Thailand and the New Year
I miss it
I am still in the recovery phase of getting back from a very long vacation, and sometimes I feel like this period can be just as transformational as the vacation itself. Your internal clock tries to catch up to the world around you and for me, I get lost in thought as I take in all the things I learned. I wanted to share a few things that I happened to learn on my trip to Thailand. I happened to turn 30 while I was over there and so these thoughts may be a little on the heavier side, but I still want to share them!
1: When you separate from social media and the 24-hour news period - you can really be in the moment.
I am not going to advocate for a new life where social media magically doesn't exist... but that also being said, I think we really need to take a step back and look at how much this tool has impacted our lives. So many posts have been to seek out affirmation of our life choices rather than aiming to inform.
Social media is a tool. It is meant to allow us the freedom to reconnect with those who have impacted our pasts, it is a means for us to alert people on things we are working on, and to let others know what we have done. Where it is now, is a newer way to see what we need to compete with. We want the 'likes', every 'like' is a surge of dopamine. Life doesn't have to be a black mirror episode.
I added the 24-hour news period to this because again this desire to know how it is on the other side is a driving factor to people not knowing how to appreciate the place they are in. It is good to be informed, but we can be over-informed. There is a fine line somewhere and you need to know where it is for yourself.
As I get older, I start to alienate news that overall doesn't concern me. It can be seen as callous, but the human mind can only take in so much. I would rather follow news in the few industries that impact my daily life, local news stories, and maybe some art and futurist news thrown in. Outside of that, news of violence in a city on the other side of the states can be impactful, but I have to acknowledge what I have in my power to change, which happens to be very limited. You have probably heard that we should be the change we wish to see in the world. I think the deeper meaning is that we need to focus on what we have the power to change. Ourselves > Our Family > Our Tribe > Our Community > Our State > Our Country > Our World.
2: Fear is an important but silly thing.
I bought the scorpion and I looked at it, so many people had eaten this before me so I knew that it wouldn't kill me to eat it. My wife and I started calling it a 'land lobster' to help the mind. I stared at the flash fried arachnid for a while as I was goaded by onlookers and my wife. There was a lot of laughter (nervously by me) and jokes. I was lost in my mind thinking that this represented my reaction to risks. We can calculate risks as long as we want, but no matter how much time goes into the calculation, if you never take the jump then you will never know.
It didn't taste like lobster at all. For myself, it tasted like badly burnt chicken. It also reminded me that sometimes there isn't a lot of payoff in terms of pleasure. The payoff for me eating a scorpion was gaining wisdom, a funny story, a bucket of rum & coke, and an ice cream sundae. That last bit reminds me even as I write this, that sometimes we have to make the best if our jumps don't seem to give back in equal share. You know, "When life gives you lemons you make lemonade."
3: I made the right choice in who I married.
This is a daily realization for me... I am thankful that I met my wife. Getting to see the world is amazing, getting to see it through the eyes of someone you love is equally amazing. That joy is magnified for me! There were many moments where I just felt thankful, and when you find that in a person... don't let them go! Love hard and forgive easily.
We visited a meditation center in Thailand, and the teacher continued to talk about marriage and ourselves. I hope that the other students weren't unhappy that we became the focus of that class, but it was amazing. One of the things the monk shared while in the class was: "Do I think there is an afterlife? I don't know, but I do believe there is life after forgiveness." This was a profound thought that is still sitting with me.
4: I ultimately know I am on the right path... or at least the path I want to be on.
This realization for me was much needed. I have enjoyed game design and can't wait to share my creations with people, but the deeper truth is that I love creating. I had a lot of ideas for paintings while I was in Thailand. I thought a lot of stories I wanted to tell and business ventures that I thought would be fun. At my core, I am a creator... and I think that is what we all are, in our own little way.
I was reminded that my actions weren't for fame, they weren't for money, they weren't even to remind others that I was here. My actions are my own and I get the chance to share those actions with others. It really is a gift to share me with others, and that includes you!
Thanks for reading.