What would you tell your 12 year old self…

As adults we are often lost in the world of responsibility, routine and expectation.  At some point life shifts.  I am still unclear when that point actually occurred, whether it is merely a perception of my adult self or whether this is just the norm and therefore acceptance of this new life is required.

We went from being children and seeing life with amazingly open eyes and adventure; to teens that often felt like life was suffocating.  Life as a teen was a strange mix of excitement in anticipation for the grown up life ahead and fear of being grown up and having these responsibilities.  A fear of suddenly being expected to have a life path mapped out to some degree and a confidence in that path.  As I entered my final years of high school, I was repeatedly asked by everyone what I was going to be.  This was a question that caused fear and anxiety – who the hell knew at 16 what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. 

 

Adult life apparently started long ago – I am almost 30 and life paths are only a little clearer now than they were as a teen.  If anything, life is a lot more chaotic and responsible.  There is little room to rebel – because there really isn’t anyone to rebel against as an adult…it just means your decisions and consequences are yours alone.

As I quickly approach 30 earth rotations, it has me thinking.  This is not unusual for deep reflections as we approach milestones and they often appear in the same form – is life as I hoped it would be?  Am I living the life I wanted and aimed for?

With some knowledge acquired and these thoughts dominating my mind, I wondered what my adult self would tell my 12 year old self about life in some capacity of advice.  Calling on the wisdom of those I know, I was bestowed with the following honest and direct pieces of advice:

    • Don’t worry, people will like you for who you are.  But more importantly, you wont care whether they do or not

    • Be fearless and always believe in yourself

    • Run away and join a circus

    • Be yourself always, don’t let anyone change you, be a good person always because good things happen to those who wait
    • Life will seem bad for a while but it will get better and it will make you tougher as a person
    • Don’t ever get a credit card

    • Don’t worry so much about what others think.  Everything is going through something that they don’t want to deal with
    • Make real friends, not easy / convenient ones
    • Family is forever, learn to accept

    • Be confident in everything you do because everyone are just losers

    • Trust your instincts because if you listen carefully, 9/10 times they will lead in the right direction.  Never forget that wealth and success make a man rich but laughter makes the soul rich.
    • Cherish your family

    • No need to stress I’ve got your back. Don’t care too much about school work, just have fun

    • Be yourself, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and be the better person

    • Stand up for your beliefs

    • Don’t be afraid to be different

    • Try everything that interests you
    • You are about to jump on the biggest rollercoaster ride that will last for about 6 years.  You can’t change all the ups and downs but there will be check points which you get to decide the path you will take and will shape you into the type of person you will become one day.

    • Do whatever you choose to do.  Will this affect your future in a good or bad way and think about that.

 

All of these points really made me think.  Teenage years were tough on our self esteem and confidence! Phewww to those tough years being over! Although I secretly loved them…

As I sit in deep reflection of the years I have lived, the experiences I have had and the memories I have accumulated, I honestly don’t know if there is anything I could tell my 12 year old self to brace her for the years ahead.  To be honest, I doubt my 12 year old self would have been open to receiving advice as to her future. My 12 year old self seemed to have been certain that she was in complete control of her destiny.  She was sure that life would be just as she wanted.  She was sure that life would be amazing and full of adventure.  She was sure that she had all the control and did not accept that life happens regardless of our personal life choices.  Nor do I think I could have braced her for the challenges she would face and convince her that it won’t break her.

If there is one thing I have learned about life, regardless of the ages at which points I reflect upon, the only ongoing advice I hang onto is that:

Life happens and continues to happen. 

Live your own way- there isn’t any other substitute…

~F.P

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Resilience… What is that all about?

I recently attended a seminar on resilience.

Pause… Reflect… Judge…

First question that raised in my conscience when I received the email inviting me to attend was, ‘what’s this all about?’ Then, ‘will this be of any use to any aspect of life‘?  My head screamed ‘no!’   I felt as though I was resilient in life, or more appropriately I thought I could possibly run the seminar!  I would have named it, How you keep going when a freight train smacks you down…

But…it’s January and my optimism is unrealistically higher at this time of year. I have generally rebelled against the concept of new year resolutions, yet that doesn’t stop me from getting sucked into the notion of new year, new intentions. The rebellion hasn’t stretched that far yet to give up completely.
So I clicked ‘accept’.
I then went about my day without a further thought.
The day arrived, the seminar was a single hour of my 24 hour day and I returned to life as I had been living before. Not even a dint.
Days past and while enjoying a morning shower, my mind without much brain power commenced sifting and sorting through my invisible reminders list and tasks for the day and week ahead. Then BOOM!!!

My mind suddenly flooded with question after question on resilience. Then that moment of flooding turned into the questions and analysis seeping into longer thoughts, until it eventually turned into background noise, nagging at the back on my mind.  I commenced questioning my resilience.

Was I as resilient as I thought I was?

Do I understand resilience?

What does resilience look like?

Am I genetically predisposed to being resilient?

Is there a limit to when you are worn out and resilience just becomes ‘survival’?

Is there a point when resilience becomes numbness and nothing quite feels the same?

Resilience.

The word itself suggests a perception of strength and wisdom with expectation of nothing less. Suddenly the word itself felt offensive.
The seminar provided the definition of the ability to bounce back following a possibly traumatic event but it was important to note that its accepted that your form will change. That makes sense.  But then I commenced thinking of all the ‘forms’ my being had changed into and suddenly things made more sense – this is the very reason I often don’t recognize the person I currently am!

It also answered the perplexing questions of ‘how the hell did I get here?’ And ‘My younger self would never have guessed this would be my current form‘.  Our adult self often becomes unrecognizable to our younger self that often holds ideals of the world and who we will become in it.

‘Resilience’ also raised a question I had never before asked –

– Could your form become so changed and over stretched from trauma that your form gives up and stays out of shape?
– Is that when your resilience is broken and you have none left? 
– Could you ever run out of resilience?

I have answers for none of these questions… merely more questions.  I believe I am too young to expect to have any answers about resilience.  I have a great deal of more life experience to accumulate before I can make the call that my resilience is either impeccable or broken down.

The beauty of life is there is still so much more to have and many more experiences to collect and perhaps the beauty of resilience is that these questions will never need answers…

Here’s to living…And living our most spectacular and authentic self…

~F.P

Whispers to the Universe

The soul of the universe spoke directly to her own. Through the gentle breeze that carried about lightly and unobtrusively, she would listen unsure of what she would hear but she would always listen.

She would connect through the skin of the oak as she sat against its sturdy trunk. The leaves above would rustle and she would await to listen for the earths whispers. The heart of this tree reached firmly below the known surface and deeply into the veins of the universe. It gave life through its oxygen but even more so, gave out a strength and compassion by subtle presence – it was there- solid and dependable.
The land beneath her bare feet were a mix of soil, grass attempting to rise through and the fallen leaves and branches. All of these elements, although different to one another co existed.
She co existed.
In a world of push and pull – of demand for her time and for her energy she works towards a balance. There are moments of silence – complete silence – her imbalance tips far in the opposite to the universe.

That silence is deafening as she craves the simple and uncomplicated connection.
The balance isnt always perfect, nor is the connection with the universe – yet continue to seek it – look for it – grow towards it and nurture the dancing of your soul as you listen to the whispers of the universe….
~ F.P