Are you your best friend?
Do you take care of yourself?
Are you a priority on your list?
That’s the most important lesson I learned on the road. I had to take care of myself, I had to love myself, I had to give a fuck about myself. How could I expect other people to have my back when I didn’t have my own?
I remember the feeling. It was the day when I saw the mountains in Uttarakhand for the first time. Majestic, mighty mountains in all its beauty and glory and I had this heavy, burdening feeling sitting on my heart. I saw the mountains and thought, how fleeting everything is. We are alive for such a short period of time, in relativity.
This was an important period for me because I feel like my mind’s strength was tested. We were in the middle of the mountains, far away from home and I had to learn to be patient with myself and the badgering thoughts of my health, of my life, of my future, of this world, of how short our life span really is. I couldn’t burden Naveen with my thoughts, that just wasn’t fair. This was around the time when I decided I had to buck up and take my health seriously and keep trying to make the right decisions.
But, so often, when you decide to try and go down a new path you slip. And I slipped. I was trying to eat healthy while on the road and though I maintained it for a few days in a row, I slipped. Because it is so easy to slip and you almost have zero control when you are slipping. But the important part was that after I slipped, I had to teach myself to forgive myself. I congratulated myself on having realized that I had slipped and now I could stop, take a breath and push again. It’s fine, take it slowly.
It’s a lot like trekking, isn’t it? When you are trekking up a hill and your footing gives away when it comes in contact with some fresh moss, you slip a little but you immediately try to steady your footing and you move on. I wanted to adopt that thought into my life. When you slip, take a break and move forward. Not just when it came to my health but, about everything in my life. But preaching is always easier than practicing. When you slip on a trek, you have material things to blame it on but when you slip mentally, the blame is internal. I had to learn to forgive myself: shit happens, wipe yourself and move on. There is no use hanging back, is there?
I ate healthily for three days before I slipped into an unhealthy diet so when I restarted to eat healthily, I tried to push myself into eating for four days. I was not denying the slip, I just tried to delay it. But the point is to push through and I felt I could do that if I could be patient with myself, take some time out to figure myself out before trying to figure anything out, try and improve myself for myself and nobody else in this world. I had to learn to be my own best friend, I had to trust myself one hundred percent, I had to trust my decisions and commit to them.
Another part of my #diabetictraveler journey will be learning to deal with myself while I deal with my diabetes. And how traveling helps me learn about – well, everything.
So, are you your best friend?