Are We All Lost Stars?

Since being in Spain, I have found that my plans (working a full-time job, implementing a scientific research study, learning a new language, volunteering with non-profit organizations), insecurities (feeling like I have bitten off more than I can chew, being away from all of my friends/family back home, having a low proficiency in the native language), and high expectations of myself have hindered me from truly getting to know this beautiful country and the people that inhabit it. Though this is normal because I am still transitioning, it’s difficult for me to put my expectations on hold sometimes. But despite this, I remain optimistic.

All of my experiences, both good and bad, have led me to this place of being in a foreign country, alone. Despite the sometimes scary notions, through the will of my inner faith, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help; my help cometh from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). He is telling me what to do and is giving me the strength and courage to do so. He is guiding me to a place where I will be able to join others who share my passion to help others. I believe I am here, alone, for a reason. And again, while I believe in Karma. I am aware that things don’t always happen how and when we think they should. But as long as my heart is sincere, I am not worried about the outcome of my journey. (though I can’t say the same for some others that I’ve come across recently…*sigh*)

I have mentioned in previous posts that we have the opportunity and capacity to determine our stars (i.e. path), and change them accordingly when necessary. I have found that allowing my thoughts to victimize me is of no assistance to my cause. Woe, is me. If we’re not careful. Turns into reality.

I am meeting so many wonderfully mysterious and colorful people. I am gaining insight into their hopes and aspirations…into their worries and fears. For example, here in Spain, with a population of 47.1 million, the unemployment rate is still at 24.47% as of the 2nd quarter of 2014 (11,525,370 people unemployed). How discouraging is this? I thought we had it bad in the United States, with a population of 318.1 and a 5.9% unemployment rate (18,767,900 people unemployed). I feel for those I have met, especially the parent who is unable to obtain consistent income or the young person of my generation just graduating from college but unable to find employment. How could I not be optimistic when I am so FORTUNATE to be studying abroad and working for a beautiful family and caring for their 2 children that I adore?

We all seek purpose in this life. Whether we believe our purpose is working a 9 to 5 job, day in and day out so we can maintain a dream of one day having a family of our own. Or whether we believe our purpose is to sacrifice our stability and contentment so we might be able to venture out into the world to do something more unconventional. We’re searching for meaning. But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

I recently came across the film, Begin Again (2013), and it really inspired me. It pretty much exhibited the lows that people experience, and how forgiveness, confidence, finding one’s self, and common goals (in this film, musical collaboration and expression) can lead one to the opportunity of beginning again. The main song of the film, Lost Stars, touched me and is the inspiration behind this post.

I do not know where my path will lead me. But I do know that no matter what is thrown my way and what obstacles I may face, that I am capable of changing and aligning my stars. And I believe that in order for me to find serenity and peace within myself, while I am just fine with enduring these many moments of loneliness (which are inevitable because I am in a foreign country and working on obtaining goals that many are unable to relate to; these moments can also be a good thing because it allows for me to stay FOCUSED on what is most important), I must be open to allowing others to be a part of my journey. Please, see me. Reaching out for someone I can’t see.

Perhaps we ARE all lost stars…trying to find our way to one another so we can light up the dark together. I am full of gratitude in that I know how I want my stars to align. And while I may be just a speck of dust within the galaxy, taking each day as it comes. As I work towards fulfilling my dreams and aspirations, I am learning new things about myself, feeding my starved inner-ignorance by gaining new insights and knowledge, and/or establishing relationships with others who have similar interests. And each day, my stars are properly aligning that much more.

Don’t you dare let (y)our best memories bring you sorrow. Change is inevitable, and change can be good. Allow changes to occur in your life so that you are able to begin (the next chapter) again. Be brave and daring. Take a chance on yourself (and others). You will not be a lost star forever if you continue to yearn for more (new experiences, new knowledge, new relationships, new goals, etc.).

This post is dedicated to all the lost stars in Spain. Dices “Si Se Puede!!” Jajajja. Con amor, Nicola

You Never Know…

My experiences today in Spain have inspired me to write a little poem. I am not a poet so it probably won’t be any good. It might even be a little abrasive or exhibit some unexpected turns. I have just been inspired by people…both cruel and kind. But please bear with me…

You never know how you can affect someone. With a sincere smile or kind gesture. Your actions could (un)intentionally heal the world.

You never know what you are capable of. With a burst of courage and a leap of (misdirected) faith. Your inner desires or most secreted fears could spring you into a world of unlimited heights filled with failure or success.

You never know what the future holds. With ample possibilities and a world that seems to keep on going… limitless and never-ending. Your little box of comfort could be your shackled demise or the inspiration needed to break free and experience something new.

You never know what someone else is going thru. With so many perishing right before our eyes and with (what it seems as though) the walls tumbling all around us. Your lack of consideration or keen perception could drastically change the life of another.

You never know…

The day you decided to belittle another for the sake of bringing yourself happiness or possibly because you were too foolish to understand your ‘powers (of persuasion)’ over others. Not considering that your actions caused a trickle effect leading that other to plunge head first off of a freeway bridge into oncoming traffic. (I know…the unexpected turn – a little dark)

For many years I walked through life like an ignorant, blind little child. Living carelessly with no anticipation for tomorrow or worries of what consequences my choices would bring. Over the past couple of years (before I decided to officially make a change), as I have looked back, I try to comprehend who that person was and why did she allow for things to take such a crazy and unexpected turn.

I can only hope that my shortcomings have not hindered my chances of receiving forgiveness from others. Because while I have forgiven myself and know that something wonderfully beautiful is in store for me (and hopefully for those I yearn to touch)… I will never truly know how my actions, both good and bad, have affected all the people I have crossed paths with.

This little “poem” or whatever you’d call it can be open for interpretation. It is not meant to put you on a guilt trip. It is not meant to make you feel that you do not deserve forgiveness. It is not meant to put a weight on your shoulders leading you to feel regret for what you have or have not done in this world thus far. It is just a message for all of us that we are all that we have. And we were all created for a reason. Most importantly, to join together, help our “brother”, and love one another.

This world is a dark and lonely place filled with death, pain, sadness, envy, jealousy, vengeance, and much more. And it is unfortunate that so many of us go thru life, just trying to get by, and never stop to think about the person we do not know that passes us everyday in the morning on the way to work with a sadness in their eyes. Or the person we think has it all together.

We are all filled with so many beautiful gifts that are just waiting to be shared with the world. And it is up to us to remember that, and never forget to do that one simple thing that could change the life of another in a positive way. Whether it be saying “hello” with a smile or opening the door for the person walking behind you. Whether it be waking up one morning and realizing that the life you have been leading is not allowing for you to share the love inside. Because I promise you, it is there. Possibly faint from all of the bumps and bruises you have incurred. But we are all capable of love.

There is something in me that I cannot describe. This deep compassion for others. A sadness (for the young boy who sits alone at home, wondering if his parents even love him. Not understanding that just maybe they have forgotten how to love).

I am not perfect. I have much to learn and lots of work to do. And I know that while I will never obtain perfection. I will do all that I can to share this love inside of me with those who are willing to receive it. How about you?

Sometimes there is just so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it. And my heart is just going to cave in. LOVE IS TRANSCENDING!!! LOVE IS FORGIVENESS!!! LOVE YOURSELF SO YOU CAN LOVE ANOTHER!!!

God Bless. With Love, Nicola