A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Sunday, 30 November 2014

On 'Learning Life'


The other day my lovely Gran was giving me one of her famous pep talks, trying to cheer me up as I was being a bit grumpy. My Gran's always been such a wise person and I feel so grateful that I'm so close to her, it's a relationship that I know is rare and precious. Anyway, in the middle of our talk she suddenly said (in Romanian, which is why it doesn't make as much sense in English) "you're learning life right now, Anna". And, although that sounds a little strange directly translated into English, it really resonated with me. I've always been told that this period of life (late teens) is such an important time because it's when you begin to decide who and how you're going to be. I like to think of it as a time of becoming. And while I don't spend every minute reflecting on who I am/who I'm becoming, there's a definite sense of it in the back of my mind. So when my Gran said that to me the other day, it made me realise that I am learning life, in an odd way. Every decision I make and situation I'm in is ultimately shaping my future and every day I'm learning something new about this world we inhabit. I'm finding out both things about myself and about this life I live all the time. And really, it's my decision how I respond to that, how I act and what I do with this life I've been given. I want to have courage. To dare to do things I normally brush off and don't give a second glance at. The more I think about it the more I realise that I sometimes limit myself, and I don't want to do that anymore. It seems to me, from what I've learnt of life, that it's incredibly short, and beautiful, and painful at times. But the real sense I get is that all of it is worth it in the end. Maybe that's just blind optimism, I don't know. What I do know is that I don't want to look back at my life in however many years and feel as though I passed on great opportunities and didn't meet my potential because I chose the simple way. Because the thing is, life isn't simple, or at least, I think it isn't. From what I've experienced, it's bloody complicated, but that's the beauty of it. Beauty in complexity. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. But, I must say, I think there is an objective beauty in a life well-lived, in chances taken, and joy shared.

(This has been a bit of a sentimental and mish-mashed post, I just wanted to get down what's been floating around my head the past few days into a big splurge like I used to do; so here it is.)

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