“We accept challenges like learning new skills to make ourselves more robust and flourish, but there are some challenges that we do not apply for.”
Life can become a monotonous cycle of waking up, working, and constantly thinking about the future. In doing so, we often forget to cherish the value of each passing moment. Instead of focusing on the present, we worry about what we don’t have and overlook the beauty of the little things in life – such as enjoying a good meal, laughing with friends, going shopping, dancing, taking a leisurely walk with your dog, or brainstorming ideas for a new idea.
Despite having accomplished many goals in life and done all things – immigrating to a new country, doing research and Ph.D., publishing papers, lecturing at universities, launching a successful company, traveling around the world for work and public speaking, organizing conferences and events, writing many blogs and books, and creating YouTube videos.
Besides that, I enjoy traveling to most countries, doing most of the activities I like to do in my life, parties, friends, being in a good financial situation, and doing lots of community activities- I still feel inadequate.
We often learn to devalue ourselves despite our accomplishments, and I am no exception. I was lost; I was seeking meaning in life. Something will teach me to look differently or choose another path in life. It is essential to take a step back and appreciate life.
Bite the tongue
Have you ever accidentally bitten your tongue while eating or speaking? It’s common and often happens when we’re stressed or eating too quickly. We had an expression in Farsi when someone said something bad or inappropriate “Bite your tongue.” I did not say something bad.
I have accidentally bitten my tongue a few times but never thought much of it.
However, I accidentally bit my tongue once, and the ulcer stayed unusually long – even after three weeks. I decided to see a doctor, who suggested doing a biopsy. This shocked me, as I never expected something as serious as a tongue biopsy. It was close to the Christmas holidays, and I had to take a break to process this unexpected news. I was also fearful about who would perform the biopsy.
Finally, on January 26th, I mustered up the courage to undergo the biopsy performed by a Head and neck specialist. Although it looked gross and felt uncomfortable, I was proud of myself for doing it. However, I became increasingly worried as I started researching tongue cancer online. While it is typically more common in older individuals who smoke or drink heavily, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something more serious was happening. No cancer in the family!! I am quite young, drink one glass per week, and do not like smoking.
Despite trying to maintain a positive outlook and enjoy each moment of life, my mind still grappled with the possibility of a more serious condition.
Back and forth to black and white
I made a conscious effort to strengthen my mental fortitude and maintain focus. I had a different voice in my head when I heard this news.
Inside me, there was a naughty child; look at this as a new adventure!!! I call it now Leila Adventurous (Lventurous).
Another voice in my head is so spiritual, and I tried to adopt a more positive outlook and get some lessons and feeling from what is happening. I call it Loda (Leila Yoda).
Of course, I had a sad voice or personality in my head that sometimes crept up on me. There were moments when I sat at my desk and cried, wondering what was happening to me. That sad person was responsible for all crying. I call it Miserable Leila.
I love all three of them; all are lovely, Leila Venturous, Loda, and Miserable Leila.
In the first step, Lventurous suggested I be involved in many trips and engage in learning and sharing activities. She thinks, let’s enjoy what you miss, or you will miss; Holy Leila liked the idea as she believed that appreciating the beauty of life and the people around me can help me a lot. Life now challenged me to confront the unwanted and embrace the changes that came with it. As a result, I found that life events and people seemed much more lovely than before