I have always hated the town where I was born. It’s in the north of the Czech Republic and it’s in a region which suffers from a high unemployment, there are lots of factories around us and my town has this horrible communistic look since most of the buildings were built during the times of communism. People from all over the Czech Republic consider our town as the shithole of our country with no beauty, no interesting places.
The thing that I’ve missed the most has been culture and life. And I still miss these things as there are no artistic cafes, not many cultural events and I’ve just always felt like there has been a huge lack of opportunities for me. Also, I would like to get to know more interesting people (although I really like my friends).
But I’ve always seen only the bad things. And that applies to the Czech Republic as well. I’ve hated my town, I’ve hated my country, I’ve hated the Czechs and I’ve hated the idea of me being one of them. And now looking back, I feel kind of sorry for myself because I was so hateful that the hatred made me blind. Plus it kept sucking so much energy out of me. Everytime I complained about something, I immediately felt the energy running away from me and I felt so much more tired. I also used to suffer from headaches. I had a headache every. single. day. That’s one of the reasons why I hated school so much – it always gave me headaches and after coming home I could just crush down on my bed and fall asleep.
To be honest, I’m not really sure when this changed. It just eventually did. I think I’ve been calming down more and more in the past few months and I’ve really been trying to keep a positive attitude.
And there are so many beauties that I’ve discovered! Before, all I could do was just complain about things and shut my eyes and dream about a better life. And I still want to move away since I still think that this town is too small for me, too closed. I am the kind of a person that needs to explore, that needs to see wider. But the thing is, I cannot move away right now. I need to finish high school. I still have one year to go and I have decided to get as much as I can out of it. Okay, so I cannot live someplace else right now. I cannot stop attending subjects that I find boring and useless for me. I cannot meet new people that would really interest me. But I still can do something. I can read, study languages and other things I love, I can improve myself in the fields that interest me. And I can finally open my eyes and see it. All of it.
I can see the beauty which has been right there in front of me for such a long time. Our town is located near the mountains and I’ve never realised that there are so many hills all around us. There is also so much greenery. I’ve heard that our town is the greenest town in the Czech Republic which many people don’t have a clue about. Everywhere I go, there are trees and grass. Also, we have a huge forest in the middle of the town. I can literally walk for two minutes and I end up in a forest, surrounded by trees and the chirp of the birds. There is a castle on a hill above our town and two vast lakes. I have always complained about the lack of nature in my life yet it is everywhere around me.
Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who lived in the 20th century and survived a concentration camp, said something like: “If we don’t have the power to change the conditions which we end up in, we still have the power to change our attitude towards these conditions.” And I remember that when we learnt about him at school half a year ago, I wanted to believe him so much. I wanted to change my attitude towards my conditions but I didn’t know how. Now I see that it was so trivial all along. The only things that need to be done are:
- to stop complaining about everything and rather start profiting from it as much as we can (for example if you’re attending a subject you don’t like, either just listen and try to remember at least something since every information can be useful sometimes, or do something else – write a story while pretending to be writing down your chemistry notes or secretly read a book…)
- to focus on the things that we love and care about and to give them as much as we can
- to open our eyes and see it
To see everything that we’ve never noticed because we’ve been so busy hating and being angry. There is always something beautiful that’s just waiting for you to find it. It’s never as bad as it looks. And changing our attitude towards our conditions suddenly raises our level of happiness so much.
Now I know that it’s much better to give my energy to positive thoughts, rather than to complains and hatred. And I’m feeling a lot happier.