From the rest of the Roy Family to Natasha…
That was a great family vacation before Natasha heads out for college.
We were fortunate enough to see some incredible sights and visit places that we had never visited before and perhaps will never again do so. We saw some majestic animals and birds, petted some really cute baby animals and witnessed some beautiful trees and flowers. We went for long walks and then ate at some quaint local eating joints and wineries. We had some thrilling first time rides and stayed in places with no phone or internet connections. Wherever we went, we made new friends – from Serbia to China to Philippines to Honolulu and met up with the old ones to say thanks for the privilege we have had in crossing our life paths with theirs. We had the occasional fights between the girls and we had the incredible never-seen-before bonding moments between them.
This adventure comes to an end.
And now, Natasha, your adventure begins.
From the whole family, we wish you the best that life can offer you. Like our adventure this time, do not forget to step out of the beaten path. Do not be afraid to venture out in your own way. Seek your own path in life. See the unseen sights, the seldom visited places, experience the lonely paths. And that is what will make all the difference.
Do not get caught up with the so called big things in life. It is the small things – that stopping to pet the dog one more time, that going to the small eatery that supports a whole family, that going back to the gift shop to pick something for a friend – those are the kind of things that makes life meaningful. And somehow, you will realize some day, that when you take care of the small stuff, the big stuff somehow just happens.
Do not forget to try. Fear is our big enemy. Sometimes all it takes is a stubborn refusal to accept the alternate. Just like you volunteered to sit at the window of the helicopter inspite of having inherited a morbid fear of heights from me – you will realize that when you open your eyes a teeny weeny bit, it is really not that bad. And it is that teeny weeny step that emboldens you to completely open your eyes and enjoy life the way it was meant to be. But it does take that small teeny weeny step first.
The glaciers, in many ways, were the perfect metaphor in life. The journey seems slow at times – painfully slow. And just as in the case of the glacier, in life too, when you feel you are burdened with enough weight, there will be another round of snow that will be dumped on you. But it is that pressure that creates the crystals. The best in you will come from your moments of stress – seldom from the moments of levity. The key though, is to keep that forward movement on. As long as you keep pushing forward, the direction seldom will matter. Eventually, even at a glacial speed, you will seek your own valley and then burst out in the form of crystal clear water that will rush down to meet the ocean of serenity.
And in that process some amount of friction will be necessary. That is the beauty of life. To be true to your own self, you will have to stand up for something. And whatever it is that you stand up for, there will be opposing forces and therefore friction. And that is not a bad thing. Without the friction of the glaciers, new landscapes would not be carved out every year. Without an ability to take on heat, you cannot expect to lead.
But above all – and this I mean in the most sincerest form – never lose sight of the fact that it is people who matter the most. People are people and things are things. People – any one – has to trump things – any thing. Wherever your life takes you, get to know people, talk to them, make friends, empathize with them. They are following their own life paths. A few steps together makes both of you a better person. Regardless of who you are, try to remember that you are more fortunate than many others. Being fortunate counts next to nothing if you do not share with less fortunate ones.
And never forget people that you were fortunate enough to cross paths with. Whenever you get a chance, revisit them and remind them that you are who you are because of a lot of influence of lot of people like them. Some small influences, some large influences. But each one of them worthy of your gratitude.
Some day, your path, like all our paths will come to an end. When we will look back… we will see a melee of people behind us… never the things we carried with us.
Now go forth in this truly exciting adventure that we fashionably call “life”.