The sunny morning on a cold day. The colour of blue not interrupted by clouds of white or grey. The green grass. The plants that stand tall, alive in the warmth of a morning that isn’t shaken by the hustling rush of Monday to Friday 9-to-5’s. Beauties that nature has never chosen to hide.
Looking back on the month that was; about the hustle to make ends meet, it was like an unstructured juggle of time. The extreme opposites of goals enough to turn my hair from the darkest of browns to the lightest of white. Running almost parallel to the racetrack that led to the graduation podium where I would hold my degree, completed, up high, diverted by debt collectors digging holes in my empty wallet, I had to level my ground or else I would find myself buried alive. Lucky this was not my first time. Experience has taught me how to handle the stress and stay focused, one day at a time. Cut back enough on good times, just for this little while. Don’t take on any more tasks that would eat up what little time I had. Drive myself crazy with books, lectures notes, and constantly saying no to procrastinating devices but crazy enough to take my studying out-of-town and combine it with spending time with friends. Call it miraculous or completely distracting but during this time, I awakened to the beauties that I have taken for granted.
Simple living. Remove excuses, remove regret. Speak your mind, speak your heart, be honest instead. Appreciate people’s thoughts and values by their experiences and not by the standards I give myself; but not to get it confused with stupidity or being treated with disrespect. Let’s learn to listen to those around us. Let go of those who leave you bitter, and after some time trying to change things, still cause you to feel uncomfortable with being yourself, and vice versa.
As I go about my daily grind, I find myself observing my surroundings with a different perspective.
The city buzzes despite being covered by shadows of high-rise buildings where people slot themselves in to earn a living. Architectural designs made to impress international visitors, expressing class, style, wonder and delight; be amazed by the artistic flares price tags have funded for others to construct. Locals proud and lucky to have access to such beauty when they walk out of their jobs and onto footpaths.
The ground below never stops moving. People constantly walking, jogging; hopping in and out of taxis, cars and buses, all moving at their own pace. Each with their own agenda. Others sit in the many parks scattered in between building blocks and traffic filled streets, the timeout zones for those wanting to break away from the concrete jungle. Take your shoes off and dig your feet into the grass. Eyes closed, face to the sun, defrost the game face; relaxing, resting; nature reviving the tiring soul that was confined in the air-conditioned corner where time can fly or feel as stagnant as days crammed into only hours before midday.
Being a passionate traveller, I put myself in a tourist’s shoes as I walk through the tourist hotspots of harbour views and iconic attractions, pass restaurants and buskers, and wonder how I would go about a shopping spree with the prices of these designer dresses, shoes, bags, accessories, tees and jeans. Would I scope the entire city, taking pictures of everything I see? Would I know about all the cheap spots, try out all the different styles of the city’s night life? Would I head out to the beaches? Would I hike the mountains that divide our metropolitan living from country living? Would I explore rainforests via boardwalk, go off-roading, fish and camp for a few days too?
Travelling an hour and half west on the train, back home, scenery changes; busy highways and motorways turn off into quiet suburban streets, the tall buildings turn to houses, working stations to dining tables and couch and TV, workmates to friends and family. As long as I get to go home to them, and until I win the lotto, and sort out my investments so I don’t have to work again, work ain’t so bad.