There are things, like ice cream, worth taking a step forward for.
For the longest time, I haven't been compelled to write a story. Tonight, I write one which happened yesterday. I was probably already scribbling away in my mind as it was happening; My happy, stimulated brain already visualizing this inspired moment in front of my laptop.
Most of my days are packed. Whenever I think about this, I always go back to the cover of a Calvin & Hobbes collection entitled "The Days are Just Packed" which I read a long time ago in one of my trips to the bookstore. I loved spending time in bookstores. I used to have so much spare hours to do that.
Most of my days are packed. Monday to Friday is work. Saturday is when I go (always excitedly) to school. And Sunday (morning, usually) is when I do my home-slash-family duties/errands (i.e. groceries, bills, etc.). My Sunday afternoons and evenings are probably the only ME time I have. It's when I lose myself in my sewing room or just lay in bed and day dream. Sometimes, I watch a good movie. But most times, I'm just too tired to think of anything or move a muscle. So, most times, I just really end up having no ME time at all.
Does this make me cry? Sometimes. Then again, I always go back to what the Dalai Lama says about happiness. If we keep thinking of only our sufferings and the life that we wish we had, we are never going to be happy. But if we focus all our energy to appreciating what we have and thinking about how more fortunate we are than others, then we can always fight those blues away.
Yesterday, I realize that happiness, although it can be derived by one's mental state, is also something we work for. You see, I was craving ice cream from Dairy Queen since lunch yesterday that the thought of myself smiling scoop after scoop of that delicious awesomeness had been swimming in my mind, if not my empty tummy, as I was finishing my last drawing plate in class.
After class, I gleefully walked out of the school convinced to get myself that ice cream. I then realized I have a problem. I had an armload of folders and my heavy bag with all my art materials was not helping at all. My mind, right then, was only able to generate two options:
1. Go to the mall and buy the ice cream whatever happens. Just do it!
2. Go the parking lot and just go home and forget the ice cream.
I sighed and went for option number 2. I just crossed the street towards the mall where I parked my car when a wonderful thought crossed my mind---an A-HA! moment that felt like it had been in me for so long, just waiting to pop through my 'always busy' brain. It was option number 3:
3. Go to the parking. Drop your bags and everything. Walk back to that other mall and get yourself a nice cup of that ice cream you want.
I smiled. But it was not a very complete, wide grin. I was hesitant. The thought of the extra legwork was making me want to throw option number 3 and the sweet taste of that shining beacon of Blizzard away altogether. I approached the car, placed my things on the passenger seat, sat comfortably in the driver's seat, and stared at the wheel. I felt like I was battling with myself. To go or not to go?
"I had been craving this since lunch and I am going to pursue my happiness,' was probably the all-out cheesy words in my mind as I grabbed my purse, stepped out of the car and walked straight to that Dairy Queen shop.
I'm glad I did it. I felt free and remarkable, and the kind lady at the counter was smiling as if she had been waiting for me to buy that ice cream.
What made me happier? The trip to the mall felt like a breeze. I did not feel like I was in a hurry, or that I needed to make it short because 'I need to do something else' or that 'I need to get somewhere else.'
And I have not felt like that for the longest time.
Maybe we all have an ice cream that we've been wanting to have--a dream or a vision where we see ourselves just purely happy in. But there are always these obstacles along the way that scare us to take a leap, or a step, forward. Most times, we would fall back to the state and circumstances that are comfortable to us. We stay inside that car--our hiding place where things are familiar--not daring to pursue what we KNOW we want or what we KNOW would make us happy.
Yesterday, apart from (literally) walking towards my happiness and rediscovering that, to some extent, it requires some form of sacrifice, I learned that having an option number 3 to add to the usual two boring options is not magic, nor is it automatic. It is inspired. Like all A-Ha! moments, it comes surprisingly, but requires acknowledgment and enthusiasm. It's easy to get caught up everyday in only a few dragging options when we don't open our minds to a few more, or create the space in our minds to allow these fresh options to come to life, to grow, and to get us to places we've always wanted to go.
The days may be packed, and it's the saaaame story for everyone; but at least have yours packed with carefree trips (by foot!), tasteful flavors, and happy destinations. :)