life is unpredictable just like the woods
Growing up,  Medium

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding

How to live your life when it’s OK. And when it isn’t.

What if your life is sorted out but you still hear little demons whispering It’s not fine?

30 years ago my mom would get a monthly salary and take us to the river beach. By the time we got there, she could afford to buy 4 ice creams. We lived in a bad household. I don’t know how my parents managed to raise us.

Those days my family had meat for lunch once a week. There was a civil war and empty shops, hyperinflation was huge in Serbia (Southern Europe). 

One day my mom gave me her collection of old coins. I picked out 3 Deutsche Marks from the 1960s and went off to buy a black-and-white lovers’ poster. Stupid kid. Beautiful mom who wouldn’t let her child feel deprived.

The NATO bombing came while I was cramming for university exams. During the evening air raids, the neighbors would come to us. Our apartment was on the first floor. Leaving the lights on we would read a book about funny preschoolers’ comments. All 11 of us would laugh. It kept us sane.

Then heartbreaks. The rat race. Mobbing. Sicknesses. The life common to everyone.

Now it’s the family, 2 kids, our own flat, and parents who are still alive. We’re settled. Knock on wood.

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.

We are often afraid of happiness because it doesn’t last. Life is two steps forward, one step back.

When I find little demons following me around the house, I think to myself:

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding.

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger is not my story. Some scars just stay in you, blanketed by new layers of experience. 

But a man is a tough creature. Scars can reward you.

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 damage you. But there’s nothing else to do but keep on going. Things change. When you have some far-away light to strive for, it fills your heart to get close to 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 can ruin everything. People die. Love those who are close to you.

Life is rough trekking but you can find a beautiful flower here and there. 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 have something you didn’t have before.

Life is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and rewarding.

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