Doesn’t it feel good to help someone? Even though sometimes or often it might seem like a big effort. At times it might even seem that there’s nothing in it for you. But that’s also not the point, right?
When I was about sixteen I would pass through a senior home a lot. The senior home had a shortcut to go from the supermarket to my home. It was like a little alley but then right through the home. One day passing through I saw this elderly lady sitting in her wheelchair. She was just sitting there in the aisle to the left of the alley, in front of the apartments. She wasn’t moving forward and it was an odd place to take a break.
So I glanced at her and kept walking, but then I felt bad. What if she couldn’t move forward on her own? Or if she simply had trouble doing it? So I made a wish. “Please let someone come and help her.” While I took another step towards the door I realized something. There was someone there to help the woman. I was there.
I could’ve easily gone home and let my sixteen year old brain forget about her, but it wasn’t right. If I was already there and this woman needed help, why shouldn’t I at least offer it? Sometimes I feel I might butt in too much, but if someone doesn’t want my help they can just say no. But that didn’t happen here, the elderly woman gladly accepted my help.
I helped her to get to her apartment and she asked if I could visit more often. That one action was the beginning of a two year friendship. We would go for walks, do groceries and drink hot chocolate in the cafeteria. Of course this was with a side of gossip about the other residents. It was a good thing they all couldn’t hear so well, because she didn’t hold back.
We would meet up almost every week until she passed away. I never thought that particular day when I was sixteen was the start of something so nice. Now I still try to help when a situation presents itself, even though I realize my help is not always wanted. And what’s in it for me? Well like I said, that is not the point. But if I have to choose something, then it’s the satisfaction that you can brighten someone’s day, even if it’s just a little.
Ever wanted to change those weird little things about yourself? Well don’t wish to change those anymore. We often forget that what makes us unique are exactly those corky characteristics. So instead celebrate your differences. Be happy that there’s only one you.
I’m not only talking about that you have a beauty mark somewhere on your face. Or a hair color some will envy and others admire. I’m also talking about who you are on the inside. Of course we all want to change for the better, but don’t let someone tell you you’re not good enough just the way you are. The details of who you are, make you you.
Some might find my love for dogs strange. Or think it’s odd that I often laugh the hardest at my own jokes. And I’ve been told they’re not so funny. Of course I totally disagree with that. And perhaps someone might find it peculiar some of my dreams actually come true. Another might laugh too knowing that open water can scare me even though I love to swim. Do I care? Not really no. Because I wouldn’t change those characteristics about me for a thing.
So what can you do? Love everything about yourself. Love the fact that you’re the odd on out. And also don’t worry if someone criticizes you for always being late. That’s just you, well except for work. Always be on time for work. Apart from that thank someone for pointing it out and tell them you’re just a relaxed person and not bound by time. Perhaps a bit cheesy, but who cares.
It also works the other way around. Would you like to be around people who are all exactly the same? That they all want the same thing, drink the same, eat the same, laugh the same way? It’s one type fits all? I don’t think so. So instead of getting annoyed when someones talks a lot. Participate in the conversation or just leave them be and go your way.
And how do I celebrate my differences? By simply enjoying myself and not worrying if someone else doesn’t like it. If we focus on ourselves a bit more instead of others we would be a lot happier. So if you’re hair doesn’t do want you want, like always, don’t mind it. Your hair just always looks a bit wild, that’s you.
Apparently many of us feel insecure because of social media. We compare ourselves to the strangers we see on Instagram, Youtube or Facebook. But why do those pictures make us feel insecure? Why not motivated and inspired instead?
We all have our insecurities and that’s probably quite normal. That we compare ourselves with others is probably in our nature too. However it shouldn’t be something that makes us insecure. And we should actually just stop doing it all together. Unless that difference you see, inspires you to make a positive change too.
Now you see many women and men all over social media promoting a healthy lifestyle and being fit. Wether you’re into working out or not, why feel bad if someone else does it? It might be because then you need to be honest with yourself. Secretly you want to get fit too and those pictures remind you that you’re not. Why not simply think that you’re not there “yet”. You can set your goals and work on them too. It does mean you need to face your fears and be truthful to yourself.
What I see when I look at pictures of fit people? I feel inspired and think that if they can do it, then so can I. Working out and eating healthy is something you control and you definitely can achieve. It’s just an example, but my point is that it’s a waste of time and energy to look at it negatively.
I’ve also heard people complain seeing others traveling all over the world and thinking their life is so boring in comparison. Well what are you going to do about it? It’s the same problem as with the fit people but coated differently. Don’t hate something because of envy. Don’t judge because secretly you wish you could be like that too. Make the pictures you see your source of inspiration.
Whatever you want to achieve the first step is to accept where you’re at. Accept that you’re not there yet, but you can get there. After that you set your goal and you make a plan how to achieve it. You want to travel? Start saving and get a piggy bank. Every penny counts. How do those world travelers on Instagram do it? Perhaps they can help. You want to get fit? Get inspiration from people who walked the same path. Ask advice, they’ve been there too.
Anything that you encounter on social media can be used two ways. You either hate on people, envy them and hope they fail or you can admire them, ask advice and get inspired. It’s your choice. Just think which path will bring you more joy, happiness and positivity. I know which one I’m walking on. And remember that the only one stopping you from reaching your goals is you.
With the end of the year approaching people usually start talking about what they want different for the next year. All the things they didn’t do and all the places they couldn’t see. But what about the things you did do? Perhaps that matters even more.
When I think about everything that happend in 2017 I almost can’t believe that all happend in the same year. I’ll give you a very short summary. If not this will become a book and not just a blog. Maybe I can add writing a book to my list of things to do for 2018.
So, what did happen? Well, there were a lot of changes. As you probably already know, I moved from Spain to the Netherlands. I even moved back to my hometown to be close to my family and friends. That meant getting a new job and a new home. I also started running, which was my biggest fear for a long time. After a few months I called it quits on the gym, but I’m still running.
And in between all the changes I also got to enjoy some holidays. My mom and I went to the Italy and had a little road trip there. I also went back to Spain to visit my friends and in the beginning of this year I went skiing with my grandparents in Austria. I guess I can’t say I didn’t go anywhere this year.
Looking back at the past year would I change anything? Probably not, not even the messy parts. Sometimes it’s scary to start something new, because we don’t know how it will end. On the other hand that’s the beauty of it. We shouldn’t know all the details yet, because life is in the details.
Are there things I wish I could’ve done and didn’t do? Oh so many things! But it’s never too late. We’ ll have a new year soon and therefore a symbolically new beginning. Even though I believe that every day can be your new beginning. You don’t need to wait a whole year to make a change.
So while we are approaching the new year I’m excited and a bit anxious. One of my best friends just had a baby and she will have her first year as a mommy. My other best friend is getting married and will have her first year as a wife. And what will I do? I don’t know. I have no clue. Don’t think I’ll be moving to another country again, but who knows! No mom, don’t get scared, I really won’t. At least I don’t think so.
What I do hope for the next year is that I’ll keep on growing as a person. I can see a huge change from last year until now. I’m a lot stronger, also physically and that’s probably because of the running. But how do you keep on growing? Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Keep trying new things and making new adventures. But remember as I said before, life is in the details. So don’t forget to enjoy every bit of it.
Sometimes it feels it would be easier to just give up. Save yourself the trouble. Take the easy road for once. Wouldn’t that be nice? But on the other hand where would that take you?
Naturally I’m not someone who gives up. Better said I’m the kid in gym class that wouldn’t give up until my fingers bled. Well almost, my hands were a bit torn. It was a trick in the rings that I managed to do once. Then I wanted to show my teacher and I couldn’t do it anymore, but I wouldn’t stop. So in the end my teacher told me to stop. My willingness to try was enough.
Now you might think like ‘oh but you were a kid’. No, this happened when I was about fifteen. But believe me as a child I was exactly the same and I still am. I do think now that part of not giving up is knowing when to stop. Knowing when to take a new route and leave the old one behind. Because when going left isn’t working, you can try to take a right.
But why do we give up? I think that many times it’s simply easier to do so. Trying is scary. Trying over and over again is scarier. Going after what you want and keep on going is scary as hell. And why? Because what if you fail? What if after all the efforts you made, you still fail? Well, then you tried and for sure you learned from it. And if it’s something you truly desire, perhaps you can still achieve it, but in a slightly different form than you anticipated.
Giving up might feel easy, but in the end it takes you nowhere. You stay in your safe zone and you outgrow yourself, but you can’t grow any further. There’s no space in your safe zone. You need to take a road that you don’t know yet. Take another step and see where it leads you. I’ve said this before but for me the decision to go back to the Netherlands was the scariest one ever. I felt stuck where I was, but it was comfortable too. I knew what I could expect, although I wasn’t happy.
At a certain point you have two choices. You either stay where you are or you try something new. Either way you can’t give up. Not on life, not on yourself, not on your dreams. Whatever you feel you want to achieve you can do it. The results might not be exactly what you planned them to be, but it will happen and it can happen. There is a special ingredient necessary however. Believe. You need to believe in yourself and don’t give up.
As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye and say you did all you could do. That you truly did your best. You just don’t know what to do now? Well then you sleep on it. Perhaps even three nights and if you still want to keep on going, then you’ll find a way. A new way and most likely a better way.