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Sunday, 30 May 2010

How the past has influenced who I am today.

If there is one thing I have learnt over the years is how not to become too attached to the past as it can only burden your journey through life. However, throughout my life I have both laughed and shed quite a few tears and, fortunately, I have managed to keep on moving forward, carrying only the weight of the constructive lessons I got from a few of those moments of laughter or sorrow. What I learnt from the following life-experiences illustrate not only who I am but also why I am like I am today.

Having been uprooted at a very young age, first when I was four and then again at the age of fifteen, I learnt that starting over – getting used to a new country, a new house and bed, and making new friends – can be a challenge but by no means an impossible ordeal. It is soothing to know that the variety the world offers is not a threat but rather an opportunity for personal growth. Although there are some drawbacks to such a nomadic life, I have met some beautiful people along the way who have made it all worthwhile, people who have taught me to appreciate the meaning of tolerance, patience, and generosity. Besides, it is also reassuring to know that there will always be someone out there willing to give you a helping hand and, above all, that you can – and should – rely on yourself, your instinct(s) and good judgement.

Another life-altering experience was when a French teacher recognised my keen interest in symbolism and introduced me to the mysterious world of the Tarot. As a substitute teacher, the presence of this woman in my life was brief, altogether not more than three or four hours. Nevertheless, she opened an unheard-of world to me. Curiously, the study of those symbols ended up being an invaluable asset at University: the many novels and poems that were part of the course syllabus became so much easier to interpret! However, the most valuable lesson I got out of this experience was the awareness that there are no fortuitous events in life: everything happens for a reason, even the people I meet – even if just for a few hours – are in my life at that moment for specific a reason …I just hope I am wise enough to acknowledge them and find myself in the right state of mind to accept the knowledge they are trying to share with me.

Indeed, to a certain extent I am who I am because of what life has taught me but I also like to think that I am much more than the mere projection of the past…I am a work in progress.


  1. Paula,

    I love what I just read. And remember this:
    You too are part of many people´s lifes.

    Love from Sabadell,

    Olga :)

  2. Thank you so much Olga. You're lovely and, if anything, I hope some of your positive attitude rubbed off on me during my almost two-year stay in Catalunya. Take care. Paula