So the simple and frugal life continues. Time is mostly spent on listening to jazzy love songs. And learning to play a few.
Every so often I listen to friends tell their stories in love. The search, the thrill, the hopeful thoughts, and the inevitable letdowns.
The perfect ending, too perfectly imagined at the very beginning.
If only we could be at absolute ease with life’s unknowns. More often that not, it’s the thoughts and emotions that get the better of us.
Lucky enough to be spared most of the day-to-day stressors, my life now is truly a luxury in disguise. One that I sometimes dread but try to relish. And one that will end before I’m fully aware.
Like everything else. It ends to start anew, and begins with another end awaiting.
The new year has been passing by quickly, and nothing has changed much. Not yet anyway. Except I’m a year older, and hopefully a drop wiser.
My days still revolve around the same routine. I practice, study, hang out in the neighborhood, go for runs, or a swim. Not that there’s anything I can complain, but even the perfectly simple life could do with some changes once in a while.
So off I go, to a place 7 hours away.
Where everything is much bigger and grander, and where all Chinese tourists stay at one hotel. (Hint: the most expensive one.)
A picture in front of the Burj Al Arab is thus obligatory.
Away from the crazy architectures, a Land Rover-ride in the desert plus some very strong shisha for the cold night was also quite an experience.
But a holiday isn’t complete without some sun, sea and sand. So another flight later, I find myself on the sunny islands of the Seychelles. Here I nap with the giant tortoises.Talk to some Seselwa guys. Eat fish every single day. Hike a short distance to the top of Morne Blanc. Bike around La Digue. And snorkel, newbie style.
Of course, I can’t possibly miss the amazing beaches!A good tan and more seafood meals later, my mind is clear as it could be, and my wallet emptied, inside out. My already frugal life, is about to get much worse.
I couldn’t have anticipated any of this. Wouldn’t have wanted to either. That plan to live the ‘perfect life,’ was thrown out the window ages ago.
The seemingly imperfect, flawed, sometimes exciting, but mostly mundane life, is all there is. It’s where mistakes are made, surprises are embraced, lessons learned, and where better days always lie ahead.
Why fight it, when I can surrender?
The quest ends. All answers disclosed.
A year; a long time. Long enough to realize the true meaning of failure, to be better and different. To forget and forgive, and embrace life’s many wonders.
The real world is a good place to be. After days and weeks and years spent floating in mid-air, walking on the feet is exhilarating; each step forward is firmer yet lighter.
The struggle to make up for lost chances eased, with the realization that sometimes, contentment is enough.
Enough to accept what is, with open arms.
Miserable thoughts make the days darker, and happy ones bring a spark of hope. No thoughts at all, there is peace.
I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time sitting on the bench, nurturing my musician’s concentration, while sunny yet breezy November days pass me right by.
Slooooow progress. But I guess, many a little makes mickle.
Occasionally I go sit by the pool, watch kids swim, maybe eat a sundae, and let my now dormant contemplative power come to the fore. Believe it or not, learning not to think incessantly is actually a not-so-easy skill to adopt.
Everything seems easier now; even when I do think, it’s hardly worrisome thoughts. Most of the time my thoughts center around the various types of love we find in life, happy moments, and the joy of pursuing a dream.
But being lighthearted is a surreal feeling, still is, after all these years. Gone with the restless mind are the need to fit in, to be less different, the wish to be elsewhere, to be someone else. And in their place, life at ease and at its best.
I’ve been searching for the longest time. A place to call home. One that grounds and secures.
Perhaps it’s somewhere among them. The people who come and go. Or hidden in a destination I have yet to reach.
Have I not looked hard enough. Because with the ever-changing surroundings, I forget easily.
Or could it be, buried within me. Concealed in thoughts.
Only I’m too afraid to stop thinking and know. Because without thoughts, what is there left?
Stepping into the 11th month of the year, I finally feel undistracted enough to collect my scattered thoughts, in hopes of garnering some wisdom along the way.
So I’ve been thinking.
Is it easier to set goals, dream big, and get anxious about life, than to take it easy?
After all that effort trying to be better at everything, maybe a change of perspective would really help.
Or a change of scene.
In the much cooler weather, Seoul amused me with their street parking system, and unleashed the happy shopper in me.
And back in the chaos of Shanghai, I reminisced the good times, but happy that I’ve left them behind me.
Like always, happy moments are the shortest moments. And when they end, I have no choice but to find bliss in black and white.
The weeks of October seemed longer than usual; I finally left my neighborhood, even got out of the country, to see new sights, and old friends. I was hoping to gain an extra boost of clarity too, because there are important decisions to be made, and serious life plans to be executed.
A year ago now, I was stressing over work and my music theory exam, not knowing that life, was about to take a new direction.
Some goals were accomplished along the way, while others deserve a second try.
Failures are only life’s way of teaching. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t know where I stand, and where I have to go. I would still be living in denial, reluctant to take a leap of faith.
After holding on to the past long enough, it’s a relief to finally realize, that it doesn’t matter where you started, or what you’ve been through, as long as you end where destiny is taking you.
Nothing times it more perfectly than fate does. However many regrets, shortcomings, and mistakes; they can all be let go, or even replaced, by possibilities that would’ve seemed too good to be true.
We always wonder why, in certainty and uncertainty, happiness and loneliness. Why it wasn’t different, better, and easier.
Realizations only take a split second, but getting there might’ve drained all our strength.
Holding on to memories that bring slight comfort won’t get us that far. Because what isn’t meant to be, will eventually fade out.
There will be a day, when laughters take over tears, and we wonder why again. Why didn’t we know sooner, that the best has been waiting all this time.
Almost a year and a half since I made the move back to sunnyland.
I had a viable plan, and it seemed, everything fell seamlessly into place. I’d started picturing my life in two years, as if time was the only thing standing in between me and my near future.
In retrospect, less wishful and more realistic thinking would’ve helped, because NOTHING, has turned out the way I’d planned it. They all took a different, and unexpected turn, for the unknown.
I got caught in a Cul-de-sac, with a map in hand.
And then I learn, it is never walking down one straight road, in the chase of a dream.