“Nobody in chains ever soared up to the sun.” ~ Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the film Octane
Bad things happen to everyone.
It’s not about Karma and it’s not even about God or whatever force that is supposed to control and lead our lives. It’s about us: who we are, what we do and how we own the situation when the things we want are—sometimes forever—out of our reach.
I am not a faithless person. It is good to have a faith in something, but I think many people use that kind of faith only because they don’t want to feel bad if anything unplanned happens. I tell you the ultimate truth: anything can happen.
However, this “anything” is not a product of some uncertain force. Just like the lives we are living, it is our own thing. Of course, there are things we can never stop from happening; things which are not under our control. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t affect how the situation will turn out.
There is nothing we cannot win and nothing says that we are losers just because something or someone in our life fails.
I like control. I am the Queen of overthinking, which makes me want to have my life under perfect control. In the state of overthinking, I always find a thing or two that is against me, that I don’t have under my control.
For a very long time I had not acknowledged this as a problem—I’d simply believed that this is just the way I think and live and control things—but certain events in my life have finally showed me how wrong this is and how much I want to change it; how much I want to change myself.
And so I’ve started changing.
The first thing I’ve done is quit smoking. I won’t say that I’ve done it only because of my health. I study at a secondary medical school and I’d been a smoker since the first year of attending this school and learning about all the things that your body endures when you love cigarettes. I’d heard it and acknowledged it and, still, I had not stopped.
Then, one beautiful day, I read an article describing how your body and mind change when you stop smoking and I suddenly realized that I want that to happen to me. It is not easy; in withdrawal, I accidentally yell at people I love; I am overly emotional; and I am still waiting for the day when I will be able to say, “today I don’t have the urge to smoke.”
I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I am not giving up.
After I quit smoking, I realized a few more things. For example, I realized how freeing it is to stop being under the control of something or someone that hurts you. Whether it is an addiction or a negative thought, it is never good to be under its control. And so I also realized that, though I like to have everything under control, in reality I am the only one who is controlled.
How am I going to stop? Is there a way to do it? Do I have a chance to be truly free without losing my self?
First these questions freaked me out, because I couldn’t—and still can’t—answer them, but now I just feel challenged by them. Someone once said that things that don’t challenge you don’t have the power to change you; we can’t grow up and move on without changing ourselves and improving our lives.
So, I created a new kind of faith: faith in myself. I believe that one day I will be able to answer these questions and, if not, then I will accept the fact that some things can’t be answered, because they are simply not under our control.
And if you just realized that you hate being under control: do things that challenge you.
Travel to places that others are not able to reach.
Create goals that others would never think about being possible.
Stop being addicted.
Go out when you feel like staying home.
Buy new sunglasses and wear them while it’s raining.
Paint your nails pink, even though you’re a boy.
Don’t speak with people you don’t like and don’t do things that you don’t want to do.
Let yourself be led by your heart and stop fear from entering your mind.
And most importantly: do things that you love.
Author: Karla Rohová
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Author’s own