Terrible Experience, Awesome Lessons -Part 1

This year has been by far the most interesting and fulfilling year yet. This is the way life should go- better and better as we go. It also makes sense for this year to then bring with it more lessons and eye-opening mannerisms that may not be taking me toward the life I really actually want.

I had this idea for this blog quite a long while ago- about 3 months ago. And I let it go. Than today after seeing this video- Watch it here– (please do watch it, it is amazing!) I was reacquainted with this idea but with a whole new perspective. And I am far more compelled to write about it now.

I worked at an NGO for about 7 months, it was an internship and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Even the crappiest most stressful situations. It grew me so much! In fact below is a thought I had shared with my co-workers and other volunteers about my whole experience before I left.

Stressed out!Sometimes you just need to be put in the most craziest situations so that your perception of yourself and your own limitations are tested so much that you actually come to realize that your perception, isn’t really who you are, and that your capabilities far exceed the limitations you place on yourself.
It is potentially a terrible experience but it is at the same time growing and evolving yourself so much.”

There are 2 things that inspired me to write this from that video. The 1st is in this post. The 2nd will need another post. It somehow got long…

1. The not-always-true things we say to ourselves so we can get on with life- a life which isn’t exactly how we’d like to have it.



Things like, “I’m fine.”, “I just need to get through this.”, and the one I used the most during the last month and a half of my contract comes from the famous ‘Gone with the Wind’- “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” –Miss Scarlet.

I realized during the end of my contract that I was on a type of survival mode. I did the bare minimum to look after me (sleep a bit, eat a bit, shower) and I pushed myself to be the person that the role I was in, demanded of me. I was, for the most part, 3 words away from tears.

Those 3 words? – “How are you?”or “Are you ok?”



Those words made me access the feeling space of everything that was happening around me and I couldn’t bear to be in that space. I was under too much stress and pressure and had heaps to do. Everything felt like an emergency and lots of things didn’t go as planned. So new plans had to be made and I needed to be the smiling face on the team that was backstage of everything. I needed to have my logical brain working finding solutions and helping to run ‘the show’. So I kind of silenced my emotional side. (Unfortunately this also meant that feeling good or even the possibility of it, was beyond me) I quite often said I was fine.

I really wasn’t.
But I didn’t have the space to breakdown. I was working. All in all I was quite emotionally unstable.



I then also realized that so many people work like this- stressed out and pressurized on a daily basis. Meaning that this state then becomes a type of normal. And I guess once you get out of high school and you study your butt off to get your degree, you’re quite used to the hard work and stress.
And you live all your life this way. (I don’t have the degree so maybe I was less prepared for these hectic situations?)

So if you’re living your life on a type of automatic survival mode telling yourself, and whoever asks too, that “I’m fine”, wow. I have no words beyond that because to me that isn’t really living at all. It’s dying.

And I am still quite living! I’ve come to realize that when my heart is tied into my work I will go to whatever lengths I need to, to deliver the value I most want to. (Most people don’t even like their jobs but they go on like this) Having said that, I don’t ever want feel like I need to cut half myself out so I can do my job. That just isn’t me. It’s not who I am.

No Battery Power= No ConnectionI recently told my boyfriend that we all work like cell phones. If we don’t have battery power, the connection/network/signal we can get can’t be utilized to its full potential. We need to recharge.
Not once in a while on an end-of-the-year holiday. But every day. All the time. And that’s how a life needs to be built up. I’ve learned that even at work there are some serious boundaries that need to be set. Ones that make sure you still have the battery power to connect. There are work places that really do work at keeping you recharged. An NGO of course tries its best, but as there is more work than hands, it gets crazy. It is not their fault. Its up to you to set boundaries. People treat you the way you allow them to.



Anyway- the realization: I do have it in me to do all the hard work that is needed to become so much more of the person I see myself as. And this journey is most definitely developing me into a more me, me.

I now know that I need to seriously watch for the times when I’m getting left behind in my own life. It’s taken a long time for me to stop my “crap” self talk and I don’t want to fall into that place again. Sometimes it feels like that last month at the NGO was really a check to see if I’ve really learnt to value me.

When you are not fine- STOP. Take the time for you. One day you will thank yourself for it.

Live your dreams- not just your life! 😉


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