Living and Learning…

In my country, when a person is beset by a run of bad luck, elders will comment that maybe they killed someone’s white fowl (chicken). I’m not entirely sure what it means, other than that you’ve done something to provoke someone into wishing or orchestrating a series of unfortunate events in your life. For me, 2019 was the year of the White Fowl Chronicles. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. Every time I felt like I’d resolved one issue, another popped up. Every time I felt like I’d settled on something, upheaval or uncertainty came calling. It was frustrating, exhausting, saddening and at times, frightening. I had thought 2012 was the worst year I could ever experience, having lost my mother and separated from my wasband in the same space of time, but 2019 rolled around and decided to try its best to give it a run for the money. My money. So much money. I’m honestly afraid to tally up how much I spent on resolving issues, taking care of my health, paying for mistakes and just trying to stay afloat. I never want to know. 

But as I learned in 2012, every day there’s a lesson to be learned. Every experience, no matter how it unfolds, can be an opportunity for growth. It’s not always easy to grasp the good in what may truly be a terrible situation. And sometimes, the most you can do is survive. But even in survival, there is increased wisdom and strength; enough hopefully, to avoid such a situation again. I’ve learned to diligently mine the lessons from as many of my experiences as possible and 2019 was no different. I reinforced some long held views and learned some new and important things about myself. Here are some of them:

Focus and flexibility are important. Yoga started to teach me this. Pay attention to what’s happening on your own mat, with your own body, in your own mind and heart. Adjust as needed, your posture, position, stance or outlook. These things are the key to obtaining and maintaining balance. I spent two years trying to achieve a goal that many thought was purely academic and/or professional, but for me was actually deeply personal. Of all the things I gave up when I chose to get married, the pursuit of higher education ranked high on the list of regrets. So when I got the opportunity again to do my Masters, even though my current trajectory does not require it, I had to. It was a matter of self-actualization more than anything else. The work was demanding, but the unexpected challenge of having every single one of my assignments being due the same week as my period, threw me an unexpected curve. After struggling through 3 modules, I finally realized that I needed to adjust and focus. I started reading ahead and soon I was completing and submitting my final papers at least one week in advance; just in time for my body to fall apart. And it worked. I’m currently waiting for my degree to be delivered in the mail and I reinforced the value of those principles. 

Also, the reward for good work is more work. Having finished school, I decided that I could expand my baking business a little, make a little extra money… Of course, I immediately lost my most consistent set of customers to an internal policy change at my former workplace… But, I had something of a reputation and I decided to see if I could capitalize on that. I’m a perfectionist. I thrive on consistency and I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. So, I decided to expand a little on social media and well, let’s just say I don’t miss the revenue from the customers I lost. I’m doing something I enjoy, for people I enjoy interacting with and it’s amazing how much easier that makes it. I thought I’d be at a deficit, but here I am, expanding monthly and enjoying the rewards… 

I actually do know what love is. I honestly wasn’t sure. My romantic relationships haven’t lasted and my familial relationships are largely based on obligation rather than affection. But, I have the most amazing friends. My circles are small and intimate and the people are awesome. Because of them, I know what love feels like. The kind of affectionate, inspiring, comfortable love that I know I can rely on always. It’s because of that love that when I found myself developing serious feelings for someone, falling in love with someone, I knew what was happening. True to my 2019 luck, the person was unavailable and uninterested, but the level of contact I had was facilitating the development of what I thought at first was a basic crush, but that metamorphosed into a deep, abiding interest that shook me up more than I was prepared to deal with. I caught myself just in time though (I hope…). I would have hurt myself badly with this one and it would have been no-ones fault but my own. So I’ve been carefully deconstructing what was being built, in order to get myself on level, realistic ground again. I count it as a loss; but it’s one I can learn from and has netted me a really good friend. I can be grateful for that. 

Which brings me to the reinforcement of the fact that you cannot love someone into loving you. It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter how much you want it. The person might simply not be available. Or, they might not be interested in you in the same way you are in them. Or, they may simply not have (at this time or at all), the capacity to accommodate the amount or type of love you have to give. That’s not an indictment on you. It’s not about your attractiveness or your desirability or your worth. It’s about something that cannot manifest at this time for reasons outside of your control and the wisest thing to do is to let go. It’s definitely not the easiest thing to do. But it’s what will make the most sense eventually. Cry it out. Write it out. Do what you need to do in order to come to terms with the reality. You will survive. It’s not the end of the world. Keep moving forward. Keep your eyes and your heart open. 

All these served as a reminder that “shit happens”. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Life simply unfolds as we each make ripples with our words and deeds. The things that each of us says, does and experiences have lasting consequences. It’s up to us to ensure that those things are as beneficial as possible to our selves and those around us. No matter what you believe in, I hope that your intent is to strive to become your best self as you learn from your experiences. As I approach them completion of another cycle around the sun, I hope that my White Fowl Chronicles are at an end. I embrace the lessons I learned and I continue to commit to becoming the best version of my self that’s possible…    

Photograph credit: @Jhambrizco_ (Twitter)

5 thoughts on “Living and Learning…

  1. I hate that when our lives sync, it’s the bad stuff. You know how my White Fowl Chronicles have been for the latter half of 2019, even up to a few days ago. But I’m recovering, so I know you will too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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