Lucky is Not This Reality

October 14, 2015
Lucky is Not This Reality

While living and teaching in San Jose, Costa, I was constantly told, “You’re so lucky.” This word, “lucky” wasn’t one which resonated with me and the reality I was living. So, I figured out why these words didn’t capture how I was feeling. Consider this poem when you contemplate your very own reality.

Lucky. You are lucky.

Is lucky the way to describe this reality?
Maybe. Sometime.
Sometime in the past.
Or in someone else’s reality.

But, for me, for this reality, this very existence, lucky is not the word.
This. This very existence. Cannot be defined by one word.

It is a culmination of life events translating into experiences.
All making up a multitude of words.
Words specifically destined for those very breaths in which they came about.

This experience, it is beautifully magnificent.
Divinely unique.
Expressively challenging.
Truly transformative.
Blessedly constructive.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

This reality has been constructed by breaths upon breaths of
Outward expression.
Internal reflection.
Daily gratitude.
Letting go.
Oh, so much more.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

This reality, that is constructed by breaths upon breaths embraces that which is present.
The environment.
The people.
The contrasting bright colors that line the streets.
The bond and connection between mothers and their children as they carry them around everywhere due to the inconvenience of strollers on the public transportation system and expense involved in this very piece of plastic.

Or the times when I’m standing on a bus so crowded that it’s hard to take a deep breathe. I have a skateboard in one hand, a backpack in the other and no hands left to hold myself in place as the bus moves in route back to the destination at hand, and an old man grabs my skateboard to relieve the stress of not being able to hold on. And moments later, I look down to see him calmly spinning the wheels of my board as he contently stared out the widow.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

To me, these moments,
They are filled with positive intention, deliberate connection.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

Maybe the moments when I get picked up at 3:30 AM by a random taxi driver to be driven to the bus stop for my first and solo border missions. That very cab ride was one of my favorite parts of the trip simply because he talked slowly in Spanish just so I could easily understand and therefore a conversation was made.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

How about the time when I was skating down the main street, Paseo Colon at 6:45 AM, heading to my first class and hit a bump in the road and went flying down the road, landing on my chin. Me in one direction. My skateboard in another. My backpack flew over my head. And the young men doing the morning deliveries came running over, lifting me off the ground and assuring me over and over again that I was okay.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

How about the moments when I spend hours upon hours planning for lessons throughout the week and am so exhausted that I feel as if I cannot even teach those lessons. And yet, I do. I teach those lessons, and at the end of the lesson, my student looks at me and says,“Teacher, that was such an amazing, dynamic class. Thank you so much. I learned so much today.”

Or the time I gave my students a homework assignment to write a letter to a person in a photo from my website and they did so, so incredibly well. I then put my student in contact with the person in the photo and they become pen pals and now, they get to share their lives with each other.

Or the moment my student did his final presentation on pencil day, to simply enjoy the little things in life, and then to later find out that his mother was dying of cancer.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

Or the moments when all I want is a hug and to have my mother rub my back while I fall asleep or to hold my boyfriend’s hand or to laugh in person with my friends. And reality strikes and that exact thing cannot happen but at that moment, my mom, boyfriend or friends send me a message or a voice note simply to say they love me and are thinking of me.

Lucky? Lucky is not this reality.

To me, these moments are not lucky.
Lucky is not the way to describe this reality.

These moments are a reflection of my thoughts.
A reflection of the energy that is put out into this world and received.
It’s the power of truly walking my walk,
Dancing my dance.
Singing my song.
Speaking my truth.

What you put out into this world
Is reflected with each breath.
You create these realities.
These moments.
These experiences.
These reflections.
This growth.
These understandings.
The internal connecting with the external.

Lucky to me miscommunicates the culmination of these very realities.

To me,
Outward expression
Internal reflection
Daily gratitude
Letting go
Communicates these realities.

What is your reality?

About Ashley Strong

Originally from the Southern part of California. Raised in a small town known as Oceanside. Sprouted in the community of Long Beach, finding my wings as an adventurer of this world, our world. Flying my wings, expanding across the country. Into various islands and tropical environments. Through Central America. On the South East edge of Africa. Landing on Mafia Island, Tanzania. And a lot of South African in-between. I am a lover of life. I am in love. in love with life. And quite frankly all those in it. I believe in the power of love, of communication, of educating, of teaching, of teaching through a multitude of mediums. The power of photography has been my vessel, bringing external awareness of pieces of my soul for the communities of the world to share, connect and uplift.
To see additional time capsules created while traveling and living around the world, visit my website, Ashley Strong Photography.

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