New Year Resolution

I don’t know why I delayed publishing this blog post from 5 months ago, but maybe it was meant to be, here it goes:

I finally formulated my New Year resolution. This year I want to stop worrying and being anxious – I want to Embrace Impermanence. The ambition is quite Buddhist, even though I’m not. Why impermanence? 2010 was an interesting year in my life and I learned a lot from it. Looking back I can see the same trend – constantly worrying about different things, waiting for some changes to come to only find later that there is always something else to worry about. The lack of job or dissatisfaction with existing job, being too idle or too busy, the lack of passion for something or too much passion which is excessive, not enough money or enough money but then not enough time for hobbies. Have you experienced that too? It goes on and on. And finally I realized: it is all temporary,  just like our lives. 

There were several years when I wanted to go to grad school to use my brain more and do something great. I was anxious about this big plan. Then I did it and struggled to support myself through the expensive course of studying. At last I graduated and then I was anxious about finding a job to pay off my school debt. I found the job, but not long after I again was anxious about finding an even better job with event better pay, more challenging and in a better location. I found it, but somehow along the lines I lost my purpose, and was disgusted by making money for already rich guys, while putting others out of work. After suffering though all that, I learned that I should do what I think is right for me, not what others think is good for me.

Then in 2010 I left my job and went to Vietnam, where I was truly happy except for suffering from heat. I was in Saigon for three months volunteering for OLPC . And then I was pondering my next steps. I came back home and again became anxious about finding the job that I like. I went to Central America to connect with non-profits about volunteering, and got kidnapped. There was a moment I thought I might die… and that moment I realized how stupid I was worrying about something all my life, mainly things that are not important. I felt sorry for my parents, who may not accept losing me, and that all this happened in my life because I always trespassed status quo … although robbed I got away unharmed. I returned home and felt so ungrounded and free of all worries for a while…

Right after that I embarked on a journey to start my own website for volunteers, but several developers/designers turned out to be unreliable. My idea of the website failed but after worrying a little I accepted, that it was for the best, because my business model was not that great and later I’d come up with a  better idea, timing would be right and I’d have enough resources to implement it.  Instead I decided to turn my website idea into a blog, and besides SaigonOLPC I created ChebVolunteer to tell people about volunteering.

Then somehow I forgot the feeling of lightness and started worrying about being unemployed and became anti-social. I still worried I would not find the right job and would stay unproductive for the rest of my life.  But I met great people over the summer and started socializing again. There was a moment I wasn’t doing much and felt very idle, just like a plant, but then … olpcMAP opportunity came up and I grabbed it, as I sensed it was exactly what I wanted to do. And then …

I found a much better job than I thought I could possibly find in this economy. I became so productive, that I managed to work in a new field, organize exciting  fundraising events for my writers group, volunteer for OLPC and move to a new place at the same time. 

I’m not anxious or worrying anymore. I realized, that worrying and anxiousness is meaningless. It only takes time and energy from our lives and brings negativity. All is temporary, we all in our lives go through waves and circles (like in Hinduism), which repeat, come and go, move us up and down and we should not be obsessed about controlling them. We just need to be prepared for the next phase while accepting what life gives us at present and trying to make positive changes. There always be idle and negative moments, but they are all temporary.

I also realized that when we don’t worry, but stay open to right opportunities and follow our heart, we make right decisions. I went to Vietnam instead of working in Boston last winter and it made me happy. I went to SF OLPC Summit instead of an annual social party in Boston, and that helped me find what I love to do. It gave me answers to many questions I had before. Do I even have a talent? How can I help others who are in need? How can I be useful and improve the world?

We all have moments when others expect us to do something, but we know it is not right. Follow your heart so that you don’t blame yourself for the rest of your life for not doing what you really had to do… Find courage to do what is right and even if  you fall after that, there will be an even bigger rising. Find similar minded people and continue doing what you are destined to do. Eric Johannson said it better in his Photo Collage Work.


May 30, 2011 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment