An important life lesson from 1 burn, 2 fractured bones and 3 lacerations
24 Novmeber 2015. I crash.
And need stitches on 3 parts of my body: the left elbow, side of my left thigh and my left knee.
I am in Bali, with plans to climb Mt Agung, Bali’s highest mountain, an elevation of 3031m, on that evening. Now, it won’t be happening.
9.47am, I have 3 gaping wounds, some scratches and a limp. It is my 3rd day of travel, I have a total of 7 days in Bali.
3rd day of travel.
I am lying on the bed of the 3rd hospital they send me to. Local anesthesia is injected around my wounds. At 12.08pm, I am in stitches and bandages.
I could have felt bad for myself. But I smile and tell everyone else that all is fine and gracefully accept any help that come my way.
The next 4 days, I treat myself to lots of organic food and ice cream.
6th day in Bali.
I am given an opportunity to teach a short English class in a local village school.
I did not rush off from plans to plans, places to places. It is a slow holiday. Every morning, I relax at my hostel, Rama Sita, which overlooks beautiful stretches of rice field. When there is someone in the hostel, I enjoy their company. When there is no one around, I rejoice in the silence and peace.
It is not the first time that something major happen to my body. At 19, I have 2 incidents of fractured right collar bones. At 23, I have a 2-inch burn on my left leg from the motor exhaust pipe during my travel.
I could have been upset over my negligence. I could have chosen to focus on the pain that I have brought upon myself over and over.
But I choose to be grateful.
Grateful that things did not turn out worse. Grateful that I can choose to smile. I will not allow myself to be miserable despite my circumstances.
In the end, things turn out well. Because of my fracture, I am able to attend an exchange program in school. Otherwise, I will have to remain in my internship, which I’m not enjoying. Because of my burnt mark, I have a great ice breaker story. Because of my recent accident, I am treated with kindness and unexpected surprises.
The scars will probably remain for a long time on my body as a reminder to be more cautious. But I won’t let them constrict me. They will not stop me from being in the moment that I am in.
If I am to feel grieve, I will stay in that moment.
If I am to feel joy, I will too stay in that moment.
Whatever may come, I see them as valuable experiences and life lessons.
Unexpected events happen. Changes are common. Often time, we might feel safer living in the constant and frazzled over changes. But it is up to us to be affected negatively or positively by them.
This is resilience.
And this is the life lesson I receive.
I learn to allow myself to blossom to rise above my current adversity. I learn that It is about managing my behaviors, thoughts and actions. It is about processing my emotional distress. It is about managing them so that they don’t stop me from normal functioning.
We are all human, we will feel strong emotions should adversity or trauma arises. Being resilient won’t make the problems go away. But being resilient will enhance our abilities to handle them more effectively. We can choose to bounce back or to fall apart.
In my life, I choose to bounce back, no matter how hard I fall. Sometimes, I will stay a long time in my fall, but I will definitely rise again.
The only time I have.
And I will choose to make the best out of it.