My childhood wasn’t spectacular. I was surrounded with kids from different backgrounds. They had ambitions, big and small; some of them equipped with families and resources to help them get the nicest school supplies and pay for the best schools. I don’t know everyone’s story, clearly, but I’ve always wondered what it would have been like having everything. Who would I have turned out to be if I had access to all the things I wanted while still young? Where in the world would I have ended up?
Then again, if I had everything I wanted, I wouldn’t learn most of the things I know now. Struggles with myself and everything else have taught me lessons that no class ever could, and I do believe everything is always a matter of perspective.
- Losing people taught me that relationships are something everyone needs to work for. You can’t assume, you can’t read minds, and you can’t expect the other party to know how you feel if you don’t talk. It always takes two to tango; there’s always two sides to a story.
- Hardships with money taught me to only invest in what is meaningful. Years of financial turmoil practically forced me to always keep track and manage what I earn. Now, I only buy things that will last a while, and spend on experiences worth taking, while also keeping in mind that I have a future I’d like to prepare for.
- An imperfect family taught me that I should value my time. Family was not a concept I believed in when I was young, but the older I got, the more time I wanted to spend with them. Age catches up to everyone, and once you see the people who took care of you grow wrinkles, it kinda hits you. When this started sinking in, I‘ve done myself a favor and stopped investing significant hours on anything and anyone who doesn’t center nor inspire me.
- Job instability taught me to choose wisely. I learned to ask questions, set expectations, and establish boundaries — and not just in terms of work but in terms of everyday living, too. It makes a world of difference when you set healthy limits while still fulfilling your responsibilities.
- Low self-esteem taught me to keep fighting. I think being 26 and having gone through raven-black days of sadness is just another way of life telling me that there is always a way up — there is always going to be something to be happy about. When you have nothing left to lose and everything to gain, you never really stop fighting for what you know you deserve.
Adversity brings the best out of all of us, if only we choose to acknowledge that every single morning we get to wake up is another chance at being better in life.
The only time we truly fail is when we let our failures stop us from moving forward. And even if I didn’t — don’t — have everything, I’m thankful. This exact limitation is what helps me zoom in on what I do have, and value them immensely every chance I get.
Originally posted on Medium.