My dearest sister,
I keep coming across to you quite often since I have returned to my home country. You are sitting by me with a distant sorrow in your eyes. “You did the best…” You are saying to me and then you continue, “It’s so hard for me, especially at this age to…”
Then you are filling the blanks, according to our subject we are discussing at the table.
“…to get a divorce, to change my job, to have kids, to chase my dreams.”
Then you add… “It’s too late”
You are sitting on top of a wall you have built from every disappointment you ever had in your life and you are looking at me from there, with a distant sorrow in your eyes.
In times like this, I want to punch you in the face. I want to shake you from your shoulders and yell at your face at the top of my lungs. “It is too late for what? Are you going to live unhappy, die unhappy just because you think it’s too late?”
But I am a lady on the outside and of course I refrain from physical violence. If we are close, I roll my eyes at you in expanse of rapturing one of my eye veins. If we are not, I nod calmly and start trying explaining it to you. “Look… Life is nothing like this. You can always change the things that you are unhappy from…”
But you are afraid. I can see it in your eyes and it’s perfectly ok. Fear is one of our primal instincts, it keeps us alive. If it didn’t exist, all of our ancestors would have become prey for the predators and humankind would have gone extinct. Yes, fear keeps us alive but excessive amount of fear keeps you away from living as well.
So, let’s think about for a second, ok? What are you so afraid of? Being alone?
You are beautiful, you are smart and you are not as fat as you think.
Then, what do you do, just because you fear being alone? You bury your years into an unhappy marriage or relationship. You say to me, “I am used to it, it is a futile effort to try to do otherwise.” Bottom line, you prefer being unhappy to happiness. Being restless instead of being in peace. I know very well how it feels to walk towards one’s home, while your feet are almost going backwards. The silent tension or the upsetting atmosphere of an argument in the house… Believe me, if you knew how refreshing it is to sit on your sofa with a piece of mind, you wouldn’t waste a second. But, you don’t know and sadly, I cannot express it to you. I know it’s very hard to face it. But you have no explanations to give to any one and you don’t have to apologize for your own choices. I want you to understand that whatever amount of time we are given between birth and death, it is too short to be spent unhappy.
My dear sister, you are beautiful, you are smart and you are not as fat as you think. As human beings, one of the things we are good at is hurting each other. It doesn’t take one’s partner to be a psychopath or a monster to be unhappy. Sometimes two good people, doesn’t mean one good relationship. Sometimes you need to accept this fact and leave. Do not deny this opportunity from yourself. Give happiness a chance…
Let’s go back to your origins. Let’s dig deep and find out... Let’s search.
So, let’s think again. What are you so afraid of? Being broke… That is why you are spending your days in an office, leaving a taste of mould in your mouth. What have you dreamt of about yourself? Now, where did you end up? Let’s think again my dear sister. What was the thing you have wanted the most? To have a greater purpose and use for humanity? To cook recipes so delicious that one can never forget their tastes? Writing? Drawing? Singing? What was your dream? Let’s go back to your origins… Let is dig deep and find it out. Let’s search…
If you do not take a step forward, nothing will happen. You know that. Why are you still staying put as your feet is buried to wet cement?
Have you heard of the story of the man was praying to God, every night before going to sleep? He was praying: “Dear god, please let me win the big prize from the lottery. I want to become rich!” Every night, for years the same prayer. One night God couldn’t resist any more and replied back: “My dear son, I promise I will make you win the lottery but please, for God’s sake, go and buy a ticket first!”
If you do not take a step forward, nothing will happen. You know that. Why are you still staying put as your feet is buried to wet cement? I know, it is very hard to break the mold and start walking. If you manage to break it, it takes a while to walk straight since your muscles are so stiff from standing still for that long.
The road ahead of me was full of unknowns but the road I left behind was familiar and comfortable. I was unhappy there but comfortable.
In the new year of 2016, I was on the Koh Samui island of Thailand. Tropic as it can be, beaches and all… Where was I? In a hostel room, curled up in the fetus position, laying on the lower part of the bunkbed, thinking that I have made the biggest mistake of my life by quitting my job to travel. I was planning my flight back home, fearing that I will be left penniless in a short period of time. “You have to go back and start looking for a new job…” I was telling to myself. Why I was caught in such a big anxiety attack? Because the road ahead of me was full of unknowns but the road I left behind was familiar and comfortable. I was unhappy there but comfortable. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? You know all about it very well.
As I moved forward, such new opportunities came across my way. The ones that I wouldn’t even imagine that day, I was bursting into tears in that hostel room in Thailand. If you don’t move forward, there is no chance that you can see how wonderful things are waiting for you along the road. Literally and metaphorically…
We can’t be successful as long as we are afraid of being unsuccessful.
For example, one of my dreams was to become a contributor for Huffington Post. I used to read the articles during my lunch hours in the office and wonder what it takes to become published here. Now, you are reading my letter on Huffington Post because I pulled my courage to send an article one day. You never know what may happen if you never try.
For example, I met this woman who left her home in Istanbul and everything behind and moved to Cambodia to open a soup kitchen. On top of it, she started renewing the houses of the village where the soup kitchen is. On top of it, now she opened a restaurant to create a stable income for the villagers. She went there without any language skills or a solid plan. She just wanted to create a difference in this world and as new supporters join her, they achieved something with a tremendous value.
So, today please start writing your own narrative from the beginning. How we tell ourselves our own life stories makes a big difference.
We can’t be successful as long as we are afraid of being unsuccessful my dear sister. But, think about it, is your worst-case scenario is really that bad? Does it worth to build walls around us- walls made of fear and disappointment?
I am not a psychologist or a psychotherapist. A life coach? Not a bit… It’s not my business to tell you, how to live your life sister but whatever you do, don’t keep being unhappy my dear, life is too short to be unhappy.
So, today please start writing your own narrative from the beginning. How we tell ourselves our own life stories makes a big difference, that’s what the experts say. For example: “I wasted 17 years of my life in the office. I wish I have started traveling earlier…” is one way to tell my story, “I worked 17 years in this industry but in return it helped me to have enough savings to travel around the world and I am grateful for that.” is another.
See, how it makes a difference in the perception.
Today, start smiling. Don’t wait for any good things happen to smile. Start smiling first and your smile will attract all the good things around you. It works. This has been tested and approved by my first-hand experience…
I hope this letter across one corner of the world, finds you and resonates with you.
A sister you have never met,
Solen Yucel is a traveler & blogger who believes that establishing human connection and learning through each other’s experience is the true essence of her journey. She can be followed through Instagram and Facebook here.