In my series, What They Know For Sure: Expat Truths which previously ran on Expat Village, my blog for Wanderlust and Lipstick, other expats broke down their personal total truths, the truths they felt were (consciously or subconsciously) center in running their lives. Now… resurrected, reconstructed, and revamped for Drinking the Whole Bottle, I am so excited to be bringing you Life Uncorked: Inspiring Truths from Everyday People, a new series highlighting awesome people and their personal truths about life, love, travel, and more. If I’ve learned anything in life & travel, it’s that no one way is the right way, that we all have something to teach and we could learn something from everyone. I hope this series can be a place for you to take something away, feel inspired, and uncork life. To contribute, read our guidelines. We’d ❤️ to hear from you. Without further ado, our first awesome person shares his inspiring truths.
Bobby, a junkie for travel, food, and untapped frontiers who has been “livin that gypsy life like err’day” and our first spotlight in the series – on being the designer of his life, breathing, and third chances.
Life Uncorked: Inspiring Truths from Everyday People
Everything for a reason. That is to say, I don’t so much believe everything happens for a reason as I do we find a reason for all that happens. The former suggests fate, or destiny; the latter may confirm, embolden, or modify the path of my free will. I believe this distinction is important because, in my world view, I am not the passive recipient of events in my life but rather the designer, engineer, and executor of all that I do and have done unto me. This, however, gives rise to my second belief
Nothing that happens is bad. If there is a reason to be found in everything, and if everything plays a role in shaping who I am and where I go from here, then nothing can be viewed as bad. I learn more from my mistakes, failures, and calamities than I do from my perfect turns and happy accidents. It all matters. When the wind blows in my favor, I am grateful to the chaotic order of chance. When the nights are especially long and dark and cold, I praise my future self who will emerge stronger, braver, more confident when the sun shines again. Because…
There is always a tomorrow. In my formative years I read something by the poet Robert Frost: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Nothing is permanent; nothing lasts forever; even the dead return to us eventually in the dirt, the air, our food, our souls. To surrender prematurely is to “go home a waste of spark,” to borrow from another poet. For as long as I have breath to give, I will continue to inhale and exhale…
Just breathe. I learned this the first time I went scuba diving on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Not a natural-born swimmer, I very nearly balked while snorkeling as I waited for my turn to dive. Holding my face under water and telling my lungs to breathe seemed the most unnatural thing on the planet. But soon I realized that I would become my own worst enemy if I let my brain hijack my lungs and keep me from enjoying this tremendous natural wonder. So instead I focused on breathing, one at a time; inhale…then exhale…then inhale… Returning to this basic level of survival helped me clear my mind of the superfluous. Even today, my head demonstrably above water, I still find it an important reminder.
Let go. True strength, it’s been said, isn’t always found in holding on; it’s knowing when to let go. Can’t control something? Let it go. Can’t change something? Let it go. Can’t understand why this is this and not that? Let it go. The universe, as it turns out, believes in second and third chances. The first pass is rarely the only opportunity to grab the bull by the horns. And if it’s not meant to be? Well, then so be it. How can I be so sure? See #1.