It’s all fun and games until you get a $45 parking fine. Whatever fun this coming Friday night might offer, count me out. I will be in my basement bedroom (which is really nice, might i add), binging on organic pumpkin spice cookies (no idea how cookies can be organic but hey, I’ll have it) and reading yet another library book. That’s what I get for thinking “I’ve got this” after spending one month in America. That, and an aching arm for thinking I’m brave enough for a flu shot. And of course another kilo – excuse me, I mean another pound – on top of the several pounds I’ve already gained since coming here. Yes, today is not my best day.
With years of practice, I have learned a beautiful thing called letting go. Well, it’s not always beautiful; actually it’s usually quite tragic… but I think mastering it, or at least coming to terms with what’s worth holding on to and having control over what could destroy you – that is something beautiful I hope everyone discovers at some stage in their personal journey.
One of the main things I have learned in this chapter of my life – trotting about in a foreign country pretending to have it all together while constantly getting lost, avoiding self-checkout for fear of making an error and getting arrested for theft, or having to anticipate walking with a slipping sock and not pulling it up because that’s just not dope yo – is that the reassuring moments are much greater than the challenging ones. Every day is full of challenges and since we live in a fallen world, it’s very typical for challenges that really hit a soft spot to be accompanied by a series of mini-mishaps – bringing you to an all time low. And that’s okay! Personally, I appreciate being miserable sometimes, because it gives me time to reflect, which usually ends up being refreshing… it’s almost like tricking yourself with reverse psychology (I just figured this out and I must say, I feel like quite the philosopher) …(and now I’m laughing at myself for being so vain!) Ha!
Bottom line, I have a lot to be thankful for and I am very happy with where I am (physically and emotionally) in my life right now. I haven’t a clue what my future might hold, what I want to do in the next 5 years or where I see myself in a decade, but I am motivated. People in their 20’s should know that motivation does not have to be connected to an end goal because damn, we’ll all feel like failures before we reach 30 – life is too tough! But really, motivation can be as simple or complex as you make it. Those who know will agree that I like simplicity and I really don’t understand why anyone would choose the opposite – not in this case, at least! Here’s an eye-opener: If you get to do a single thing that makes you happy each day, you can be motivated. And once you allow yourself to see past the challenge, you’ll find something reassuring – and then you have a choice: hold on to the negativity and let it ruin your day, your diet, your dreams… or let it go and allow yourself to gain some confidence.
We’re confusing motivation with rewards. Motivation lies in the process and the reward comes after reaching a goal. If you are happy with what you do, no setback will break your spirit. It may upset you, drive you to the walls, cause you to have a breakdown from time to time, but it will never stop you from doing what makes you happy. The only thing that can stop you, is you choosing to let all the little things get to you instead of letting them go.
This is what I love about writing: once you ink it all out, the blurry lines come into focus and brings clarity to your confusion. Who said mathematics was the only method to problem solving?
So tomorrow I’ll pay my parking fine and write it off as (cringe) a lesson learned. Not only does this add to the story of my life as an Au pair (we call ourselves au poors , touché) but it adds to my experience and growth, which – hello! – brings me closer and closer to my goal. I’m tricking my mind to believe that this, having to pay $45 to a country I don’t even serve, is a motivation: next week, I’ll park further away and burn off all these cookies!