It is said that it takes something rattling to reveal who you truly are and what you want. But it takes something equally dramatic to shake you into realising who you truly have around you. We don’t really know the people in our lives. We only know as much as they allow us to see.
We often spend years thinking of a person as our closest ally, someone with whom we share our darkest secrets, our most intimate thoughts and our sincerest dreams. Only for a time to come – an incident to occur – that will serve as a slap in the face and we will come to see that they were nothing of what we thought. People we consider friends turn out to be snakes – deceitful and sly, sometimes even stabbing us in the back while all the while smiling widely and offering us support.
These are the worst kind of people; those who act as close associates in life, but tend to behave in the exact opposite way of how they advise you. They are usually the ones who blame others to you, yet hypocritically befriend them as if nothing ever occurred. The ones who see how others have wronged you but instead of – ethically, at least – taking your side, continue to have more communication and flattery-exchange with the former than with you.
There are people whose behaviour you cannot understand simply because it is completely contrary to the way you would act. Not everyone shares the same mindset or beliefs. And certainly not everyone has the same heart as you. Perhaps that is the most difficult to acquiesce or apprehend. That sometimes there is simply no answer to the question ‘why’ and we just need to accept the reality of things, let go, and move on.
If anything, for our own peace of mind.
It started raining before the sun emerged. When the first rays hit the sky, a rainbow appeared.
Elise woke late and got up almost forcefully to begin the day. She did not have much planned, but you never know what each day may bring. You just need to be ready for it.
She sat near the window watching the rain alternate from thunderous storm to pitter-patter.
It was half an hour later that a message sounded on her phone. A pleasant alteration to an otherwise empty schedule. With a lighter mood, she got ready quickly, took her large umbrella and walked out into the ominous weather.
By the time she returned, she had a renewed perspective on life itself. The rain hadn’t stopped. But that didn’t matter.
There are some people in your life who know when to appear at the right moment, even without you asking. They are those who without trying, without even knowing at times, lift you up and fix your mood, no matter what you’ve been going through. Be it a parent, a friend, a close associate, even your boss. They are those who effortlessly challenge and prompt you to become a better person. Who show you that you should strive for excellence, to be the best you can be, to read more, to discover more of the world we live in, and most importantly to act, to stay in constant motion, to feel alive.
Those who make you see that beyond the rain there is always a rainbow signalling the arrival of the sun.
If you were granted one wish effective immediately, what would you wish for? Would it be for money, for material goods, or for courage, hope, love?
Lindsey knew exactly what should would seek: fulfillness. She wanted to feel that everything in her life was what she desired; that she had all she needed and wanted; that she was complete. It was something rare for anyone to state, because each person always believes they are lacking something, or they could always do with something more. That sense of incompletion is something that constantly accompanies us throughout our lives.
With everything she was forced to survive during the past few years, Lindsey was hopeful that this wish from a Secret Santa at an office party would perhaps restore the hope and optimism she had lost.
It wasn’t just the sentiment that had gone missing; it was herself too. Because more often than not people lose themselves trying to please others, in their effort to become the person they think will be more desired by another. But in the process, we fail to see that we lose the person that is most wanted by us: ourselves.
It is said that we need to find inner peace before we radiate the light we have inside. When you’ve reached the darkness, you have learnt to walk blindly towards the light. And if you just take a step in the right direction, all it takes is a spark to light the flame.
For the majority of people, holidays – especially Christmas and New Year – means home. It means being surrounded by your loved ones, the people who know you best and who will be next to you no matter what. They are the ones who stay whatever the situation is and who remind you that you are stronger than you think and can survive anything. You did so far, and you will continue to do so.
There is no place you feel safer than being at home. Because here, nothing can touch you, nothing can hurt you or make you sad. You have a safety net of love that acts as a shield, helping you cope with whatever is causing havoc in your mind. And you can get lost simply staring at a burning fireplace, wrapped up in a fleece blanket on the couch.
When you have a birthday on Christmas day – like I do – you feel this season more deeply. It is your season, your time, your day. Because you have no other all year round. No one is entitled to ruin it for you and you shouldn’t let anyone do so. After all, people hurt you only as much as you allow them to.
When I tell people I have a Christmas-birthday. I get two types of reactions: one is – ‘oh how lovely to have a birthday on this special day, you’re really lucky’; and the other – ‘that sucks, you have everything crammed in one day and don’t get all the attention you deserve’. My view is somewhere in between. I’ve said it before, there are pros and cons to having a Christmas birthday. But when you get to share this very special day with people who really care for you and you’re overwhelmed with love and wishes, that’s all that matters.
A person feels happy when they feel safe and loved. Everything else will come at the right time.
Stay positive and happy holidays everyone!
How many times can you honestly say that you looked forward to the mailman coming? How many times have you rushed to the postbox to see if you had a letter, other than some package you ordered online and of course not the usual bill you have to pay? A true letter. A correspondence from a friend. Something that would make you check the postbox in anticipation, eagerly awaiting that small envelope with that familiar handwriting addressed to you. And in that, it would enclose news, something you would otherwise share with your friend over coffee, or a walk in the park. If only you were not separated by so many miles. And the small problem of never having actually met…
I have one such friend. A person with whom I literally grew up.
The other day, I was sorting out some old stuff. And I found that I have been sharing my life with this penfriend since even before my teens. It’s funny to see how we evolved together. How we shared our daily routines, from the time we went to school, our high school crushes, our hobbies and interests, and how this later turned out into something more “serious”. Into going to study what we love at university, finding work and leading a “grown-up life”.
My friend and I have shared a lifetime together. But we have never met in person.
Having only known the image of each other from photos, we grew closer together from our writing. From these letters we exchange every so often. Even in this digital age, and despite our contact on social networks, we still write letters to each other in the traditional way – yes with pen and paper. Why? Because it’s fun! Because no matter everything else that changes, this is something that remains constant. Because no matter where in the world we are, we still write to each other and share our experiences, our thoughts and concerns. Because there is a certain elation in getting a letter in the post, that you know is exclusively for you and does not demand any money in return. Because it simply is a joy.
Growing up with a penfriend from across the world, I have learnt to indulge into different cultures. To want to know more about how people outside the constraints of my nation live, think and act. I have learned to appreciate difference and diversity and have learned to value the importance of human contact. You can’t live life alone. And sometimes when you want to escape the toxic routine of your daily life, having a penfriend, someone who will let you in on their own life even from afar, will help you do just that.
I love having a penfriend. And after so many years and countless letters, I still look forward every time to the moment I will open the post box and find her letter waiting for me. It is an excitement that words cannot describe. Because sometimes it is the joy in the simple things that become your greatest treasure.