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#2: This Ride is Pretty Surreal

This is part of the Letters to Livi - a series of letters written to my young niece about life and living it well.

10 April, 2021. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Letters to Livi -  a series of letters written to my young niece. You can read them here.

Life's strange. One day it rips you apart and leaves you feeling broken, the next it leaves you awestruck by its magnitude and apparent impossibility. It's up and down; ebb and flow, always. You're going to navigate the ups and downs. People will leave and family will die, but you'll also experience love and realise what a miracle it is to be living on a giant rock hurling through space.

As I write this, I'm in a place where I feel genuinely grateful. Grateful for the people around me and for the place I'm in. I recall very few times in my life where I've been happier or more content, yet the circumstances are the last place I'd expect to feel that way. I'm unemployed and in the middle of making some big changes in my life. Things are uncertain and unpredictable, and I love it. I've learned during this time to love the journey, and I suspect that it's at the heart of this newfound sense of happiness and contentment.

When you're reading this one day, I have a feeling that things will be very different. I hope this letter serves as a reminder to both me and you - learn to love the journey. It seems daunting, but it's easier than you think.

Humans are complex, but we're also fools. You'll be surprised by the way a song,  a compliment, or a good meal - when genuinely experienced and appreciated  - can change the way you see the world. Seek the good in things. Search for people doing great things. Eat well and exercise often. Cherish the people around you – they won't always be there. Do whatever you can to avoid worrying about the opinions of others. Find what you like to do and pursue it relentlessly. It’s astonishing how much a person changes (for the better) when they discover what they like to do. It’s a superpower.

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