Truth be told, I’ve yet to get enough to sleep. I’ve been sleeping intermittently again for the past few weeks which only means that there are things that bother me to no end. I remember our pastor saying that most of the time when we are restless and that we have sleepless nights that are not brought about by being over-caffeinated it only means that God is trying to speak to us. The question is, what is God wanting to tell me right now? Is there a lesson that I need to learn? Or perhaps it is something that I need to unlearn? Or better yet, is it a lesson have to relearn? These things are not easy to think about and for most busy people they do not really bother figuring these out because they are just overwhelmed with so many things.
Yet though I am restless, I would like to say that I am still very grateful. I guess being thankful is a good way to start considering that it is my birthday in two weeks. So let me start with what are the things that I am thankful for.
First off, I am thankful for still being alive. I still have a lot of dreams that I want to see fulfilled. Yet I also recognize that I have a lot of hurts and regrets that I’ve been nursing like old wounds that simply are a part of me for the rest of my life. It’s interesting that in a middle of a business trip I am somehow able to think about these things when I am stuck in traffic. It makes me wonder, why?
I remember in college that I learned the true meaning of the word “retreat”. It comes from a military concept where soldiers are given orders of removing themselves from an ongoing battle in order to refresh themselves, strengthen themselves and allow themselves to strategize better in how they are going to defeat the enemy.
Other than watching MMA events where the players literally slug it out in gladiator like masochism, I really abhor the concept of war and of battles. Why is it not possible to live at peace with everyone else? Why is there a need to compete? Speaking of competition, being here in Cebu and seeing all the festivities building up towards the Cobra Ironman event makes me also wonder, what motivates these men and women to train in multisports? I’ve asked myself the same question why I even bother doing marathons and ultramarathons. And I keep saying that it gives me a sense of zen, a peace that reminds me that life is still worth living amidst the hardships. I guess in some ways, all of us are masochistic at heart because it is only when we’ve understood true grief and embracing pain as a brother in life does one fully appreciate the deeper joys of living.
So as I am reflecting at the moment waiting for my next meeting, I am thankful for being alive. It’s been a tough year. Technically speaking, the past weekend happens to be a hallmark/milestone in my life. It’s been a year that I’ve started my own business. I’ve made more mistakes the past year as I learned the ropes of how it is to start a business. Yet still, I am thankful because somehow I’ve made it to one year. Well meaning friends ask me if I miss the corporate world and I tell them I do. I miss the perks mostly. But what I’ve learned about starting a business is that it is the ultimate way of facing your greatest fears in life.
One, there’s the fear of no security. People long for the security of a regular paycheck. I don’t have that the past year. I sometimes do not have work for nearly three weeks and I need to plan ahead of time managing the meager funds that I have. Two, there’s the adjustment with one’s lifestyle. The joys of having regular employment is that there’s no need to fear about not having money at the end of the month. This is directly tied to the first concept of fear of no security. Yet if there’s one thing that I have appreciated being on my own again is this… it has “forced me” to reach out to people more and also made me think inside and outside the box for solutions towards how to go about with a new career being a businessman.
I guess what I am trying to say with all these words that are tapping away and dancing across the keyboard is that I have slowly learned and still learning to be thankful for the pain. Thankful because the pain reminds me that it’s there for a reason. For athletes, muscle pain reminds them that they need a rest as it could be brought about by overtraining. For the average joe like me [yes, I still consider myself average], the pain reminds me that I also need to evaluate how to address why I experienced it in the first place. And the pain of defeat in the hands of other elite athletes will remind oneself that our time in the sun is only temporary and it could tell us that we either need to train harder or simply that we need to slowly go into the night and focus on other endeavors.
For me, the darkest night has dawned on me several times in my life with the death of loved ones, losing jobs, breaking my knee and having titanium implants and now I am learning to live life a day at a time again. Yet the sun will shine again and when it does… I’ll let my shadow prove the sunshine.