Over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that I do most of my learning through making mistakes. It’s become my second nature, and I expect things to go wrong when I do something, especially for the first time. It may sound like I’m living pessimistically, but I view it as preparation and creating a sense of ease for when things “go wrong” because I expected it.
I’m actually surprised how few things went wrong on my recent trip to Costa Rica. Five girls who have never been to Central America with me being the only one who knows how to get by with Spanish, I was sure there would be some bumpy spots. But surprisingly, everything went smooth, except for a few minor details like not reapplying sunblock before surfing for two hours. I swear, I could not sit comfortably for 4 days, and I had to say goodbye to the idea of laying in a hammock. But I definitely will learn from that mistake and douse my body with sunblock next time I go surfing.
While waiting at the airport to fly to Oklahoma for a family reunion, I started to think about how much of our lives are spent “waiting”, as if we put our lives on hold. When I reached the terminal, I headed straight for Pappadeaux for my usual half dozen of raw oysters and a glass of vino blanco. It was during lunch hour so the restaurant was packed. They managed to find a single seat for me, in between a couple to my left and two strangers to my right. I felt a little awkward at first and instantly reached for my phone. Checked my Facebook.. nothing.. Instagram.. nothing. Then I realized I needed to put my phone down and stop avoiding awkward social interactions. The man in front to my right was buried in his book and to my left was a couple debating on what to order. The waiter brought their frozen cocktails and I couldn’t help but say “Yummmm”. We got to talking and found out they were bumped from their earlier flight headed to San Diego for a wedding and had to wait another 7 hours for the next available flight. It wasn’t long before I turned their “party of two” into a “party of three”. I later found out that the husband is a bartender at one of my favorite bars in the Heights, and the wife works in the building right next to mine in the Galleria area. We talked until my flight was about to board. We left with hugs, phone numbers, and plans to have lunch.
Lately, I’ve been spending much of my down-time exploring ideas of what I’d like to do or where I’d like to live one day. All of which are jobs and/or places that are the complete opposite of my current situation. It’s not that I am unhappy working at a stable job living in Houston, I just can’t stop thinking about the other things I want to do before I potentially succumb to the “I’m too old for that” excuse.
When you’re young, mature adults admire your ambition and youth and urge you to see and do as much as you can while you’re young. The world is at your feet! First, I have to remind myself that it is a luxury to be in a situation to have many options. However, I can sit and think about all the possibilities I have, but it never adds up to anything if you don’t take the blind leap in one direction. Do you ever find yourself thinking about how MANY options you really do have that you find yourself in a state of panic due to indecisiveness? Well, my over-thinking nature tends to stress out over things that haven’t even happened. If you’re someone that can truly just “go with the flow” I could definitely learn a thing or two from you!
Also, I suffer from a bad case of the “shoulda woulda couldas”. What are the “shoulda woulda couldas” you ask? Basically, it means you should shut the hell up when you start talking about regrets.
I thought I’d share a short excerpt from a Q&A that was in an issue of Namarupa that basically summed up some of my recent thoughts about our “daily lives”.
If the meaning of life really is just “happiness”, then how can we incorporate that happiness in our daily lives, even at the most mundane times, like sitting in traffic, waiting in long lines, or admiring a beautiful day through a window at your desk. It was the most simple and down to earth explanation of the phenomenon of human life. Whether you’re young, old, work as a lawyer, or volunteer for the peace corp, we are all human beings living together. Same cities, same roads, same landscapes, etc. The only thing that separates us from one another is our outlook on life, and our individual decisions of where to take our paths.
Alexander Medin interviewed Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani in the summer issue of Namarupa magazine and the last question of the interview was:
The other day, I was walking down the trails of the arboretum during my lunch break, sipping my green tea latte, stopping to take pictures of every flower I saw. I began to feel raw, child-like emotions and wondered “how can it get any better than this?” I felt in the moment, unguarded, worry-free.