A Month of Lessons

I can’t believe it’s July already. I still haven’t recovered from the chaos that was May, which carried over into an equally turbulent June, and now we’re in the second half of the year and I don’t know what is happening.

It’s been a crazy past couple of months, and I’ve learned a lot of life lessons that I feel I must write down. Maybe it’s perfect timing that they came in the middle of the year, or maybe I’m just desperately holding on to some semblance of order, but here are the most important things I’ve learned lately.

 

1. Choose your travel companion carefully.

I went on a pretty big trip in May – I finally set foot in Europe! – but I also learned the hard way that travel does make or break friendships. I’ve always known that in a way, but it never hit me on such a level before this trip. I supposedly had a companion, but I had never felt so homesick and alone in all my life, and you know it takes an amazingly awful person to make you not want to travel again for a long time. If I ever do (in the distant future), I will be very, very careful who I travel with.

 

2. Take care of your tech.

My external hard drive crashed a few days after I got back from my fateful trip, and I lost a ton of precious photos. Pictures of all those concerts I went to – all gone! I was so complacent that my files were stored away, but I never thought much of how I was taking care of my devices. It’s such a simple thing, but the loss of what those photos represented gutted me. My niece reminded me that at least I still have my memories of those events, but that’s the thing – I’m the kind of person who sometimes feels separated from experiences as they are happening to me, so I actually need photos to remind me of what I did or what happened. But, jump to point 3…

 

3. There’s still something to be thankful for.

I’m still devastated by this stupid thing and also by my utter reliance on technology and my stupidity in not taking better care of my files. But at least my problem is just lost files and photos, and not the health of my precious baby potato. Yes, it took me days not to feel drained by this trivial thing, but it is in fact trivial, because my baby is still fat and silly and fluffy and still a potato. So there’s always something good to balance things out.

 

My baby potato!

 

4. There’s always a price to pay.

My friends tell me I’m so lucky that I got to see such gorgeous places on my trip, and I know I am. But it came at such a high price (see point 1). Sometimes I wonder if everything was worth it. I know in my mind it is, but it also came at a high cost, though doesn’t it always? The trick is deciding how much you’re willing to give up to get something else. At least I can say that I got to go to Europe, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and it may be literal, because at the moment I cannot even think of going back.

 

5. Everything happens for a reason.

It’s such a cliche, but it’s a cliche because it’s true. It only has to hit you right smack in the head for you to get the lesson. Maybe I really needed this kick in the butt to teach me to be more careful in my decisions. Maybe I needed a “season of home” (as Switchfoot termed their hiatus from touring). Maybe I need to slow down and take care of things at home, or maybe even myself. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me to stay put for a while (and not venture to the US specifically, with everything that’s been going on.) Yes, I do believe in the universe aka God, and signs, and yes I hold on to these things tenaciously because if I don’t, what else is there to believe in? U2 may not be touring for a long while, and as most of my travel plans are still based on their schedule, maybe this is perfect timing for me too. Whatever the reason is, it’s there somewhere and I know it for a fact. And I have to believe in it wholeheartedly so I can make sense of these shambolic times.

 

All things must pass