I once met a man who refused to listen to sorrowful or angry music. At the time, I thought he was being a little dramatic.
I put this thought in the back of my mind and continued to listen to the music I loved. Over the years, I recognized that this music evoked more and more painful memories… and they were not even always my own. I was identifying with the people represented in the story of each song in a very profound way.
I still love all my music but, today, I am aware of how much it affects my mood and well-being. I make more of an effort to choose “happy songs.” I find this funny because I am now listening more to the music of my ancestors and my parents. Growing up listening almost exclusively to English music, my favourite songs are now a cultural fusion of languages I might not even understand.
This led to another discovery. Even if I do not understand the lyrics of a song, it still evokes the feeling it’s meant to. Who cries to a song without lyrics? I do. I was intrigued by this and did some more research, thereby discovering a broad array of scientific evidence that the music itself manipulates the very state of the cells in our bodies. See the video below for a visual representation of this.
Are you in what seems to be an endless cycle of debt that you cannot crawl out of?
Does it feel like the bills keep coming and the salary never rises to match?
The first question you should be asking yourself is: “What kind of debt is it, and how is it serving me?”
If your debt is not serving you strategically, you have fallen into the consumer trap. I’m talking about credit card debt that you’ve collected over the years for purposes that you can’t even recall. I’m talking about home renovation debts or car debts that are out of your means. I’m talking about that student loan that, despite serving its purpose a long time ago, you never got around to paying. I’m talking about your habit to purchase the newest model of that gadget you love annually. If you are seeking to cultivate good luck in your life, these debts need to be snuffed out.
I set about on a mission to collect some insights for my younger readers who might feel overwhelmed by big decisions for their future.
In the Western world, 18 is the “right of passage” age. We make many of our most fundamental decisions at 18: what to study, where to live, where to work, who to date, how to balance work and play, etc. Of course, we keep making these decisions and many others throughout our adulthood as well.
At 18, I was preparing for launch to University; my parents moved halfway across the world, and I couldn’t go with them. Many of my friends, now in their late 20s to late 30s, faced similarly challenging events around that time. Some moved out. Others went to university or trade school. Others went straight to work. Some had kids. Some got married.
Here are some of the tips they wish someone would have shared with them when they were 18:
They also say that home is all about location, location, location.
What if my heart is floating between the dunes of the Sahara?
Being a Third Culture Kid means that it’s quite natural for people like me to feel divided between all the places they call home and to subsequently struggle when designing a “stable” home for their future. On the other hand, people like my husband who were “born and raised” in one place may face the opposite conflict: if home can only mean one place, how can they possibly leave it to explore the globalized world?
These are two sides of the same coin. In essence, many of us tie our idea of home to a specific place, and this can either contribute to our feeling of eternal displacement, or can cause us to feel tormented by every change that comes along the way.
“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves” – William Penn.
In my culture, jealousy and envy are seen as collaborating sisters who can bring forth the tides of hell. Home entrances are decked out with eye shaped blue ceramics to shield the inhabitants from “the evil eye,” the eyes of the jealous and envious.
In the West, the two are differentiated: the former is seen as a natural product of love, and the latter is perceived as malicious. Those who are jealous feel this way against their better judgment and have good intentions, but those who are envious are guilty of consciously wishing failure and loss upon others. In the East, this differentiation is ignored because jealousy and envy are both expected to bring bad luck. Whether or not the bad luck is intentionally generated is irrelevant.
When someone asks you who you are or what matters to you, do you tend to respond with an explanation about what you do?
Our jobs quickly come to define us, but there is so much more to us than that.
If you have chosen a career that aligns with your purpose, what you do will be in line with who you are. Congratulations. Your condition is rare. If the two do not align, you are not alone, and you need to read this!
Wherever you stand in your life today, someone else helped you acquire your blessings.
“I don’t have any blessings!”
“Nobody helped me, I did it all myself!”
“Not all of us have a daddy or mama to turn to!”
“You can be so naive, Marian.”
Someone I respect very highly once told me… “credit is due where credit is deserved.” So… who are we discrediting when we pump out our chests arrogantly, stick our noses in the air and proclaim that we have nobody to thank for anything?
It is not I who is naive. We cannot take full credit for our successes and achievements while simultaneously blaming others for our setbacks and failures.
In order to help you, someone does not have to write you a cheque or pay off your student loans for you. You can do that yourself. Help comes in many forms, and we sometimes don’t even recognize it as help because it’s painful.