I never thought about this when I was younger, but as I have gotten older I now realize each year has a lesson. At first, I didn’t think much about it, but after reflecting on it the other day I realized, that it was an interesting observation.
My friend, Veronika, and I had this conversation around the start of the year about what this year’s lesson was for her. We decided that maybe this year was about patience. Last year was about letting go. If you ask me, letting go and patience are good friends. Interestingly enough those same lessons are also mine.
Last year, I had a lot of expectations and I wanted to do a lot of things, but they always came crashing down. At the start of the year, I was expecting to go to Myanmar with my friends, and then I found out that I wouldn’t be able to go, because I had to run to Hong Kong for 2 days and my passport would be sitting with immigration for a month. I was pissed as it basically screwed up a lot of what I wanted to do with my long winter vacation. So I basically had to let go of my original plan and go with the flow.
So, I met my friend, Veronika, we had known each other maybe for one month before we decided we would travel together since we both had no passports. We boarded a bus, and little did I know that I would meet my boyfriend on that bus, because I was forced to let go of expectations and go with the flow. That whole vacation was about letting go of what we expected. We were planning to meet a friend, instead we spent three hours at a police station and were kicked out of that county.
Disgruntled and upset about our vacation plans being destroyed yet again, we ran into police again and this time I argued enough to be able to stay until transportation started again in a few days time. This unexpected turn of events helped us to meet our new friend who invited us to spend the few days we were allowed to reside in the county with their family. Going with the flow and letting go of expectations was starting to prove that this may be how the entire year was about to go.
Throughout the year there were different hiccups with plans, but the biggest lesson of letting go helped us go with the flow and led to an epic three week summer vacation connecting with amazing new friends and places just by not having any expectations. As the year came to an end I realized not having expectations and letting go of plans enabled me to meet the right people at the right places. If I had planned everything, I wouldn’t be where I am now, nor would I have had those experiences.
As for 2019, it started off with a different lesson: patience. I didn’t think I would need patience to start the year, but I realized there are many things I was hoping might happen this year, however they may not. What do I need to go along with the wait? Patience. Patience can help me reach my goals while in a happier place. If I wallowed in despair over the fact things weren’t happening when I want, then I would be in a terrible spot mentally. My mental health is important to me and my acceptance of patience is helping me realize that this is the best course for me right now.
Patience is giving me the chance to focus on other goals that are important to me at the moment. If I only had impatience about one thing in life, then all of my other goals would be cast aside and at some point I would be upset with myself for that happening. So I’ve decided to embrace my lesson of patience this year and use it to my advantage.
I plan to have patience with myself as I change my bad habits into better habits. One bite of food at a time, one coffee at a time, and one step at a time. One mantra recitation, one yoga pose, and one walk outside in the sunshine. One homework worksheet, one conversation in Tibetan and one book at a time. If I have no patience, I can’t accomplish any of the goals I have set forth for myself this year. And that is a big N-O for me. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years finding peace of mind and loving myself and I refuse to let it go to waste over impatience.
So what I thought were lessons for just my friend, also turned out to be for me. Sometimes life has us learn the same things as others even if we are on different paths in life. The best part is we can lean on each other for support while we both learn the lesson of patience this year.