I am not a fan of writing my personal incites about life. After all, I am not a sociologist, anthropologist, or specialist on human behavior, but I did recently celebrate my birthday and you know how with birthdays you do sit and evaluate your life in general and you do consider the year that passed in particular.
In a nutshell, I can say that this year I learned a lot . You see, for me, this last year was like no other. It was lined with disappointment in people. It saw causes I worked for challenged like my Gaza Camp project , which was halted for months due to not having a venue. It was also a year that forced me to abruptly leave a job I was committed to for five years and a field I was commuted to for 8. It was a year that drove me to embark on a drastic career change, but most importantly this was the year that forced me to question my beliefs in life, people, myself, and society.
In fact, upon the arrival of my birthday, I was thrilled to see this past year of my life come to an end, but yet I had mixed feelings about the outcomes.
First and foremost, I will say that now, I am at a place in my life that ccouldn’t be further than where I thought I would be, but it is not a bad place. For one thing, I am happy with the direction my career is taking, and I did consider sending my old place of work a thank you note for driving me to leave. I also solved the venue issue for my project and it’s up and running. As for my disappointments in people and their perceptions, I consciously made the choice not to dwell on those for too long, but I am human and I do sometimes question what could, should, and would have been. However, I will leave those moments of weakness to the privacy of my own thoughts and my own time. In my stronger moments I know that even the most unpleasant things happen for a reason.
I learned many life lessons this year, some of which I learned the hard way. Most importantly, I learned to keep quiet about a situation bothering me instead of divulging information that I will regret sharing later. While the old me would rant and rave about half the situations I was put through, I find that this year I have learned the gift of staying silent.
I also learned that whatever happens in life, we make it in the end. No one dies, and no one stops functioning. People even move on from the atrocities of war, death, destruction, breakups, divorce, or the loss of a loved one. When that fact is brought to the spotlight, one instantly feels empowered. One instantly feels that there is nothing that could stop him or her from thriving in life. I’m not saying I went through any of the above situations or that my problems last year even compare to the atrocities of disaster, war, or death. However, I find myself more shock proof than ever before. I guess, I can finally say I’m older and wiser. I am definitely not the person I was in 2011, 2012, or 2013. I am a person now who believes that life does challenge us all, and that it is up to us to decide how we deal with these challenges. We have a choice. We can either be angry, resentful, and unwilling to accept things as they are or we can choose to keep going, to learn, to grow, and to invite the changes that come into our life, in their pure form.
When I left my job on April 30th, I did dwell in self pity for a few days. After all, if anyone says to you that he or she is careless in the face of life’s curve-balls then he/she is faking it. However, I quickly realized that self pity wouldn’t get me anywhere and I decided to do something. I learned that the “Why Me” argument is the most self loathing argument anyone can have with themselves. You can spend hours, days, months, or years asking yourself why something happened to you, but you will never get an answer. So, skip the “Why Me” whirlwind and replace it with the realization that the bad things happened and it is up to you to take action.
At the end of the day, people come and go, but we are stuck with ourselves forever. This is why we have to believe that we are pretty damn amazing and yes we have to be our own biggest fans. We need to strengthen that relationship first, kill our inner daemons, and overcome our fears. We need to do all that , before seeking to interact with others. Only when that is done, can we survive life’s sick sense of humor. So, yes Dana has finally grown up and I move into this year fully aware that we choose what persona we want to adopt in the face of life’s hurdles.
This next year will be a good year !