TRAVEL LOG #11: Be, Contemplate, Imagine



This past week I took 3 days off to fly to New York to attend 4th annual Biofabricate conference and meet with my classmate who flew in all the way from Denmark. I decided to use the time on my flight out and reflect on my personal journey over the last few months. Sadly, still feeling under pressure I ended up reflecting more on the negative than the positive aspects of my life. I thought of some ongoing struggles at home and at work that had me feeling helpless. I thought about being behind in school and felling stressed. The weather was very cold and gloomy, so that didn’t help.

Luckily, after 2 days spent talking and learning from some truly amazing people, my spirits started to go back up. As  you can imagine I decided to scrap my notes from the initial self reflection and a do it over on my way back home.

Still elated from an uplifting and inspiring conference that opened up new horizons in my mind. I set next to a quite old but sort of mean snarly man (he growled at me for having him get up so I could get to my seat).  Seeing him I thought he must be miserable and I decided that I will never let myself be that bitter no matter how hard things are, for my own sake and for the sake of those around me. I set down in my window seat, looked out and with humming of the engines seen from the airplane I let go of all thoughts. Soon enough I caught myself observing the cloud patterns and wast almost geometric landscapes far below.  Birds eye view provided a reminder of how small and insignificant each moment seemed. One second you are here and another you are not.

Having a different perspective even for duration of a short flight helped. I thought about the stressors in my life. Here are a 3 things I was able to reflect on.

  1. Hard work isn’t always bad. Working hard for what you don’t support or don’t believe in is pure stress and torture, a waste of your time and energy. However working hard for something and someone with purpose gives you meaning and strength in life. I should be more thoughtful about what I invest my energy in.
  2. Ups and Downs are the norm of life, everyone has them. Sharing the burden with someone close and trusted helps alleviate the weight that brings you down. Sometimes you are the mountain and sometimes you lean on one.
  3. Timing of everything is random. Things don’t necessarily happen for a reason, we find the reasons.  After losing a job or ending a relationship, we crumble from fear of change called “the unknown”. Once we find our purpose and regain our happiness we don’t look back and acknowledge that a painful moment was actually a catalyst for something better. In the future, I will try to take each blow with hope and instead of fearing the unknown I hope to be excited by it, because it may just be really good in the  end.
  4. Finding your way across a metaphorical river (or a real one) sometimes means driving over a bridge and getting from A to Z fast. And sometimes crossing a river means getting on a ferry, eating candy, taking fuzzy selfies, hopping the train going in the opposite direction, getting lost, taking a break to warm up with a quick nightcap and then walking back 5 miles, all while enjoying the sights and laughing along the way. No way is the wrong way, some are just more scenic and memorable.