Time can give us the gift to discover ourselves through our worst moments, as we grow into ourselves in the most beautiful of ways.
It’s a year today since I arrived in Korea to begin teaching English, and it seems as if every cliché saying, anecdote and proverb about time feels excruciatingly true.
Time markers like today, birthdays, holidays and anniversaries often bring up mixed feelings for me. Feelings of joy, sadness, regret, happiness, fear and confidence might strike as I reflect on time passed.
In these times of reflection, I am forced to feel vulnerable.
When I sit and think about all that has transgressed in a year of my life I am forced to re-live not only the bright successes and joys, but also the painful moments that I would sometimes rather forget—heartbreaks, dramas and disappointments. As hard as it can be to face these moments again, I am often pleasantly surprised at how much less troubling all these experiences seem in the present.
A year ago, I was engulfed in the drama of moving across the world, learning a new language and starting a new job. I was disappointed by the lack of comradery and fulfillment I found, at first, teaching in Korea. I felt taken advantage of, overworked and not at all supported by my co-workers. I naively held onto a relationship from the past, putting in time and energy where it was not being returned, ultimately ending in a humiliating turn of events that I should have seen coming.
A year later, I’ve committed to my own happiness and chosen a new place of work where I feel at home. My co-workers feel like a family away from home, and truly care about my well being. I’ve moved through a couple more relationships that have taught me some incredibly valuable lessons about who I truly am, what I am looking for in a partner and how I want to feel.
I would never have progressed to this point without those messy moments in the past—I would not change a thing.
The magic of time has a way of finding a way to use the most awful of moments to shed a light on the truth that we are seeking, whatever that may be. Time has a way of healing our hearts, extinguishing drama and finding opportunities in disappointments. Time surprises us with a strong, capable, wiser version of ourselves whom we did not know a year, a month, or even a week ago.
Time can give us the gift to discover ourselves through our worst moments, as we grow into ourselves in the most beautiful of ways. It may be in reflection our darkest days, that we find our light. We find our way to the person we aspire to be, our authentic and most incredible of selves.
So, be gracious with your time. Let it wash over you and teach you its lessons. Accept the gifts time gives, and grant it the only thing it ever asks of you—never let it be wasted. Today, I’m celebrating one year in Korea, but more so, another year of truly living.
Sashah Rahemtulla is a young woman learning to flow in the ocean of life. She currently lives in South Korea, teaches English and is awaiting the next wave of change. Read more on her blog.
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