Shikata ga nai

The rough translation of that phrase is “It cannot be helped, so don’t worry about it.” This has been my constant motto over these past 11 months, most especially in the past two months when my life started unravelling at a faster pace than usual. I tell myself that wasting time and energy over something one has no control over only causes stress and heartache for the person who is worrying, because worrying alone will not solve anything. That is, of course, always easier said than done. It is human nature to worry about things we cannot control. Living in California, I get asked a lot if I worry about “the big one” earthquake which will level everything and cause massive destruction and loss of life. I don’t worry about it, because I don’t have the ability to stop an earthquake from happening. Living in the Carolinas, I was frequently asked if I worried about hurricanes. Again, why worry about something that may or may not happen. The outcome is going to be the same no matter what. I do try to prepare myself for any eventuality, and do what I can to minimize my own personal losses if one of these disasters were to strike.

What about the little things, though? If you worried about every little thing, you wouldn’t have any time to enjoy the life you have and to make plans to make things better in the future. This has been a very turbulent two months for me. At times, it felt like the universe was “out to get me” but it’s not personal. Things happen that you cannot control, and you either have to accept it, or find a solution. As soon as I stopped worrying about what was going to potentially happen, everything came together. It’s not that the universe was out to get me, it was just that I was worrying so much about hypothetical situations and problems that may have happened that I didn’t realize that whatever was going to happen was going to happen whether I worried about it or not.

I’m not advocating doing nothing and just hoping for the best, but rather to stop worrying about what could or could not happen. Everything does happen for a reason, even if you don’t know what the reason is. Sometimes the answer is not the one that you were expecting, but it’s the right one for right now. I have been very vocal about my dislike of San Diego, and keep talking about how I want to get out of here and get back to my adopted home state of South Carolina, but all I’ve done so far is talk. I can give a dozen reasons for why I haven’t done anything towards that goal, but the simple answer is that it’s just not the right time yet. When it’s time, it will happen.

Since my last post, my two most pressing concerns have been solved. The foster cat that I took in to look after has been adopted to a wonderful couple whom I know will make her very happy, and she them. I have also settled my housing situation, at least temporarily, until I am ready to move forward in whatever direction life sends me. Maybe I won’t end up in South Carolina again. Maybe I’ll end up somewhere completely different. It doesn’t matter. I will find my happiness wherever I go, by always remembering to be the best me that I can be, and not worrying about everything else. As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

I envy small children in the fact that every new day is filled with new and wonderful things. As an adult, I have to remind myself that this is the life I have, and that it is my choice as to whether I will enjoy it, or be miserable. So, I stop to smell the roses (figuratively – sometimes they are other flowers instead), and I laugh out loud when I see a child or an animal just enjoying being in the now, and I remind myself that, while every day may not be a good one – today was a horrible emotional roller coaster for me –  there is beauty in the world. Stop and look around and really look at the life you’re living in. If you are unhappy with it, you have the power to change it. It may be a small change, or it may be a large one, but don’t continue to be unhappy by doing the same thing(s) that are making you unhappy. Do something special for yourself, because you are the most important person in your own life. And stop worrying about things you can’t change. Either let go of the worry, or find a way to change it for the better. And if all else fails, find a kitten or a puppy to snuggle with (or maybe a snake or a gerbil, or some other creature that makes you happy). Life goes on. 


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