When I was a young girl I could not wait to grow up. I could not wait to move out from home. I could not wait to be in a relationship. I could not wait to graduate from school and to be able to do something I actually enjoy. I could not wait to travel the world and escape. All of this so I could finally be happy.
Now I was more accurately addressed as a young woman and half a decade older. I had moved out from home. I was in a relationship. I had graduated from school and I was able to do something I actually enjoy. I had traveled the world and escaped. Therefore I am happy. But I was not.
When I moved out from home I learnt what a blessing it is to be surrounded by your beloved family and how helpful it is to have someone assist in completing chores. When I engaged in a relationship I learnt that apart from love a relationship is confrontations and compromises. I graduated from school and learnt that what I actually enjoy is to go to school. I traveled the world and I learnt that I enjoy being home. I escaped and I learnt that you can never escape yourself: Needless to say that all of this did not make me happy.
When I initially moved to Australia I had this idea that everything would be perfect. I know what you are already concluding: I was destined to be wrong. Truth. Yet what was ironic was that everything was perfect, or everything was perfect per definition of my previous perception of perfection. So this was how perfect was perceived in my head prior to planning relocating to Queensland, Australia: I would have more friends with the same ethics and opinions as I. I would have a work in line with my ethical values. I would be located walking distance from the beach and exposed to the sunshine everyday. I would live in a home respectful of my values preferably with someone possessing the same values. I would be able to connect with people that I had talked to on the internet. I would be part of an empowering community; And if I indeed received this life conclusively I would be happy. I would feel connected. Again I know what you are thinking: This is the part where you tell that of course this was an unrealistic ideal and impossible to acquire. No. I received everything. I had it all. I received everything I thought I wanted and had thought I wanted for more than a year. Only I had thought I wanted all of these things and forgotten to ask myself why I wanted it: Connection. Ironically and inevitably these circumstances did not equal the sense of connection that I had anticipated. In fact I ended up feeling more disconnected than ever. Moral of the story: I was left completely clueless as of where to search for connection? If I couldn’t find it in friends, in a partner, in a location, in a work, in a community, then where can I find it? Where to I search? Ironically, all this time I was looking outwards desperately trying to find this contentment in external objects in an attempt to avoid the acknowledgement and confrontation with my own imperfections and inadequacies in fear of vulnerability when in fact the only place of genuine connection is founded in exactly that: vulnerability. Vulnerability for me was acknowledging that I was not perfect and that I was never going to be perfect but that I was and will always be enough. Vulnerability for me was acknowledging that only when I feel grateful I will have something to feel grateful for. Allowing myself to be vulnerable was how I eventually allowed myself to be happy; And I cannot even begin to describe how ironic I to be it to have literally travel all over the world in the quest of something that was already within me. So many people these days, especially young people, travel with sole intent of “finding themselves” when the evident reality is that they are right there, right where they have always been: within themselves. The irony makes me smile as it is so naïve yet so inevitable. “Life is simple but we insist on making it complicated”, the accuracy in this quote is beyond measure.
Grateful for every experience, every encounter, every epiphany.