Monday, December 29, 2014


Last month, I was walking to town in a terrible mood, on a surprisingly pleasant day in Cardiff; it was comfortably sunny with no sign of rain. I remember feeling extremely flustered for some reason - my handbag refused to stay on my shoulder for more than 5 seconds, my jacket was too warm and my shoes weren't being very helpful, either.  If those 10 minutes were to have a background score, it'd definitely be "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".

I managed to carry my sorry self to the first coffee shop I saw and mumbled my order to the Barista who asked me if I was alright. Now this wasn't the typical greeting that most of us throw at each other because he seemed genuinely concerned. I forced a smile and told him that I was just having a bad day, inching my way towards a table to avoid small talk. Within a few minutes, he brought my coffee to me and handed me a small note which read - It's just a bad day, not a bad life :).

Being the Pinterest-er that I am, such quotes hold a special place in my heart and this small gesture really made me melt. I giggled and thanked him and went back to the book I was reading. The next 10 minutes, however, involved me reading the same page over and over and over again, comprehending absolutely nothing. My mind wandered to everything that had happened in the past few months - rejection, unworthiness, pain, blame games and guilt. 
I looked up and saw the same Barista, singing to himself, making small talk with the customers and having the time of his life whilst serving coffee. If there's one thing about me that I'm proud of, is the ability to see the positive in every stormy situation and I sat horrified, realizing how negative I had been, lately. Instead of gathering myself up and all the rocks that life was happily throwing at me, I was slowly tearing myself apart.

For the next few minutes, I laughed and cried and softly slapped myself awake from the million delusions I'd clouded my mind with. I decided that escaping from reality wasn't going to help my situation in any way. Sure, I could drink my fears and pain away every night of the week but would the excruciating pain in my head, the next day, make anything easier? 
Physical pain might be way more comfortable than emotional pain but is living with any kind of pain a possible solution to all the challenges in life? 

I immediately took out my phone and noted down everything that had made me smile in 2014 - right from my achievements in February to the small note from the Barista in November. I then went on to pen down whatever I wasn't too happy about and surprisingly, this list ended after 2 points. I stared at my screen for the longest time, trying to think of more negative situations. Surely, I couldn't be THIS disturbed because of one or two things? Realization came in the form of a phone call from my mother and ended with a massive smile on my face as I walked back home. She told me that change occurs for a reason - it might break you, but it also transforms you into a person you never thought you'd become. We can't control situations or the minds of others, but controlling ourselves is possible.
I introspected for the next few days and concluded that I can't possibly look for happiness in some place, some person or some situation unless and until I don't find it within myself. 

Today, if you see me smile, you'll know the reason behind it. It's definitely not a person or an object or a glass of wine; it's just me, accepting my unadulterated self, learning to live with everything that life has to offer and filling up bags with all the rocks thrown at me to eventually build a fort.

Happy New Year!

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