The bougainvillaea creeping out of a house on the street I often walk on is in full bloom. I have to stop in awe when I pass it by, even when I’m running late, especially in those moments. I pause to look at it for a wee second—I smile, and then I take my leave. At that moment, I know something I rarely catch hold of: there is still time. It is a simple realisation like all realisations are supposed to be. As fond as I was of being places and running through the day, I believe my true self was hidden in these moments. Oh, but who was I? I had no sense of self-concept. I was a reflection of everything around me.
And if it were to be that way, then I would often stand on the streets and malls, among regular people in cafes and bars, absorbing the world around me. I often caught myself coming to a standstill as if it had only then occurred to me how I was lost, but it was only in those moments that I found myself. It was important to stop now and then, to stand and look around. We often lost our way not when we stopped but when we kept going without paying heed to where we were heading. We only learned we were lost when we stopped to look around. From then on, we could decide on a new direction or continue on the same path—both were correct to someone who was lost. How could they know? But it was essential to make that decision.
Last night, I stood on my balcony after I had done most of what I wanted to do with the day, even though it had been over two hours since the day had ended. It was a moment of absolute quiet, except for the soft music coming from my apartment and the whistle of the breeze. It was nothing out of the ordinary—it was a pleasant spring night, and the air was comfortably cold—but I knew I would remember it for years to come. It was a footnote—something that wasn’t as important but still vital enough to be noted. I knew I was on my way; there was still time. I could not know where I was going, but I was not lost. There was a difference.
There always was a difference.