It’s coming up to two years that I’ve been in my current job in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, and it won’t be long before I clock up three years living out here in the Congo Basin.
I wanted to try and actively take stock and think about what I’ve learned, during what has been a period of my life that has been radically different from anything that has come before.
I’m a big fan of lists, and quite quickly by candle light one evening the list was really starting to get out of hand. It became clear that I’d be able to fill a small book with lessons learned. Maybe one day I will!
But, turning the problem on its head, I tried to simplify what I’ve learnt.
Almost all of the things I’ve learnt in the last few years have been about overcoming hardships. Which is life I guess. Just that the dial is turned up to 11 out here, so these lessons seem somehow faster and more evident.
I’ve settled on the quote below. I saw something similar to it somewhere on the internet. I don’t know where it came from and I’ve modified and added to it a little.
I guess that the theme is one of acceptance, perseverance and optimism: all things you need in abundance out here!
Here we go:
Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience.
Anything that angers you is teaching you compassion.
Anything you hate is teaching you to love unconditionally.
Anything that has power over you is teaching how to take power back.
Anything you can’t control is teaching you acceptance.
Anything you fail at is teaching you to persevere.
Anything you fear is teaching you courage.