What we desire isn’t always what we need….yet what we really need always finds a way to come to us….sometimes the hard way though! I thought as I sat near the window of a beach hut watching the waves building up and smashing at the shore.
Who knew a holiday could bring about that much change in one’s life. Though this one had always meant much more that a holiday, little did I know it would turn into a roller coaster ride.
This is my story. This is also the story of a flawsome journey that changed my life…A journey of similes and metaphors and hyperboles. A journey of unpredictability and twists and turns. A journey of awe-inspiring and breathtaking moments. A journey where I could see my life from a higher vantage point and experience how universe works. All in all, it was a perfectly imperfect holiday which catalyzed an irreversible shift in my life.
If we go little back in time my life was in mess with clutter everywhere that threatened to drown me. I was desperate to come out but nothing seemed to help. I wanted to scream…I wanted to cry which I did more than ever those days… and I wanted to run away…run away from the chaos…from the world…from myself. Crouching down on the floor I wondered where all the happiness had evaporated from my life.
On one such day while flipping through the pages of a magazine, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful hut on the beach looking over the spectacular sea. Something about that picture entranced me. And I felt this strong urge to be there. As if there was something magical about that hut which constantly pulled me. A pull so strong that brilliantly outstripped the fear of that recurrent childhood nightmare where I would witness a ship drowning in the ocean. The conflict didn’t last long and in an instant I knew I’d to be there in that hut despite being a hopeless hydrophobic. Perhaps this was my chance to take on my fears…to rejuvenate…to seek answers…and more than anything to find my lost happiness.
While that hut continued to beckon me, I worked hard on my schedule to make window for that vacation. However, nothing seemed to work right and from unexpected, last minute ticket and booking cancellations, to political uproars to flight delays I got it all covered.
Once I embarked on this journey, more unexpected obstacles began to surface one after other; the whole trip seemed to be mysteriously jinxed. And it was hard not to think that how the muddle of my life adamantly followed me on the trip too, which made me wince.
Had I known how this trip had lessons in store for me at every instant, maybe I would have tried to keep my anxiety and impatience in check. But of all the other things, this is also one which makes us human, our limitation to see past that bend in the road.
And now here I am…sitting in the beach hut watching the gentle sea waves scattering the hues of morning sun like sequins. I find my thoughts slowly drifting to the small boat tied at the shore swaying with the rythm of sea. And that rythm miraculously choreographing my thoughts.
I glared at those timeless waves for what seemed like an eternity. Then in a flash the memory of that rocking ship on the stormy sea hit me. And the mere thought sent shivers down my spine. I closed my eyes for a long moment. A swelling sea beneath my feet with waves so huge that made the ship look like a dwarf. Rain splattered everywhere and it was hard to distinguish gray sky from gray water. The raging sea seemed to mock the panic-stricken humans by threatening to tip the ship over. Huge crests crowned with white froth racing to meet the blurred horizons. At that moment I couldn’t tell dream from reality. One was the reflection of another. My nightmare…Oh that wicked nightmare had come alive!
Someone seemed to have blown life into that lifeless nightmare which menaced countless lives now. And it happened all of a sudden without a warning! A thousand thoughts crossed my mind with intensity that matched to that of cyclone. Had that bewitching hut on the island lured me into this? No…Oh dear God no! I didn’t ask for this. All I had asked for was a peaceful life…not to die in the middle of the ocean with my worst nightmare being invoked. My brain working hard to retrieve memories from the past…as old as when I was a little child…and fervently replaying them. Faces, conversations and places coming alive and then vanishing in the blur. I let out a deep sigh and closed my eyes.
My life and its highs and lows…stormy sea with its crests and troughs…all were in synch. The oneness I felt with universe in that moment surprisingly soothed my soul. Stiffness began to resolve and I breathed easier. The noise outside slowly faded into a deafening silence. I don’t know how much time had passed before the murmuring of fellow passengers brought me back into the scene. Panic on their faces was replaced with a sense of relief. And as I looked around, I realized we were nearing the shore with island in the view. The storm had passed like it never came.
And now as I sit here in the beach hut, my thoughts and waves seem perfectly synchronized…coming together and then falling apart. And isn’t that how life works. It doesn’t stay constant ever. It comes together for a while and then falls apart. And it happens again and then again. The point we fail to understand is that it’s not always about sorting things and defeating the obstacles to create a perfect life, it’s about letting the life be real at times.
Running away or physically distancing yourself from the problems can never solve them, as it’s not the problems, it’s you. Yes you and your reaction to them! And wherever you go, you’re sure to take yourself along. Though a break can give you a better and clear perspective to take them on.
Now I do understand why what we desire isn’t always what we need. And it was my desire for the ideal to take over the real, that caused all the misery. While I’d set out in pursuit of happiness what I discovered was the meaning of life and a sense of purpose. Having come so far from the worldly distractions, my thoughts now merely dwell on what really matters and I find my connections growing deeper with people and things I love and dreams I’ve nurtured. I realize that life is precious and gratitude is indeed elixir of life. I reckon that when everything around you moves in a swirl beyond your control, all you need is to stay put and let the swirl pass, just like that little boat on the shore. And that nightmare of drowning ship…I saw it again the night I reached here after the storm. This time the ship drowned while I swam to the shore.
I sit here taking in the salty smell of sea water and glaring at the vast horizons. This vastness doesn’t intimidate me anymore rather it feels liberating.
And those waves…Aah those tranquilizing waves…rising and falling! Dancing and crashing on the pebbles! Always the same yet never! Now as I walk on the shimmering sand to reach them …they rush forward to welcome me. Each wave splashes me with new zeal and takes away the thoughts that were never mine as it recedes. And I become more of what I am…rather the best and truest version of myself.
I see the boatman untie the small boat to get it ready for the sail. I quickly say a secret prayer as I see the little boat bob away glistening in sunrise on the majestic sea.