“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” – Joan Didion
* * *
One thing can be here at this very second, minute, hour, day, and gone the next. That is probably one of the most tragic things that exists in life.
One day, I’m having this tea in a local London café and sharing a good time with friends. I’m with him, with her, with them, and everything looks, sounds, tastes, and feels beautiful and glittering. And the next day, all that is left of it is a sweet memory carefully tied in at the back of my head – covered, protected, sheltered like some precious stone that only gets out of a drawer to give light in the darkest times…
That is probably one of the most tragic things that exists in life. But also one of the greatest and most beautiful, because it taught me to value and enjoy what is in the here and now, and stop worrying about the future for a while.
Before I lost my dad, I was planning my life – like, a lot – and even though I realised that everything kept changing all the time because of the unexpected beauty of everyday adventures, I kept on planning anyway. I supposed that somehow felt reassuring and made this whole future thing less daunting and less scary…But in fact, as I was always thinking about the what nows? and what ifs?, I was totally missing out on life. I was missing out on all the simple and genuine things that glue life’s bits and pieces together to create this amazingly chaotic, yet dashing puzzle…
The sweetness of a chocolate square, the cup of tea shared with some of the closest people in my life, the caress of a caring smile or a gentle touch, the profound joy and life-changing feeling provided by a few weeks in a foreign country, the 2 am conversations, the tight hug held an extra second longer, the walks in the sun, in the wind, in the rain, the lovely words and the kind thoughts…
All of this is what makes life worth living. All of this is what to hold on to – they are the precious stones, the stars shining bright in the night sky, the little things that inspire big changes. But none of this lasts forever. Good things have got this very annoying tendency to have like a use-by date stamped on them, just like these fantastic books that you need to return to the library by the end of the day. It’s nonsense to think about what is going to be the next great novel you’ll wanna read if you haven’t even processed the one you’ve just finished. So you renew it. And you read it again, but differently; you pay closer attention to details and start to see all that was yet to be seen and get curious about what is still to be seen. So just like I renew books at the library, I renew simple moments of joy and re-live them, feel them deeper each time, make the most of them and then cherish the memory of them until an even better and sweeter next time.
Happiness is a choice that needs to be made everyday. And only the strong-willed hearts can make it.
I’ll turn 22 in August, hopefully get my master’s degree by the end of 2016, my head is filled with ideas and projects for the days to come, and my heart is opening up again and reuniting with its greatest strength, i.e. vulnerability. But apart from that, I have no idea what I am going to do with the rest of this year – let alone the rest of my life.
And I am totally fine with that!
Many wonderful things can happen in a year time, in a day, even in just a few seconds. I might get an unforeseen opportunity, or a job that’s even better than the one I was thinking of in the first place, I might fall in love, meet extraordinary people or go someplace that’ll change the way I see the world…Some milliseconds can turn your head upside down and make you change your plans. So I don’t know where I’ll be, what I’ll be nor who I’ll be when I postgraduate.
Right now, I’m here and I’m happy and that’s all that matters.
Life’s never like we expected and that’s the beauty of it.
“It was as simple as that – they met. As simple as only beautiful things can be beautiful, as only life-changing things, turning-point things, can be simple.” – Cornell Woolrich