Two years had already passed since she decided to leave the
city for a provincial town.
She still remembered how much time and anguish she had
experienced; her mind a whirlwind of thoughts pecking her brain with all the
things that could go right or wrong.
It was hard to change your entire life. To exit the safety
of your comfort zone, of everything you are used to and feel comfortable with.
But if you don’t, if you never take the leap, you’ll never know where life can
She never regretted having found the courage to alter
“Not everyone can do
everything. Because it is as simple a fact that you can’t be good at many
things. You can adequately do a lot, but only expertly do a few”.
He clearly remembered his professor’s words since the first
day of college.
He was investing time to gain the knowledge required to specialise
in one specific sector.
However, in an age of multitasking and in a labour market
that sought individuals with a range of skills, he found the prompt
How could you focus on one thing alone when the world was
asking you to know more?
His professor was the one who offered the reply.
“The more specific
knowledge you possess, the greater ability you have in comprehending a
situation and offering solutions others cannot see”.
He then handed him a quote from a famous scientist. It said:
“A smattering of everything is worth
little. It is a fallacy to suppose that an encyclopaedic knowledge is
desirable. The mind is made strong, not through much learning, but by the thorough
possession of something” (Louis Agassiz).
“Never stop learning.
Seek knowledge on everything and anything. But know what to invest on and
specialise on something in particular. That will make you stand out. And it
will make you sought-after and marketable”.
They had first met there, at the picnic table in the middle
of the basketball court. He had offered to share his sandwich with her. She
found it an over-generous gesture, given the fact that not many people share
Since then they shared their lives with each other too.
Every Friday night they would meet at the same place so that
they would never forget where and how they began.
But lately he started running late and then cancelling on
She would still wait for him.
Sitting alone at the table, wondering where he prioritised
The world was still asleep. Daylight had not yet broken the
She woke in her sleep as if an alarm clock went off inside
her. She got up, sat at her desk with a pen and paper. Traditionally. She preferred
it to the digital typing of a keyboard. Her pen was rushing across the page,
trying to keep up with the words that were pouring out of her mind. She needed
to record them all now that inspiration called, otherwise this wave would fade
out during her sleep. Expression came at strange hours.
Time was the most precious gift you could devote to anyone. Even
She scribbled down all that her heart pounded to say but couldn’t.
Those words left unsaid that you always wonder if they would make a difference.
He, on the contrary, didn’t have a way with words. He would only reply if
forced to. But she wanted to let him know. She wanted to assure herself she had
done all that she could; all that was possible on her part. The ball was then
in his court. And she was obliged to accept his decision.
She wrote it all. The stubbornness they both had in
communicating, their obsession with not letting go of things from the past, their
inability to manage their feelings, the wanting it all and getting nothing in
the end. She wrote of how she was
holding things to surprise him with, she dreamt of sharing with him her accomplishments
and was eager to boast about his development too. But something broke along the
way. And it kept breaking.
She concluded her letter stating that it was what he used to
say – that they had found the winning lottery ticket – but somehow they had now
lost it or simply let it go.
The letter – just like so many others – was left unsent.
The heart is a delicate thing. It hurts even when you’re
convinced it won’t. And the worst of all
is when you say you can’t do anything about it. Because that ‘can’t’ has a “don’t
want to” underneath. And that perhaps is the most painful of all.
He had recently gotten new blue glasses because he had
misplaced – ergo lost – the previous ones. She was so excited to see them left on an open
book one afternoon.
She had been trying to get him to read forever.
Readers do that – they try to insert everyone in their
magical world. That place where you can escape to from anywhere at any time. Where
you can, temporarily at least, forget about the things troubling you. Where you
can raise your mind and glimpse into another world, another perspective,
another universe. And you always come out wiser, sometimes even bolder.
It was a scorching hot summer day, but Jake was of the
perception that you should grasp every opportunity offered to you to enjoy life
to the fullest. The renowned waterfalls were very close to his holiday stay so
he decided to go on the expedition early in the morning.
His car wouldn’t go that far though. It refused to budge
further than the asphalt-paved road. So Jake had to get out, put his hat on,
grab a bottle of water and take the trail on foot. Trekking was always one of
his passions. He thought it would be an easy task.
But along the way, the road became steep downhill and
slippery. Then small, sharp steps were added to the challenge, along with
pointy branches that hit you abruptly. The temperature became humid and hotter
as it took much longer than expected to arrive to the sought destination.
After an hour of trail – given that Jake took a wrong turn
and had to go back to find the right road-sign for where he was going – he finally
reached a rainforest-like path and could hear the sound of running water.
There was a crowd leading up to it.
Too many people meant he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as
much as he would like. Tourists often did not appreciate the cultural
significance of what they were looking at.
Jake finally reached the foot of the waterfall.
You could hear the stream running from the top of the hill
into a 3metre-deep pool. But that was pretty much it. There was not much to see
and Jake was unimpressed.
Expectations often lead to disappointment. That was his
thought at the sight.
And then he had to take the opposite route to return. And it
was all uphill now.