Being found in the Everyday

In one graceful moment, his coffee spilt all over the table. I had already been laughing earlier. Now, as I watched the “Oh this is perfect” expression flash across his face, I couldn’t help but laugh again. It really was a cute moment. He made a joke about how if this was a first date, I’d already be out the door.

We talked about how I had just painted my shoes in my car using fabric paint, how he has enough confidence with a microphone for all of us that don’t, the 180 tear ducts in a person’s eye (as told to us by the man with the eye patch beside us), our families, our friends, and the often overwhelming and puzzling thing that is: life.

As we sat there, I was acutely cold yet deliriously happy. Laughter felt good. Real conversation, comforting. The wisdom of a true man, indescribable.

He spoke of his time abroad. Of the beauty that he encountered. The ways in which he got lost, and how he eventually found himself.

Being home wasn’t as effortless as he had expected. He had begun to experience what many travellers stumble upon – settling back into a mundane routine, with little inspiration and much less beauty in the everyday.

Where did that part of him go? The part that was on FIRE for life in Paris? The part that felt fully ALIVE in Croatia? All of this talk got me thinking. I’ve experienced the exact same emotions, run into the same let downs, and desperately craved to be abroad once more. How do you keep the part of yourself that you “found” while you were away?

It all comes down to a choice, he said. We can choose to live full lives wherever we are. We can choose to wander the streets of the city alone, we can choose to grab a backpack and hit the road with no destination planned out. Happiness is our choice. We just forget to choose it at times.

Thank you, kind sir who spilt coffee on the table, for making me laugh and for reminding me of the beauty in life. Of your beauty, the beauty around me, and the choices that I am able to make. 


2 responses

  1. Hey love,
    It sounds like you had a great experience. I thought I would add how the history of the word “happiness” makes me question if it’s a choice.

    I once took a university course taught by a priest (an experience!), who was great at throwing around Latin translations and the history of words. He said that the root of the word, “hap,” is actually closer related to words like “happen-stance” or “haphazard,” which is linked to something being more accidental or from luck, rather than a result of purposeful action. We can “happen” or “stumble” upon happiness, which holds an element of surprise from a lack of expectations. The surprise of it makes it that much better!

    Once I figured this out, I stopped searching for happiness – big phewf! It’s easier for me to search for connection, love, fun, and social justice.

    I do get what you’re saying though in terms of being mindful of our ability to choose our reactions – really important!

    Miss you!

    • Dearest Karima,

      I LOVE your addition here. You’re so right – stumbling upon happiness allows the emotion to evolve naturally. And to be honest, hanging out with my coffee spilling friend was completely a spontaneous decision, and a lovely surprise. That may be where my happiness stemmed from :)

      As you said, and as I was trying to convey in my post, we do have the ability to choose our reactions. I used to believe that the first emotion/thought that popped into my head was always the right one. But oh, how I’ve learned. I won’t go on and on about this, but I read a very scientific, yet powerful book once called “Change Your Brain, Change Your life.” Here are a few of the lessons that stood out to me:

      Thoughts have a physical effect on one’s body.
      Automatic thoughts aren’t always true. Rather they are often related to memories of similar situations from the past.
      Taking the time to think about thoughts can allow you to make them positive.

      Miss you back!
      Thanks for giving me new insight and making me think!

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