Before anyone starts reading this, let me just say, this post isn’t directly related to travel in the sense of a specific destination. It’s related to travel in the sense of self-journey and the passage of time and life. Yes I realize this probably sounds profoundly clich√© and lame, but after reading A LOT while recovering from surgery and dealing with other issues the all sort of surround life and it’s equivalence to possibly the greatest journey each one of us can ever hope to take, I decided to I’d voice my opinion on the best approach to “it all”. (Fingers crossed I still got a lot of time left to update this…). I’ll do my best to keep the philosophical BS to a dull roar.

For many years, I have referred to life (my life, your life, a human’s life, a turtle’s life, and frankly just life in general) as a “perfectly imperfect journey”. I actually have a tattoo on my side of a phrase in German “Leben oder so √§hnlich”.  For those of you who don’t know was this says, it says “Life or something like it”. (It is apparently the title to some movie Angelina Jolie was in in the 90’s,  BUT when I thought of this phrase and wrote in on a scrapbook in high school circa 2000’s, I was unaware of this and I was still unaware until after I had it inked into my side. Sucks to be me but it fits with the phrase so whatever). But again, I digress. I have referred to life in these two ways probably since I was 14 or 15. (I’m 28.5 now). Not because I’m a super depressed person who hates life and thinks it’s just a giant shit hole but because for me, this is it’s true meaning. It’s my verbal representation of a constantly evolving thing that can never at any given time be nailed down or fully understood.

Each person’s life is ugly and beautiful and simple yet complicated in it’s own way. My life differs vastly from every single person on this planet and therefore I cannot even begin to conceive of what it would be like to walk in anyone else’s shoes. But this is what concerns me most of as late. All too often, I hear friends, family, co-workers and random strangers complain about how hard or unfair life is. That they don’t make enough money. That they aren’t loved (by a significant other… mostly because they don’t have a significant other). That something is missing or that they can’t do what they want for whatever reason. It’s not often I hear people gloat about how much they have or how happy they are. That would honestly be a welcomed change. #100 days of happy anyone? We should all try it out.

To be fair, I used to be a habitual complainer about all of these things, but then life gave me a a little wake up call. Now I am keenly aware things could have been so much worse. I don’t need to go into detail about how my life took a nose dive for a while (in my eyes) because that’s just another way for people to compare and find fault. And it’s not like people don’t have enough to find fault with somehow or someway already. I simply say this as a point of reference. It was part of my journey. And one I won’t forget. And something I expect to meet again down the road.

In any trip or journey, there are ups and downs. Life is absolutely no different. However, how we perceive these ups and downs is different and makes all the difference. A few years ago, I was probably still pissed at life for throwing me into what I thought of as crap valley. I didn’t see why it had to be me, thinking I had been singled out. But now, as I see other people in other situations and in other places, I realize that valleys of crap are just a part of it all. And what makes me even more aware that things could have been or even still could be so much worse is news. Seeing children growing up parentless or in war torn countries. Women being married off so young or taken as sex slaves. Countries being devastated by natural disasters. Well yeah, looking at all that, I see that my little pity party in poop shoot valley was more like a walk in the park with Mary Poppins!

I’ve heard many people say lately “You don’t lose, you just learn”. I freaking love this saying! I cannot get enough of it or things like it. Because it’s so damn true. And statements like this just make me realize even more that in this horrible yet beautiful world we live in, it is our choice and duty to live life in all its grit and grime and sparkle and shine, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, because as the very wise Professor Hawking said “while there is life, there is hope”.

SO in short, if you are down in the dumps, down on your luck, feeling like you’re being singled out by god or whatever you believe in to suffer or trudge through, just remember, you still get to trudge. And if you are reading this, it means you have access to the internet which so many millions don’t. That’s at least one thing to count as a blessing.