I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to have an amazing life. I was born into a phenomenal family, who showered me with love and support. While my parents never had “tons” of money, they made sure that my life was always comfortable, which made for a fantastic childhood. I had all the things I needed and most of the things I wanted. I was spoiled with love and attention from my parents, grandparents, and other family members. I received a wonderful education from preschool all the way through grad school. I had lots of friends throughout all phases of life. I moved to Miami, continued to have amazing friends in my life, I had a blossoming career as a physical therapist. I bought a condo in Brickell and a new car. I had everything!
BUT. I wasn’t satisfied. Something was missing.
I was introduced to spirituality a few years ago, which was helpful. I began to meditate, I got to know myself better, I felt as though my eyes were much more open. Most importantly, I started to notice signs… almost as if the universe was trying to send me messages. The best sign I ever received was in the form of a random email.
As a member of a professional organization, I get loads of random emails; most of which I delete without even looking at them. For some reason, on that specific day, I decided to open and read one of those random emails. It was a request for physical therapists to volunteer their time in Haiti. I knew this was a sign of something I had to do. I also knew that my parents would think I was absolutely insane and wonder what the heck I was thinking, but I honestly didn’t care.
A few months later, I embarked on the most life changing journey of my life. I arrived in Haiti by myself, managed to find the person who was sent to pick me up at the airport, and I was on my way to adapting my journey here on earth.
My time in Haiti was phenomenal. Not only did I get to practice my passion of physical therapy on the most grateful and appreciative people I have ever met in my life, but I also got to work with other incredible health care workers from around the world. I was welcomed with open arms into the lives of people I had never known even a day before. I could go on for hours and hours (or pages and pages) about my experiences in Haiti (and would be happy to if you ask me), but the most important part of Haiti, to me, was what it left me with.
What I realized in Haiti, that I have no idea that I didn’t know before, was that I NEED nothing. I have been blessed with an amazingly fulfilling life! I may want things, but I NEED nothing. I learned that I am enough, I have enough, and I will always be enough. I learned that it doesn’t take anything but myself to be happy. Some of the people I met in Haiti lived in literal shacks with palm fronds for roofs… and they were happy! They were happy because they had family and friends and life! Haiti taught me the most wonderful life lesson – I don’t need anything, but love for myself and for others, to be happy.
Now, I didn’t come back to Miami and sell all of my possessions and move to a shack, but I did learn to appreciate what I have so much more.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
“Become friends with people who aren’t your age.
Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours.
Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class.
This is how you see the world.
This is how you grow.”
With peace and love,
Alix Terpos PT, DPT