My Biggest Complaint is Our Complaining

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I am a total eavesdropper. I hear stories from people’s past, people one-upping each other’s stories, and talk of the weather. I eavesdrop on people’s conversations I find completely boring yet just can’t resist.  I overhear lots of gossip. To justify this habit, I want you to know it typically happens when I’m alone or there’s a break in the conversation between the people I’m with. Since my frequent outings happen for work, (I’m a total homebody, okay), this eavesdropping mostly happens in staff break rooms. The most common aspect of people’s conversations?

C O M P L  A I N T S

Within the last few months there’s been several changes in my life. I’ve exchanged sandy beaches for mossy forests, moped filled streets for three lane traffic, restaurant dishes of fresh vegetables with rice or noodles (and other unknown ingredients), for home cooked meals, daydreaming and napping for reading. I’m retraining my brain to form complete sentences now that I’m surrounded with people that understand English. My open itinerary is now a scheduled routine.

I’ve been slowly reemerging into America’s society, adapting back into culture norms. I’ve quickly realized my faraway travel tales are too distant for anyone to really relate with.

Often brief memories of our trip pop up. That world and this world are dramatically different. It puts me in a daze, remembering things that only seem like a faraway dream I once had. It’s impossible to compare, easy to contrast, difficult to explain.

I am truly grateful for the time I was able to spend abroad, the sixteen months I lived completely outside my comfort zone. Otherwise, I don’t think I would feel so “at home” as I do now. Nor would I feel as appreciative.

The changes happened suddenly. Almost literally hit the ground running once we stepped off that airplane. It would be too easy to sit here and list my complaints. Like, I’m holding back right now … Just kidding. I have nothing to complain about. Sure, there are certain things that could be better. Things I’m yearning for. Things I’d change. But something happened and I’m holding it really close to my front memories because I don’t want to lose it.

I was driving to work. I swear it had been cloudy for the last two weeks. Grey. Gloomy. 

I was driving east. Sitting behind the wheel. Stopped at a red light. 

My gut felt heavy. My shoulders slouched. Feeling that glum some get on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. 

I looked up, above the traffic lights and cars. Between the trees, fluffy cotton-ball clouds slowly began to part.

The sky was filled with color. Pink. A vibrant pink with that beautiful sun glow.

My lips formed a huge smile and then sang the word; Hall–el–uuuu-jah!!! a few times.

Suddenly I felt optimistic. Free. Excited. Energized.

I thought, whoa. Is it truly this easy to change my perspective? Change my mood? My attitude? 

It was almost like a switch was flipped inside my head.

Freakonomics Radio released a podcast episode titled Why Is My Life So Hard?. Here is the description of the episode, “Most of us feel we face more headwinds and obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. How can we avoid this trap?”

It was only a few days after my sunrise scene I stumbled upon this podcast (I thank the Law of Attraction). This episode is thirty minutes long about the same length as an episode on Netflix. If you’re feeling glum, moody, resentful, GIVE THIS A LISTEN. No one can force you to do anything, but we could all use a little more appreciation, gratitude, and optimism in our lives. This is a great place to start!

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