Jamie's Thoughts in Words

LIFE LESSON: When to LIVE vs. When to have a LIFE?

Life Lessons by Sofia Johansson-Vithal

Life Lessons by Sofia Johansson-Vithal

Recently, I found myself engaged in an interesting conversation over some wine. I’ve never been much of a wine drinker but I must admit that it seemed to suit the tone of the evening.  The discussion was had over a sumptuous dinner of grilled fish and steamed veggies and with a woman ten years my senior. The conversation flowed from the very first few sips of Pinot Grigio being poured into the handsome ball-shaped glassware. Not unlike previous situations where opportunities present themselves, the conversation turns to experience. Life experience at that.

This woman works as a Stewardess on luxury private yachts, which requires her to travel across the globe. I am sure I am not the only who has similar dreams but for now, dreams are what they will remain. She was telling me about the different kinds of people she’s encountered, the different cultures and cultural clashes! She described the physical and mental discipline of the job and how it feels to wake up each day, knowing she won’t see her bunk for at least sixteen hours, as she works all day and night in what can only be described as a floating seven star hotel. She talked about how frustrating it is to have set dates to go ashore but enjoys the fact that each time she does, she will be somewhere new. She would only have a short time to explore before getting back aboard, then off to yet another new shore.

Turns out that regardless of our age gap and where we are in life, what we have seen and are yet to experience ourselves, we both repeat the same mantra before sleep: ‘What Will Be Will Be’ and ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’! Upon making this discovery and uniting the values we live by, we dipped our toes into the subject further. Naturally, when conversing with someone who’s got a decade on you or you on them, one makes the personal comparisons of ‘Where She Is Now’ and ‘Where I was Then’ or in my case ‘Where I hope to be By That Age’.

Being in my early twenties, I have come to accept that I am now slowly receiving society’s permission, to ease out of the potential trap that is advice from the far more experienced. A potential trap, because this sort of advice is rarely the kind to be taken lightly. Usually the life lessons of others helps you glide past what could become lessons of your own. Every now and then you express a willingness to understand through brought-up-manners of respect for people, you choose to actually open your ears and mind, and discover something new entirely. This evening was a time like that, and I am glad I listened. The subject of this evening’s conversation had taken its natural turn from vivid and colourful descriptions of seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, the actual giant globe of a world, through someone else’s travels. After another glass of wine I took a moment out to re-evaluate the path I’m currently strolling down and the comfort that this woman has a few years on me, is soothing and exciting in equal measurements. Perhaps there is still hope for my own dreams?

From the abstract painted image of the world’s four corners, the conversation took another leap. This time towards the widely debatable question where ones own opinion, lifestyle and values play their parts. Where ambition and outlook of how you see the world through your own eyes determines the answer, your own answer. There we sat opposite each other, sipped our wine and took a moment to ourselves; WHERE would we like to live? Like really live, and WHEN would we like to have a life?

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I now know that it’s only the individual that can put an answer to these two questions, this because it will differ from each person trying to answer. ‘Living’, has come to be recognised through the things in life that we do for ourselves. The ones that creates grand experiences, the milestones that starts a ripple-effect of emotions and lessons in love, life and the discoveries we make for ourselves, about ourselves. ‘Life’ tends to be valued from what you choose to create after you ‘lived’ a while. When you have, preferably, discovered at least some of yourself you may then decide on what you want in your Life, what you would like your career to be and when you are ready to tie it all up into what defines you to the rest of the world; What you do for a living, who you are living with and if you are creating new lives between the two of you. Never has a question sparked more individual dreams and answers.

We tend to measure our life in moments and the memories created by them, not in minutes and hours. Lately I have come across far too many individuals that are stressed, worried and feel like they can’t take control of their own lives. The dinner with this woman helped me truly see that and understand one thing that she had done; she’s taken control of her life. Unfortunately, I have encountered people who almost seem to think that it’s not their place to take to do so, when it is.

The stress and worry come from rules that are most likely not set by you on the matter of how you should live. It’s your life, so never be afraid to claim it. Dare to give yourself permission because only you can decide on what you want out of life. Take a moment to yourself because you deserve it. Breathe. Have you now claimed your life as yours? Good. My dinner companion, along with other people I’ve met in life, is where I get taught my life lessons. I’m grateful that I get to share some of them in the hope that it may inspire someone else too. So take another moment, but this time, try to imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back. Now, write down the words that would describe ‘Who you are as a person’ and ‘How you have lived your life’. I know what words I would use, do you?

– Jamie-Sofia, xo.

This is previously unpublished piece of writing that I wrote a few months back!

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3 thoughts on “LIFE LESSON: When to LIVE vs. When to have a LIFE?

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