life is unpredictable just like the woods
Growing up,  Medium

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding

I keep telling that to myself every day.

There was this kid. Teachers admired him for his wits. He was an excellent student until he got into bad company. His father started punishing him in every possible way.

When he was 15, he ran away from home. He lived in a city 500 miles from home for a month. They found him in a hotel with several IDs belonging to some strangers.

His parents decided to send him to his aunt’s to finish school. He was 150 miles from home now, sad because he had to leave everything. Then a civil war began and he changed the city of residence again. He lived like a refugee for 20 years in temporary accommodation.

He graduated but did not look for a job. He distanced himself from his friends, he left his fiancee at 35 and spent time at home, playing computer games. The family was worried about him.

And then he met an Englishwoman via the internet. He went to live with her. He was doing low-grade jobs for years, studying, waiting for a work visa. He got it. Today he is a satisfied man.

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding.

I hope I’ll teach my kids will this fact, too. A bit of realism could help them grow into satisfied people more than all the Disney blockbusters.

When you are young, you believe bigger things are ahead of you. A better life will come after you find a boyfriend. Graduate and get a great job. Buy an apartment. And then you do it. And feel miserable or you don‘t know what to do with yourself next.

It takes years of boredom and suffering to learn how to appreciate life. The funny thing is, you enjoy it more as you get older, weaker, and less healthy.

Life really is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding. This is how I’ll try to explain this to my kids when they get a bit older:

Things that scare you are not as you imagine

I felt fear at the mere thought of an airplane propeller. The plane will crash, I will die. And then it was time to fight the flying phobia because someone had to prepare for the fear of giving labor.

I was all about fears.

My partner and I bought tickets to Rome and I ended up telling him to chill on the plane. As we landed, I felt some emptiness:

Why did I deprive myself of such an easy thing for so long? I could have seen half the world so far!

And then I got pregnant, gave labor, and survived!

Fear is always different from what you are afraid of. And you can always find tools to deal with it better. Courage is doing something while you are afraid of it.

Work your ass off and things will become easy

My kids were 1, I felt like a jellyfish washed ashore. I was exhausted and needed to get fit. I got myself a personal trainer to get me into shape.

I did workout with weights for the first time. In the beginning, I could not bend my knees and do a simple walking lunge. After 8 months I was able to do a series with 6-kilo weights in each hand. I got rid of my medication and wore outfit combinations I didn‘t dare to wear before.

My trainer helped me do it, I had never believed I could: “WTF did you eat yesterday? No breaded meat for you. You are running wild. No breaks between the series.“

I told him: “I‘d pay you all my life to talk trash to me like that.“ It worked, I was embarrassed to give up.

The bottom line – It always gets easier after you make it a practice.

“What we hope to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”

You can do more than you suppose

I never thought I could write on Medium, a poor little me from southern Europe. I speak a language more similar to Russian than English. I don‘t watch American news. But an influencer provoked me to write something, so I wrote 1 article, and then another, and another… And people started following me. I even wrote a children‘s book about growing up and I’m trying to promote it there!

Your thoughts are those that restrain you the most. It‘s all about perseverance. Set a goal and enjoy every little progress while you are doing it.

Sometimes success is when you don‘t succeed but fail

I couldn‘t get a decent job for 5 years after I graduated. And I needed one badly, so I could buy an apartment.

I was an ESL teacher, a translator, a receptionist with a master‘s degree… I was a victim of mobbing. I felt unappreciated and hated those jobs. Thank God they treated me badly so I could move on. I have so much experience in different areas now. I also learned so much about people.

You grow plenty from things that hurt you the most

There were moments when I couldn‘t stand up from a chair because of sadness or desperation. I felt unloved, mistreated, unworthy. Life just isn‘t fair and I was looking to find my part of justice.

But spite kicked in, so I got more hard-working, better-looking, more resilient. I tried new things to shake the bad feelings off. I learned a lot about myself and diversified my interests.

EVERY bad experience is an opportunity to grow. Things do break you, but all things must pass. People survived world wars and made families afterward.

You can take more than you think

if someone told me I would take my dad to another country for cancer treatment, I‘d call him insane. But I translated medical documentation, arranged the stay, the operation and proton treatment in Switzerland. I waited for him in front of the room and called all the relatives in Serbia, changed the gauzes and put eye drops in his sore eye.

When you have to do something, you just do it because there‘s no one else and they need you.

So now every time we rush to a children‘s hospital, when we plan a trip abroad, when it‘s time for me to face someone unbearable, when I think that we have enough money and everyone‘s healthy, I tell myself

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding.

Life is hard. Dozens of experiences break you. But there’s nothing else to do but keep on going. And it helps to know that all things change. And have some far-away light to strive for. Because it fills your heart when you reach it.

The world isn‘t waiting for you to make up your mind. A few people really care about you. You are nothing special. Accidental events happen. People die. So, love those who are close to you.

Life is rough trekking but you can find a beautiful flower here and there. You just have to accept the uncomfortable, boredom, and waiting. Because you are just a small something in the big never-ending process. And you don‘t deserve anything. You work for it. And you have enough. Be glad where you are now because you got something you didn‘t have a year ago.

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding.

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