love in itself is multifaceted, it can be the pits of hell, the fields of heaven and every in between subway you can imagine. When it came for me, I didn’t even feel it happening. John Green describes it as the way in which you fall asleep, “slowly then all at once.” And I think too what made it more meaningful is that it was the kind of love that uplifted me, laid me bare, blinded me and still gave me all the clarity in the world. My lesson was in knowing how to love, not just when it was reciprocated but even after the other side had been lost. We don’t always get forever with the ones we love and “a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts”, it is beautiful because it happened and it had something to teach us. For even when we let go and even after they’re gone, we love them still.
What happens thereafter is up to you. The lessons have been learnt but what you do with them is important and equally so. You may not be completely certain of where life is taking you but with every lesson is additional direction on how to get there.
List 5 things you are glad you learned in life so far. These lessons must be from your own personal experiences, must be lessons that have directly enriched your life, made you a better person or helped harbor personal evolution. When looking at your short list you should feel proud, motivated, and inspired by your own growth. Explain how each lesson has changed you or impacted your life. Did this lesson surprise you? How did it make you feel?
For further direction, goodies and inspiration see Scale Simple.