Saturday, October 08, 2011

I traveled, I observed and when I wasn't noticing, I learned.

"A candle that burns twice as bright, only burns half as long."

I saw this comment on Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Speech youtube video. And it struck a chord in me. I immediately remembered my late best friend. She died from Cancer too. She was only 19. Difference is, she did not have a chance to live, to do things. And I know for a fact, if she was still around, she would have.

It might be a selfish thing to say, but her death reminds me not to nag, not to take life for granted and not to act like a victim. In fact, it's not her death that reminds me of that... In fact, a couple of months ago, I saw her in my dreams, and she specifically made me understand that whatever problems I encounter, whatever dilemmas I face, whatever obstacles stand in my way and whatever negativity is headed towards me, at least.... AT LEAST, I am still around and still have the chance to deal with them. I have a choice.

Vatican - Rome - 26 September 2011 by yours truly (check red sentence below)
Cancer sucks... Cancer took my best friend away, who 12 years later, still means a lot to me. Even though we were only close for 2 years. So can you imagine what an impact she had on her mother? father? siblings? family? She was an extraordinary girl. Najla. I love you, I always will. Luckily we have the same destination, so I will be seeing you... 40-50 years later :) If you don't mind waiting.

Cancer took many other people who are dear to many people & friends I have. And I can see the same face that says the same thing: "There was nothing we can do!" But, there is something we can do, for us, for the people who are still around, I reckon.

Before I went on my vacation, I was repeatedly asked: "Are you excited?" My answer was the same, repeatedly: "3ade" (Normal). And of course, I would be criticized for that attitude. But let me tell you why it's the perfect attitude. It's because I learned that whatever you expect, you get a different experience. And that experience, could be better or worse, nonetheless it is different, and because of it being so, you get to learn something new, feel something new, be put out of your comfort zone, or maybe be returned to a new better comfort zone. I expected nothing, and I got more.

I learned several things...

  • I learned that you don't search for a good time, instead, it finds you. 
  • I learned that strangers, turning close friends, make your life rich.
  • I learned that if we want, we can make a change.
  • I learned that a moment of peace cannot be "pretended".
  • I learned that 1 minute of peace is enough to make a vacation worth while.
  • I learned that the world is so weird, for having people like "Gaudi" exist, and at the same time people who waste all their free time playing PS3.
  • I learned that I will not put off seeing a doctor for my knees, because I (and am not exaggerating) could stop walking in 10 years if things remain getting worse on the same pace as they are now.
  • I learned that my family means a lot to me.
  • I learned that I love my country dearly.
  • I learned that there are certain people I wished who were with me on that vacation and that they matter more than I thought they did.
  • I learned that I love getting people souvenirs & gifts, well... only for those who matter.
  • I learned that there are many inspiring things in life, and that I want everyone I know to be as inspired as I was during the past two weeks.
  • I learned that you can go to a camp of "inspiration" for that matter, but instead just get inspired by a random person you meet while you're going to or coming back from that camp. Nonetheless... it is because of this camp.
  • I learned that being close to a Dali original painting... made me cry. It's quite magical to be so close in space to something a genius has touched decades ago. I traveled back in time. It exists.
  • I learned that the internet speed has improved at home, and even though it's not a 24mbps like other countries, it is still an improvement, and we should brace it. Cut the negativity a bit.
  • I learned that when things are in bullet points, people read them all. Okay I knew that from before!
  • Post Updated: I learned that coincidence doesn't exist. Good things can come out while having a lousy dessert at a cafe we did not like much. The outcome? You're looking at it.

So... for someone who had no expectations from a 2 weeks vacation, I think I did well.

I learned that there are friends I love and missed, and I will make sure I tell it to their faces and give them my Ozzi signature hug.