The Encouraging Life Lessons I Learned From My Nan
To pay tribute to the life of my nan, I felt the need to write this article. I hope her life lessons can help you as much as they have helped me.
On the 22nd of October 2021, my grandmother passed away. Death is a rather distasteful thing. I have never had to mourn the life of someone in my life until now.
In these dark moments, it can often be hard to see a glimpse of light. So, I have turned to my laptop to write down my immediate thoughts. To give you context to how immediate these thoughts are, it is almost midnight on 22nd October 2021.
Despite her still having much of her life to live, her death has brought about an emotion I can not explain. Yes, I am distraught, and of course, I wish it had never happened. However, there is a glimmer of hope that shines in the future I can see.
Like most grandmothers, she was kind and spoilt me terribly. She would buy me things and would spend any penny she had to make me an inch happier.
She was not rich and never had much. However, she was laid back, and her joyful spirit allowed her to make many friends. She would often visit them regularly and was always out and about with her plans.
She was certainly not a lady you could hold down. And from observing her life, it was clear she had one of balance. Laid back, but always active. Sociable but spent much time by herself. Open-minded, yet critiqued the ideas of others.
Facing her death is forever something I will struggle to live with. Yet still, to face it also brings about a unique experience of hope I have never felt. And it is this hope I seek to share with you. But to give her life full justice, I firstly wish to admire the life lessons I will be taking with me I learned from her.
Live Life on Your Own Terms
Many people are caged by the thoughts and opinions of others. If we could, many of us would choose to please the whole world and lose our authentic selves.
In one sense, it is human nature. From the day we are born, we are in a system that calls us to value the opinions of others. Our families are the starting point of this journey, and everything else follows.
We have been programmed to care about the thoughts of others, and unfortunately, we can lose sight of who we wish to become. My nan was very much against this way of thinking. I even remember her often telling me to stand up to my mother when she was questioning me.
She did not encourage disobedience, but she encouraged individuality. To not feel threatened by the views of others and to live a life that you seek to live. It is here, I believe, where much of her happiness came from. She was never caught up in trying to please individuals or making them feel better. Instead, her happiness was drawn from her ability to be herself.
We are a speck in the cosmos, and our lives are here are short. So, why waste it living a life others have defined for you. My nan gave me the courage to live a life that I wanted to create. It is here where the joy of life can be found.
Do Not Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind
It is easy to stay quiet and avoid conflict. In fact, it is the best thing to do in most cases. For the most part, we can live our own realities in our heads without letting others know.
However, it is also through doing this we torment ourselves with the reality we wish to see. When we hold back our thoughts and do not voice them, we often fill ourselves with regret and wish we could have it our way.
Well, there is no guarantee you will have it your way. But, you make it impossible to have it your way by not speaking your mind. It is through staying silent we lose our ability to shape the world we wish to see.
My nan was known for saying things that would leave people in shock. People would say, You can not say that or be careful. It was common to find people that agreed with her views yet were too afraid to openly speak up themselves.
Maybe it is here I get my firey nature from. And possibly one of the reasons why I write for the masses rather than leave my thoughts in my head. But being able to speak one’s mind without fear brings about great reward. For it is through this, you can live a life holding nothing back with zero regrets.
The Inspiring Life of My Nan
I was born to a mother who was not equipped to raise me. She was 16 and had no support from my father. However, it was the mother of my dad, my nan, that made it her duty to pick up the slack of her son.
She chose to play an active part in my life despite her son not being willing to do so. And it is here she gave herself another shot at life. I can not imagine the pain my nan would have felt knowing that her son could leave his child in the dirt.
To think that she dedicated most of her life to raising him, to only learn he would do something as outrageous as this. It must have broken her. Yet still, in a fight to recover, she gave herself another chance. Instead of being a missing party in my life, she decided to have another go at raising a boy.
She was there for my first birthday. She supported my mother when she could. And most importantly, she did her best to be there for me. Through all of this, she was able to see me grow up to the age of 21.
I was indeed the better boy. She was there for my academic rewards and supported my writing career. And even though she will never see me graduate, get married or have a successful life, she was more than certain I would do all of those things.
My nan did not let a negative situation ruin her life. Instead, she used it as an opportunity to mend her broken heart and come back stronger than she was. The inspiring act of her life is not that she was able to turn misfortune into fortune. It is that she was able to contribute to making a strong man out of a broken boy.
The Hope I See
You might question what hope do I have. After all, she is gone, and there is no way in bringing her back. Although I would love to have her back, my hope is not grounded in the life she lived. Instead, it is grounded in the things she has left behind.
For some people who pass away, we can use the phrase gone too soon. However, that is not the case for my nan. It is in her death I realized that she was here for a purpose. Without her, I would not be the man I am today.
It is through her lessons and words of encouragement, I have become the person I am. For me, my nan served her purpose. Yes, it is sad to see her go, but her job is complete. She took a broken boy and women under her wings so they could grow wings of their own and fly.
My hope is that although she is gone, she has left her lessons in me. And as a result, she will live on in the man she has helped build. And this should be the hope for all of us who have lost a loved one. It is that they will continue to have their being in the great people they have helped build.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.