With so much hate around, it’s easy to succumb to all the negativity and believe that the world is in the process of imploding. In the past few days I found myself exhibiting passive aggresiveness and humorless sarcasm, the “decent” person’s weapons of choice when people, the world in general, is getting a little too tough. Only yesterday, I played a Florence Welch song just so I can virtually scream “What the hell?”.

But not today. I felt that the universe had been busy sending me messages. One only gets to notice this phenomenon on rare occasions; he has to pay attention.

A suggestion.

 I have developed the habit of staying in bed for a few more minutes after waking up. This prevents a case of walking around the house like I’m on a heavy dose of some depressant. I normally use this time to clean up my inbox for emails and app notifications that can be deleted, and browse through cool photos in Instagram. This is one of the photos that caught my attention.

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Credits to: @takemoreadventures

Take more adventures. Right. Just yesterday I bought a new pair of flip-flops to encourage myself to go out and dress down more often. I just turned 27 a few days ago. It is a really cheap gift to myself. The thing is I never really needed a pair in the past years. My life revolved around work, weekly dates, sporty Saturdays, and occasional travel. I wore shoes in all of those. Not that I was not supposed to but I felt like I wore shoes simply to comply to norms and be prepared for what’s ahead.

A pair of flip-flops is symbolic. Wearing one is choosing comfort. Wearing one is not caring too much about how I look. Wearing one is being a little less prepared. Wearing one is welcoming surprises. Being comfortable in the moment is living the moment. I could use some of that.

A hug.

A cousin posted this image this morning.

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This year for Christmas I want a… hug.

I didn’t deny that even for a second. I find hugs to be expressive of the many things we cannot find the right words to say. It is a universal language for love.

It also reminded me of what I need and want at the moment. A break. A moment of silence. A means to shut off the noise. An affirmation that I’m alright although not necessarily right.

Faith.

On the ride home I heard a bus ticket inspector tease a little girl to make her laugh. He turned out to be really fond of children. He said he had always wanted a child of his own but he and his wife were not very lucky. He’s now 40 and his wife is 38. He no longer hopes that much to have one because of their age and the health risks associated with late pregnancy. Additionally, he’s afraid of not being able to support his child through college. The passenger kept encouraging him though. A tough-looking guy, one wouldn’t expect someone like him to be that expressive of the things he wants especially to a stranger. He said he finds satisfaction playing with children in their place and at times being called “tatay”. (That’s Filipino for “father”.)

I think he would make a really good tatay. I had to pause and pray for his happiness. I’m not very religious. I rarely attend masses and constantly have trouble with the responsories. When I pray, I mostly pray for souls. But I had to make exceptions for him. He deserves it.

It would seem that praying for him is doing him a favor but it was not. Amidst all the hate we read everyday in the news and social media, here is a man who has so much love to give if only there’s someone to receive it. And so I prayed for some stranger’s happiness. To find someone deserving of such act was very comforting and revitalizing. Needless to say, it restores your faith in humanity.

A cheerful song.

On the jeepney ride home. A street caroler, a boy, boarded and began singing. All the other passengers alighted when the light turned red. I was alone with him at the back. I was initially inclined to ignore him if not for the fact that unlike most children who exert zero effort, he could actually sing. I normally hold myself back in similar situations as I do not want to promote mendicancy (the place is known for it) but I believe he deserved a reward even tiny. He accepted it and sang thank you before he left.

I was then reminded that every once in a while, just when you’re about to lose it and accept that things are just bad, someone or something will turn things around. Some random act or person will cheer you up and greet you Merry Christmas.

The universe has its way of communicating messages of hope. I must not lose hope. -aB

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