In the summer of 2015, I experienced what I then called a “major slap in the face”; a certain setback that left me heartbroken, single and homeless. I felt I had lost everything: a great love, a house to live in, and a promising future. But the only thing I really lost, was the feeling of safety and security.
Us humans like to have a fail proof map of the future, and the quicker we can secure that future, the better. We are raised to look at setbacks as something dangerous, something to avoid, and as long as we are moving forward, with our eyes fixed on the goal, we cannot fail.
We are afraid that we will not achieve our goals, but setbacks do not always lead to failure, sometimes they are even necessary, a part of your journey.
I came to realise that these setbacks are our treasures in life, because they give us the opportunity to grow. And man, did I grow!
Back when I was in the middle of all the crap, however, I did not see the possibilities it would bring. I was just down, depressed.
After a month of brewing in my own misery, my best friend Evelina came to visit me. As it turned out, that visit meant more to me and to my future than I could ever imagine. She told me of her plans to go to China to study Kung Fu, and that she was leaving in a few weeks.
At first, I envied her. I envied her courage, her freedom and her possibilities.
But after reflecting, I received another slap in the face - more of a “wake-up-slap” this time - “I have the same possibilities”, I realised.
One month later, I was passing through the gates of the Shaolin Temple in China for the first time.
When I look back, it’s funny to see how the Universe was just preparing me for what was coming.
Getting dumped by ex-boyfriend – check
Going through the processes I needed to go through in order to get to where I am today – check
Getting inspired to travel again – check
Meeting the people I was supposed to meet, including the love of my life – double check
HAH! When you start trusting in life and believing that everything is happening for a reason, life becomes fun!
So I fell in love in China. I fell in love with China. And the second time I travelled to the birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu, I felt like coming home.
Everything was the same, yet so different because of my own state of mind. But the smell and the surroundings were just as I remember it.
I saw old faces and new faces; my Kung Fu Family had grown.
I was home.