There is only so much one can do to prepare for life, for the future, for tomorrow and for the unknown – at the end of the day, what will be will be. As the year draws to an end, I am sure a lot of us will be taking stock of what we achieved, what we dismally failed in and what we let slip through our fingers.
Here are some of the things I gleaned over the course of the year and perhaps you will be happy to share a few thoughts of your own about 2012.
Letting go: I learned that you can let go of people no matter how long they have been in your life. I learned that it will hurt and that you will miss them from time to time but it gets easier to keep walking once you’ve chosen what path you’re going to take.
The value of selfishness: I learned that selfishness can be a valuable commodity because it places your needs at the center and enables you to decide what’s best for yourself without being clouded by the pressures and expectations of others. I learned that it is okay to love people but not always wise to need them because much of life is a solitary affair.
You heal: I learned that getting hurt is awful but we heal regardless of the amount of emotional damage that has been inflicted on us. As my best friend Talema Moyo once put it, “So what if you get hurt? It won’t hurt forever. You will heal”.
You choose your suffering: I learned that we always have a choice and that whenever we insist that we have none – it is only because we want to avoid having to make decisions. I learned that we get to choose what we are willing to suffer, how long we are willing to suffer and for whom we are prepared to suffer. Suffering is a choice and we all make it either by staying in bad situations or getting ourselves into bad situations.
Forgive yourself: I learned that there is wisdom in forgiving oneself. We will not always get it right but we have to come to a point where we stop flogging ourselves for our mistakes and more importantly to stop allowing people to use our past misdeeds as a reference point in judging us – our worth is not determined by our errors.
Acceptance: I learned that there are things I can’t change and specifically that there are people I cannot change. I either have to accept them as they are or keep them out of my life because people change only when they want to and you cannot compel anyone to be what you want them to be.
People matter: I learned that people matter and how you relate with them has a bearing on the quality of life you will enjoy. I learned that if you cannot help a person, at least make sure that you do not harm them and that if someone loves you treat them kindly especially if you don’t reciprocate.
Cherish those who’ll mourn you: I learned that it is important to know the people who cherish you. Imagine you died today, who would mourn your loss and who would grieve for you? Whose world would irrevocably come crushing down? Know those people who would miss you if you fell off the surface of the planet and cherish them throughout the coming year because some of the people you’re obsessing over right now won’t even care enough to show up at your funeral.
Take care of yourself: Some years back someone I love very much was going away and his last words to me before he left were, ‘take care of yourself’. It made me wonder, who else would take care of me anyway – it seemed like an odd thing for him to say. But in 2013, I hope you take care of yourself… whatever taking care of yourself means to you. Whether it’s getting out of a bad marriage or making the choice to marry someone; whether it’s moving out of a comfort zone and taking a leap of faith; whether its making tough choices that will change the course of your life forever or deciding to trust in someone you want to share your life with – take care of yourself.
May you find what you seek: Finally, I learned the value of knowing what I want – really want. I hope in 2013 you find what you seek. The problem is so many of us don’t know what we want and wouldn’t be able to recognize it even if we received it. Sometimes we do know what we want but are scared to admit it to ourselves or to others because we are not confident that we can attain it. As the year ends, I hope you find what you seek in the coming one.
They say ‘man plans and God laughs’ because you just never know what tomorrow will bring. In fact you don’t even have a guarantee that your life will be what you expect an hour from now or even at the end of the day because anything can happen – and it often does. To quote from Oliver Mtukudzi, ‘parinonyura remangwana renezwaro’ loosely translated to mean, ‘as one day ends, another will unfold bringing with it God-knows-what’.
Whatever is your fate in 2013; face it because what will be will be.