One big self-awareness learning I have had during my time abroad is that anxiety, worries, fears, etc. can follow you anywhere. I think there is this misconception that I have subscribed to for some time that external factors determine your emotional state.
A little thing I wish I realized earlier in my life:
You can worry from anywhere. You can get stressed from anything.
Trust me. You can be by the beach. You can be in “paradise.” Things will still go wrong. You will miss your flight, your taxi, your boat. You will lose your wallet or phone. You will get sick. Something will happen.
It will feel as bad as failing a big exam or screwing up at work.
In those moments, your worries creep back into your life. To that I ask, is that really a bad thing? Is it really bad to have stress in your life? Is a life of “perfect relaxation” really the goal?
Just because things are stressful…does that mean you are unhappy? Is a bit of tension not a good thing for your life? If things were “too easy” would you be better off?
While these may be rhetorical questions, these are some things I have been thinking more about lately. I think there is this “paradise dream” of relaxing – doing nothing – sitting around – on the beach. For one, that is certainly not my dream. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach. But that will not be my life.
I am so often reminded that…
Everything in life is relative.
We have all heard that before, but one good example of how true that is told by how today’s worries (ups and downs) seem petty in the faraway future. In most cases, our emotional state is a product of the moment. We feel a certain way as a reaction to our current state.
In summary from this short essay, I hope to always be reminded, wherever I am in the world, that happiness is up to me.