Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013: Take It and Go

The past couple of weeks have been so refreshing. I wanted to use the word awesome but I think the words has been too overused last year so I am going to save it for an appropriate event, like, seeing auroras or volcano blasts or things like that this year. My department was on holiday for almost 2 weeks since it is an international organization, everybody gets back to their home countries for Christmas. Since it is easy and quite cheap to get anywhere around Europe on the train, I decided to do a bit of the tour.

The first place I went to, my friend and I met this young couple living in a small ski town in the Alps. We had the chance to see their house and hitch a ride with them to the train station. To be honest, we couldn’t really converse very well since their English is not that good, but from the little bits of conversation, I gather that they are very content with their lives, and that fascinates me. It is such a beautiful place to live, really, surrounded by mountains, lakes and lush landscapes, and they leveraged on that by living simply and being in touch with nature. For one thing, the house was built by their father, on his own, brick by brick. They have good internet but prefer to stay off social media and they fill their time taking long walks on weekends instead, hiking, cycling, skiing, and the likes of that. Many times during our conversation, they would tell how proud they are to live in the small village, away from the hustle bustle of the city. I have wanted to tell them yes, that makes their attitude totally different from the people in the nearest city we were in. I don’t think anybody in the city would be kind enough to let us hitch a ride to the train station and let some strangers see their house. There is just too much paranoia in the city.

 It makes me miss the times when I live such simpler lives too. So I gave it a try, one morning in Zurich I went off all social media, deactivating Facebook and Twitter, and just let my feet take me anywhere I see attractive. Being so used to uploading photos every time I see anything interesting and updating every thought in writing, I seem to struggle at first not to reach for my phone. But then, later a sense of freedom starts to overwhelm me. Walking through the old cobble-stone alleys of Zurich, I no longer see the beautiful scenes mostly through a camera lens, but instead with the perfect view of my eyes. Camera lens never do justice towards the beauty of nature anyway. The city, the old buildings, the lake, with the background of the majestic snow-capped mountains, I sat at a high point in the city and be still in the moment, observing life below me pass by, thinking these are the moments in my life that I feel most alive. It is true. These are the moments when I have full gratitude to the Creator for letting me live another day.

The renewed sense of freedom was so good that I felt I could stay this way for awhile, at least until the end of my holidays, since many of my work, especially with my NGO depends heavily on social media. So I still stayed off until I decide to write this entry, early new year, 2014, where my work starts again tomorrow. I have seen a lot of things in 2013, travelling across continents back to back. Doing things I never thought I would. But one thing I learn about doing things out of your normal circumstances, is that the ‘out of ordinary’ thing, now becomes the ordinary. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it actually puts me at peace. It is not like losing interest and excitement in life, as if coming down with depression, no. It more like looking back, still couldn’t believe you did all that, smile and not talk about it unless being asked to. I think that is one way for a wise person to be humble. Do extra ordinary things when you are young, so you don’t grow arrogant with inflated sense of self-importance when you are older. Because you have done all of it when you are young, and it doesn’t mean too much to you anymore, that you don’t have to talk about it 24/7. Yeah, I like that idea. I am going to be content, say 2013 was a great year, and leave it there. In the words of Russell Peters when imitating the Indian culture: “Take it, and go”.

Popular Posts