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Nov 09, 2022
Finding true happiness is no easy task. All of us are searching for a healthy and proactive way to feel fulfilled whether that be through love, art, friendship, or what we believe to be our true purpose in life. The lucky ones may figure this out at an early age but most of us need to stumble a few times before discovering the path we are meant for. Life is hard and filled with mistakes and experimentation, but those little misfortunes and unexpected injuries are what define us and help pave the way for a healthy rebirth.
For years I traveled to other countries thinking that I wanted to see the world. I longed to meet new people, visit places I only read about or had seen in movies, and explore the globe like Indiana Jones. I was virtuous and bold which lead to many injuries and illnesses because I was too busy trying to be brave but really, I was being foolish.
It wasn’t until I found myself alone in a small village in Vietnam desperately needing a friend and medical attention for a brutal intestinal parasite but unfortunately for me, there were no reliable urgent care facilities for me to get a checkup. I had very little money left, all my travel buddies were in far-off countries, I was exhausted and malnourished, and had convinced myself that if I went back to the States, I was somehow a failure. I was completely and utterly lost and in need of newfound wisdom.
The constant pain I was feeling and my lack of knowledge on how to treat myself was a life-saving wake-up call. I had done virtually no research before leaving the country and my body was taking a serious toll. Due to the language barrier, little to no medical facilities, and my own ignorance, it was time to wave the white flag and head home.
That old Confucius proverb, “every man has two lives, and the second starts when he realizes he has just one, ” has really stuck with me. All that traveling, partying, and lack of attention put severe stress on my body and overall health. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing, however, in this second life of mine, exercise, nutrition, and mental health have become major characteristics that keep me sharp and engaged with myself and others.
For so long I was avoiding happiness and even my own health because I had some misguided sense of reality. See, as someone who loves fiction and wild stories, I always found myself searching for those adventures. In these fantastical tales, the hero is always getting banged up, only to slap on an ace bandage followed by a shot of whiskey but that’s just not how things really work. I had to learn to listen to my body and read the signs that they were showing me. It’s a skill that doesn’t come overnight which is why it is crucial to do research on what works best for you.
When I arrived back in the States, I finally knew my purpose. I wanted to share my insights on how to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Every day someone is going to take a leap of faith and travel to places they have never been. Most people are so excited to party and explore that they don’t strategize about diet, exercise, rest, or key travel points that can literally save their lives. Even though fiction writing was my bread and butter, I felt that from all my years of neglecting my body I learned great methods and techniques on how to live a proactive life on the road.
Then reality hits. I had no writing degree and spoiler alert; every writing job I applied to wanted a college degree and experience of some sort. I had neither. I could feel my old self whispering words of doubt and negativity into my soul, claiming this to be just another mistake I was making. That I should quit and be realistic.
I was tired of that version of me, sick of the pessimism and cynicism that had always consumed me. This was my one life to live.
It took some time to get my bearings, but after a few years of odd jobs and freelance writing gigs, I finally found steady work as a writer. A small media company hired me to write for their lifestyle department—healthy living, tips on exercises, and different kinds of dieting. Even now with this newfound wisdom I still would say to anyone they should explore and be adventurous but do so with caution. Don’t be like me and just run off. Go to your local urgent care, get a quick checkup and necessary vaccines, ask questions, and make sure you are healthy enough for the journey. Most importantly don’t be afraid. Take great risks because that’s what makes all this so special, the wild gamble to bet on yourself and whether you win or lose, at least you tried.
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.
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