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After nearly a year, I finally made it back down south.

This little gem truly holds a special place in my heart. While roaming around town and soaking it all in, I found myself missing pieces of my old life. It was gutting. Leaving was a choice I didn't want to make. I wholeheartedly wanted to stay.

Admittedly, the past looked a lot greener than I left it. Self loathing can come relatively easy looking back. I guess hindsight is 20/20 like that.

As I wrestled with the what ifs, and all that could have been, I realized two things... One, nostalgia has an unexpected deep end waiting to anchor you with your own discontentment. Two, we can't move forward holding on to the past. This includes hypothetical scenarios tellings us that life would be better had we done something differently (such as staying in California).

There's a Tibetan story I stumbled upon while reading Pema Chödrön. It goes something like this...

There was an old farmer who worked his crops for many years with the help of his horse and his family. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his wife and neighbors say,"this is the worst thing that could happen. This is terrible."

"Maybe yes, maybe no," said the farmer.

The very next morning the stallion returned, bringing with it a mare. Now they have two horses and everyone exclaims,"Wonderful! Amazing!"

"Maybe yes, maybe no,"said the farmer.

The following day, his son tried to ride the untamed horse, was thrown, and broke his leg. The wife and villagers once again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

"Maybe yes, maybe no," said the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

"Maybe yes, maybe no," said the farmer.

That is as far as the story goes.


Look, I don't know if my life would be any different or better had I stayed. But, I do know we're all going to experience some form of failed expectations and setbacks in our lifetimes. Nonetheless, disappointment of any size does not feel good. It creates an array of emotions and thoughts seemingly reminding you that you're wrong or dumb. Self pity is a dead end road though. Do not attach your worth to subpar thoughts. I know it's hard to see change, mistakes and misfortunes as blessings, let alone necessary paths to take, but we never really know what the redirection may bring us... Good, bad, or otherwise.


Pema Chödrön book linked here.



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