On The Road To Damascus

by Maria Vardanyan

Have you ever been on the road to Damascus? I bet  you have or you’re about to start your journey even if you don’t realize it…don’t be surprised because at one point or another, all of us are on the road to Damascus…

Before starting my own journey to Damascus, I was on standby, because I Hated…

A couple of years ago, I hated Armenia. I used to roam the streets of Yerevan and wonder what I was doing there. When my parents took me to a wedding, I thought that they did it to punish me as Armenian music seemed like a method of  torure to me. I hated everything Armenian: the music, the food, even the nature. I thought that I had no future here and if my parents want to ruin my life, they should keep me in Armenia. 

Every single night I used to sleep with the thought of moving to L.A.: as I closed my eyes, I would imagine myself landing at LAX in my Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and getting a yellow NYC cab to Hollywood (stupid I know, I was blonde even before dying my hair), the wind would be blowing through my hair as I would gaze at the Hollywood sign in an awe. Now, the only thing that makes me stare in  awe is a good ol’ juicy hamburger …and handsome men in suits. 

Because…

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it 

“MATURITY”.

This is when my journey to Damascus began,  when I started LOVING..

Only when I got the chance to move to L.A. did I realize how much I love Armenia. As the famous Armenian saying suggests, “Go die and come back, then I will love you,” because most of the time we take for granted what we have and only after losing it we start to see the value of it. Only in L.A. did I realize how good of a life I had back home in Yerevan, where everything is alive. I stopped worrying about my future and how my present actions will affect me 10 years later, as I did before. 

What if I stay in LA and go to the best university but still feel unhappy?

What if I go back to Armenia and ruin my life by losing the potential success that I could achieve in LA?

I stopped worrying about what “ifs”, because…

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it 

“SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

I started wondering what’s the purpose of life: to live every day like it’s your last and create unforgettable moments, which will turn into precious memories, or to achieve something big and unprecedented? Now, I believe that each person has their own kind of happiness and there is no use in searching for the answer because there is no  single right answer, we just have to live and see, because…

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that makes my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it

 “SIMPLICITY”.

I used to overthink and overanalyze every little thing, starting from the way someone greeted me in the morning, up to examining the way that I breathe. I made myself the prisoner of my own mind, I deprived myself from the ability to live in the moment and  enjoy life as it is. I spent so much time thinking of why, who and how that I forgot that the answer is simple…just because…

As told by my dad, “Don’t let anyone or anything disturb your peace of mind,” – a philosophy that I’m learning  to tame because…

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection 

“WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

I overthought every step that I took and every action that I made, as I was worried about the future and succeeding, but in reality all I did was  lose. 

I lost the time that was meant for me to enjoy the present and be thankful for what I already have…

I lost the opportunities that I had in the present because I worried too much about the future…

I lost the ability to see all the beauty that the world has to offer…

But…

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it 

“FULFILLMENT”.

Nowadays, 

We are constantly running…

towards  or from something?

We burden ourselves every day by  thinking…

 the what ifs…

the  right and wrong…

But in reality…

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know 

“THAT IS LIFE”!

Quotes retrieved from Watson. “Charlie Chaplin, as I Began to Love Myself.” Life in the Right Direction, 13 Dec. 2016, https://www.lifeintherightdirection.com/charlie-chaplin-began-to-love-myself/.
 Author ~ The origin of this poem is uncertain.  It is believed to have been written by Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday, however some give credit to Kim & Alison McMilen, for a poem titled, “When I Loved Myself Enough”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *