“We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice” – Dalai Lama
We have all been there at some stage in our lives when we finally make the decision to move on, either in a personal relationship, job or travelling. It’s hard at first to even consider such a decision and you try to remind yourself of all the great times you had, sharing, exploring and creating wonderful memories which you felt would last forever; new countries, cultures and cities with photographs to go with them. But after a while you begin to realise those experiences are now just that… memories, which have the ability to make you smile but also shed a warm, salty tear.
People and places don’t always stay the same and we cannot expect them to either. I cannot expect someone, who I considered to be my best friend and confident, to still value our relationship, just as much as I cannot expect those wonderful people from a small village in Sri Lanka to be always so open and friendly and invite every photographer who happens to stumble out of the jungle and interrupt their morning prayers, to share breakfast with them. I cannot expect that kind Buddhist monk, who took me home while in Myanmar, to do the same for every hurt, lost and frightened female he happens to find on Mandalay Hill, just as I cannot expect the country itself to remain in some ways, naive and innocent when the bus loads of tourists converge on this “hot” new destination.
Time is also a traveller and it should be used wisely. People make choices everyday which impact on the lives of others. How they feel today does not necessarily mean they will act or feel that way forever. I cannot hold back time and I cannot expect it of others. All I have now are my photographs to recall special times – when it stood still and perfect for me.
I know people and situations change, but I will not let the bad memories make me resentful and afraid to make choices about moving on and creating new experiences with people and places unknown. I will strive to value and fully appreciate the moments of my life as I live them. I will do my best to accept the changes that are unavoidable. I will resolve to move forward with hope and enthusiasm. Above all, I remember with kindness those important, special people I met along life’s journey and know I have made the right choice.
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