Yesterday was a good day. Not phenomenal, not amazing , not boring. Just a good day. A nice walk through the city experimenting with the manual setting on my ridiculously overpriced and thoroughly underused camera, allowed my mind to wander around and drag my attention to a quite a few essential facts of my life.
I was genuinely surprised with how content I was with my life at that exact moment. Growing up as an actively stressed over-achiever(or at least that’s what I thought), the only constant in my life was the next big thing. The next test, the next assignment, the next competition. My behavior could quite possibly draw parallels with that of a addict waiting for his next fix. In my case, it was probably the adrenaline surge when you’re backed up against the wall and last minute panic is what you need to get you through. The pitiful thing though, is that once I got to whatever it was that I wanted, it lost its appeal and I would be left disenchanted till I got something new to focus on. A lot of it may just have to do with the mindset that is drilled into us at a very young age. The relentless focus on academics which prioritise studying and rote over learning, suppressing natural human curiosity.
Going back to my city stroll, I found myself on a bridge observing two young children, siblings, pointing out landmarks in amazement to their parents. Which took me back quite a few years, to when I’d have a sack full of questions for my parents, everytime some new discovery caught my attention. And a mental montage of the events that got me to where I am today. I always had a plan, but it looked nothing like what happened. If someone were to predict the future ten years ago and tell me what my life would look like, I’d certainly have a massive panic attack. In hindsight, I have to admit, things happened at just the right moment to help me grow and learn and adapt.
I still have goals, but they’re more flexible now. Every once in a while, I remind myself to take some time off and appreciate what I have. I don’t quite agree with the “Count your blessings” scenario because your “blessings” are the consequences, good or bad, of the sum of your actions. Sure I could have a more money and a job I can be more passionate about, but that is an ideal world. And an ideal world is boring. Imperfections is what makes life so alluring, and stops us going over the edge. Coming from someone who likes being a perfectionist, that’s quite some compromising on my part.
So maybe I don’t really need to be a top dog to be happy. On most days, curling up to read a good book with a cup of tea is more than enough. I doubt having a lucrative career could give me the same sense of contentment as a walk in the park on a sunny day, or snuggling under a blanket listening to the rain. Happiness, as I’m now beginning to see, is found in the simplest of things. Which is possibly why the rich are usually so poor when it comes to time and contentment.