“The struggle defines you.” The stranger told me. Who said that I questioned? He laughed. “Me, I did.” A pause. “It’s a family saying but you can use it before I copyright it.”
Now, I laughed and shared that I just might as a writer.
“Oh, okay, I have another one for you then. One day, I picked up this guy, from Alabama, only had a pillowcase to carry all his belongings. He was probably near rock bottom, that guy. Anyway, he had a call from his girlfriend, who had been out late the night before, then he tells her:
Show me your friends and I’ll tell you your future.”
Sound familiar? Your vibe attracts your tribe. Surround yourself with the type of people you want to be like.
“You have to remember your karma moments, even if it’s five seconds, that’s cool.” My friend told me after we shared coffee and the recent adversity we have been dealing with in our lives.
“You’re the type of person who can stop and be fully present like you did the last time we hung out and you stopped to take a picture of the reflection of the clouds in the window.”
A window on a building just behind me. Amazing how where your perspective is, the view of life can be impacted, eh?
A few months back in Korea, as I walked through the Ihwa Art Village, freezing, and staring at the golden, red, orange, and brown trees touched by Fall, I caught a moment where I felt at peace. Just a small moment in I can’t tell you how long before that, my awareness of it breaking the feeling but leaving me then with gratitude. That moment reminded me of when I was taking a journey across the United States and sat on the grass in a little park near Pike’s Public Market and gazed out at the Puget Sound.
Just two bookend moments, marking a long period of healing, release, and living. Two bookend moments that I needed. That’s not to say there hasn’t been happiness or positivity this decade. There has been that too. The grind has gotten to me, and at times, the people I have been around. Forgetting the five seconds, or longer, that actually does exist each and every day, no matter where we are, or what is going on.
I’m going to embrace those five seconds, the reflections, whatever, otherwise this drudge will last too long and I’m tired of the struggle being what defines me. In grappling, the more you struggle, the worse position you can end up in. And though I’m willing to submit when needed, I certainly don’t have to put myself in bad positions to the best of my ability.
Worth a try. I know what forgetting to focus on peace, hold on to it is like.