“I never want to arrive. I love the ride.” ~Coco J. Ginger
This is what life should be, a wonderful journey of living and loving each moment.
I was born in India to a loving, caring family. My mother and my grandparents gave me the world. They kept me hidden from the truths of life and, therefore, life was sweet, as I felt like the most loved child in the world. Now after 38 years of existing (not living) I reflect on where everything went wrong. Why have I felt so lost, broken, and regretful?
I came from a successful business family. My father started his business at a young age and worked to make it a success.
He involved his brothers so they’d have direction and goals in life. One day they went on a business trip to South of India from the North, and that was the last time my mother saw the love of her life.
My father died of food poisoning at the age of 28. My father’s brothers threw my mother out of the property while she was pregnant with me, at the age of 25. One minute she had the world, and the next minute her world turned upside down.
My mother was fortunate to have her parents to take care of her and support her during this traumatic time. Six months later, I arrived.
My mother found a purpose to live, and her only focus in life was to give me the world. I always did well in school with studies and sports. My mother’s hard work, love, and dedication were paying off until the next phase in life.
When I was 11 my mother and I moved to UK so I could further my education and be a success.
The journey for both of us suddenly got tougher. My mother is highly educated, but due to lack of support and confidence the only jobs she was able to find were working in restaurants, cleaning dishes and cutting vegetables.
It used to hurt me to see my mother work so hard, and I felt helpless that I could not do anything. I never saw my mother feel anger toward people and life, which I could never understand. She just got on with life, and her only focus was providing for and taking care of me.
Schooling in the UK was tough because I didn’t have any friends and was seen as an outcast because I came from India. I was laughed at every time I opened my mouth because of my accent.
I made a decision to keep quiet and stay hidden so the world would not see me. Anytime I had to face an issue, I ran to my mother and she took care of everything.
I was growing up living a life of regret as I was indecisive, lacked confidence, and had no direction or goals. The only thing I wanted to do was to feel good from within and be happy.
Even when it came to getting married I was not sure of the choice I was making. I married someone because her relatives sold me a story of how she was going to bring love into my family and take care of my mother when she’s old.
My wife was exactly the opposite of the picture that was painted to me. She was abusive, aggressive, and made our lives hell. But I was never strong enough to make a decision to get out of this mess, as there was a child involved.
Every time I thought about walking out of my marriage I felt guilty, thinking I may ruin my daughter’s life. My mother and I felt like prisoners in our own home, where we were shouted and dictated to for many years.
After three and half years, one day my wife decided to walk out of our lives.
Initially, it was a shock. But then I started seeing this as a blessing, as my mother seemed comfortable in the house, my daughter seemed happy, and I was able to sleep at nights without being verbally abused.
This was the turning point in my life. I realized I needed to be tough. I needed to learn to make decisions by myself. I wanted to start living and loving life.
I realized as amazing as my mother is, I did not want to become a mirror image of her. I wanted to be strong and stand up for myself. Being passive and dismissive is not something I wanted to be.
I now know what it means to live and love life. To me, it’s not traveling from one country to another and never facing reality. It’s about dealing with reality and holding the belief that no matter what happens, I can deal it.
My living and loving life journey has just started. The lessons I’ve learned are:
1. Let go of perfection.
If each day you are running toward perfection, you are running toward failure. Instead, just try your best and feel good about it.
2. Deal with it.
Don’t ignore it because it’s tough to deal with. Deal with the issue first, as the issues you find difficult are the most empowering when conquered.
3. Realize that everything stems from your thinking.
Your thinking generates emotions. Emotions generate actions. Think positive and live positive.
4. Do something fun each day.
Do something every day that will energize you, whether it’s dancing to music with no care in the world, running in the rain, or seeing friends and having a blast. Whatever it is, just do something that makes you feel alive.
5. Don’t procrastinate.
If you feel it, just go with it. The more you procrastinate, the more you are digging a hole of confusion.
6. Make a list of things you want to achieve that will make you feel happy and alive.
For me, the first thing was to share my story on Tiny Buddha. For years, I’ve read amazing stories from people who have inspired me, and I always wanted to share mine, but could not find anything positive to write. That has changed now, and here I am.
7. Build a network of like-minded positive people.
We are who we spend most of our time with. If we have a network of positive friends, that will help us to live with positivity.
8. Just breathe.
When things seem tough or confusing, take a few seconds out. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and remember the powerful you who can deal with anything.
9. Repeatedly ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?”
Put things in perspective when you’re paralyzing yourself with fear, and then you will realize you can handle whatever is coming.
10. Be grateful.
Stop thinking about what you don’t have. Instead, be grateful for what you have.
This time will never come again, so live it and love it.
Photo by Katelyn Fay