Telling ‘my story’ was the scariest thing I had to do in 2021. A friend told me that I didn’t have to convince anyone about anything. I don’t have to convince anybody why my story matters! She said:
“Just tell your story how you would tell it to yourself.”
This note is to myself. To that girl who used to hide herself in the schoolyard. Let me sit down next to you and hold your hand. This time not out of pity, but out of strength. I am gonna tell you everything is going to be okay, and why.
Dear special girl,
From a very young age you’ve been told not to take any risks. Always ‘play it safe’; don’t gamble or invest, just save. Maybe this fear was even one of the reasons why you started studying ‘safety and security management’? I don’t believe so. I myself see the eagerness for traveling as the main reason. When you were 14 years old and traveling with your family through Indonesia, everything was planned the full 100%. Spontaneously swimming somewhere was not part of the plan; because according to your parents is could be very dangerous. Meanwhile you just saw other children swimming there and ask yourself ‘why not me? Is it really so dangerous?’ This is the first time you really get in touch with (other) culture and consciously experience doubt. Doubt about everything you’ve been told to believe. Everything you assumed to be the truth. Fortunately, inside you feel that things are not what they seem and you start to experiment and travel a lot by yourself for the years to come. By the time you are 20 years old, you have already visited all continents. Four years later you even decide to leave everything behind and go on a trip around the world, but I’m not going to reveal too much about that just yet.
Back to your teenage years. You are confused and the opposite of rebellious. Instead of listening to that strong calling to explore, you drown in feelings and stop listening to your inner feelings all together. Years later a new friend comes on your path. You’ll quickly learn that you have been living in your head all this time, disconnected from your inner feelings and that strong calling to explore. With this friend you experience how simple life can be, as long as you fully live in the moment. You’ll also quickly realise, especially after reading the book Humankind by author Rutger Bregman, that you don’t want your future children to have the same struggle.
You’ll continue to search and explore for a different life. The system is broken and it’s hard to find your way. But… your way is out there! Your way will consist of challenging all the preconceptions out there! The idea that some lives are worth less than others is wrong.
And about those risks: If you don’t dare to take risks and to challenge, you won’t achieve much. I wish it was easier. Dare to dream and take risks, take a hit. That’s okay. Don’t regret it. One day, when you look back on your life from the clear blue sky, you’ll be glad you took the risks. Nobody has ever told you they wished they lived ‘a little less’.
The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.
Special girl, go and look for that horizon quickly. You can already do so much that others can’t.
You are you, the one and only!