Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

One year older, ten years wiser…

Now, there’s a very good chance I have it all wrong.  I’m no sage.  But who’s really brimming with wisdom at 24?  (Hey, I’m technically 23 as I write this.)  Anyway, just for fun, these are some of the lessons that solidified themselves for me in the last twelve months.  Some (or all) of them might sound silly.  A great many of these things, I actually learned from my experiences this year with writing recommendation letters.  Others, I learned from friends, from failure, from unexpected success, from delayed reactions to events that played out years ago, and from those simple moments where all you can do is just smile to yourself and slowly nod…

So, here’s to 24.  I thought I’d share my thoughts here to see how you feel about these ideas.  Or even how I feel about them months and years from now.  My apologies for the lack of articulate expression, but this isn’t meant to be a literary classic — just a way for me to reflect.  By all means, weigh in with your reactions.  I enjoy a good debate, or a philosophical conversation, so, in no particular order, let us begin!  🙂

  1. Don’t make plans; have experiences.
  2. Never pass up an opportunity to help someone else achieve his or her dreams.
  3. Leave no kind word unspoken.  And there’s always at least one kind word.
  4. Our experiences make us grow, but they never make us deserve anything — good or bad.
  5. If something is repeatedly getting in the way of your being genuinely happy, then you probably still didn’t learn your lesson.  This lesson usually tends to be one of two things:  “Stop doing that” or “Walk away.”
  6. Where women are oppressed, men are often suffering a deeper hell than many people bother to consider.
  7. A compliment needs no motive, no reason.  We’re all looking for reassurance, so be liberal with praise where praise is due, and you’ll make someone smile a little brighter.
  8. Soccer serves a VITALLY important emotional need in some areas of the world.
  9. No pain is so great that you can’t put it aside to heal someone who’s hurting even more.
  10. That said, sometimes, it really is best to be selfish.  Do not abuse this, but be able to discern which of your needs are not to be compromised.  Those are the ones you should honor.
  11. Sometimes, a door stays closed so that you’re forced to talk to the gatekeeper.  The gatekeeper can (and often will) lead you to a door which falls open on its own.
  12. No amount of denial achieves anything; it just keeps you from the path your soul is trying to walk.  Denial has never solved a single problem, so if an issue is significant enough that you feel inclined to invest your energy in pushing it out of your mind, then that bull is almost certainly worth taking by the horns (or the cojones — have it as you please).  ¡Olé !
  13. The most personally significant things you’ll ever do will probably have nothing at all to do with your own life goals and will mean much less to you than to the ones they touch.  If you have the chance to perform such an act, dedicate yourself to it in earnest, and consider yourself very blessed.
  14. The day you look in the mirror and sincerely say, “This is good enough,” that’s what everyone else sees too.
  15. A few minutes of your own time may be the rest of somebody else’s life — and this, in ways you can’t even fathom.
  16. If all else fails in life (or you just don’t know what the hell to do with yourself), it might not be a bad idea to consider dedicating a year to the project of riding Greyhounds around the country and making a book of it.  (Hey, if you decide to run with this one, you MUST send me a copy!)  🙂
  17. Whether or not you take the suggestion directly above, please be aware for your future adventures in public transportation that wearing a hat, a sweatshirt, and long pants still doesn’t ensure a pleasant bus ride for anyone with two X chromosomes.
  18. When life leads you to say, “WTF?!,” open an interesting book to a random page (You’ll know which one to pick up.), and you just might find your answer.
  19. In all reality, when it comes down to it, there’s usually no good reason to curb your enthusiasm.  Obviously, there are times when displaying your excitement is not appropriate, but, being objective, these instances are few and far-between.  Life is short, so show it when you’re happy!  And you’ll weed out any sticks in the mud in the process.
  20. If you keep waking up at the same time of night, do something creative in that hour; you might be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s well beyond what you produce during the day.
  21. If you’re convinced you can achieve something, you probably can.  But ask yourself how much effort it’s going to take and whether you’re going to feel like claiming your prize by the time you’ve won.
  22. There is a breath that whispers when we’re not listening.
  23. This same breath also tends to yell when you put your hands over your ears.
  24. Things will always fall into their proper place once you open your hands.

July 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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