Its the last day of the year, so I thought I fitting to do something a lot of people do… reflect on the year. So not dissimilar to many other bloggers, here are a few things I learnt in 2011 in no particular order:
Money is irrelevant if you’re not happy
Yes it is nice to have, but chasing the big dream with the pot of gold at the end doesn’t mean that much to me if the process of reaching the pot of gold makes you miserable. So this year I left my very comfortable job and have been effectively unemployed for over 5 months. Whilst I am fortunate to have sufficient savings back in Australia to sustain me, I have been living a pretty humble life as I travel, staying in simple places and eating at the local dhabas. Its been great, and I haven’t missed the corporate rat race once.
Loss never leaves you, you just learn to live with it
Whilst I don’t blog about it much, I have experienced a lot of loss and grief in the past few years and 2011 was unfortunately no exception. What I have learnt though is that loss never leaves you, no matter how hard you try to shed it. People say you will “get over it”. The truth is, no you won’t ever get over it you just learn to find a way to live with it that you can work with. That is what I have done this year.
Not everyone agrees with the way I have chosen, but it is my loss, my grief and my way.
Distance and space is a good thing sometimes
The biggest thing I did this year was leave my home in Australia and move to India. My reasons for doing this are complicated, but one was because I felt the need for some space. Space from the life I had known and the reality that I faced there. This has been the best thing I have ever done.
Whilst I miss my family and friends, thanks to the wonders of modern technology I am still in contact with those I love and care about regularly.
The distance and space has given me time to breathe, think and plan what I want to do in my future, and how I want to lead it. Away from all the constraints of normality I have the freedom to think clearly and make some decisions that will hopefully change my life for the better.
Humility is important for happiness
India has shown me such humility. Just walking her streets and seeing how others live, how little they have, how much joy they can find it in it. It all makes me very humble, and reminds me how much I have. I believe this is an important key to happiness. Its one of the reasons I travel, to experience other cultures and see how others live, and everyday it reminds me how lucky I am.
So these are just some things I have learnt in 2011. Whilst it has been a very difficult, sad and challenging year for me, it has also brought me experiences I never imagined I would have and the hope of opportunity. Next year is another 365 days, here’s hoping they have less tears and more joy for everyone.
Feel free to share some of things you learnt in 2011 if you would like, and happy new year to all.