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Rose tints & headphones


I woke up this morning faced with a whirlwind of inner turmoil. What is my purpose? What is it all for? As much as I had tried swatting away these voices in my head through meditation, exercise, and whatnot, my efforts turned out to only be in vain. 

Nothing was going to plan and getting dumped the night before seemed to be the last straw. It was physically hard to get out of bed. What if pain exists without purpose? Everything in me was beginning to feel numb. When was I going to stop swimming against the current? I couldn’t escape the confines of my mind. Every anxiety-provoked idea that I had neatly tucked away between the sulci of my brain was finally catching up to me. I was avoiding them all like bills piling up in my mailbox – only now the envelopes were overflowing and the eviction warnings were slipping through the door sill. 

It was all washing up on the shore of my reality. I had gotten rejected from the exchange program at my university (not that I really wanted it anyway), rejected from my relationship, and rejected from certain friendships. It was becoming such a regular occurrence that I didn’t even really care anymore. And in a perhaps masochistic sense, I enjoyed that rejection. It provided me with a sick sense of relief, satiating my imposter syndrome. It felt as though finally, the outside world was seeing me for what I felt I really was: unworthy of my accomplishments. 

What if the only reason we desire happiness as much as we do is because it’s unattainable? After all, you can’t desire something you already have. In a mundane pursuit for answers to my unanswerable, existential questions, I stumbled across Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Incidentally, this instigated my mini eureka moment.

Perhaps life wasn’t to blame but my point of view. What did I want to place in my reality? Did I want to see yet another failure or just a passing event in the grand scheme of things? The facts were already set in stone but my next move had yet to take form. 

I realised that if I just shifted my perception, by simply surrendering control I could once again be in charge of my reality. By giving up expectations, I could begin accepting the unpredictable. 

I yearned for stability but felt that with every turn of events, the world was against me. I kept losing to uncertainty, vicissitude, and change. Only, paradoxically, the sole stability and constant was change. 

At the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker in over their head, I’ve come to the conclusion that the events that take place in my day-to-day life are beyond my control. Blaming ourselves for an undesirable outcome or a bad day only leads to a lasting feeling of emptiness. All we can really do is give life our best shot, whether that be in career aspects, in relationships or even in self-development. What fruit our effort bears isn’t always up to us; all we can do is plant the seeds and hope for sun and rain.

Not that I always practice what I preach, but I woke up this morning in a world of multifaceted refusal and drowning in an ocean of deception. Not only had I been left with a general feeling of abandonment, but I was anxious about the future which seemed far less promising now that certain grades didn’t quite meet my expectations. To top it all off, the weather was particularly gloomy and I’d gotten caught in the rain, twice! And yet, somewhat egocentrically, I felt like the protagonist in my story. 

In a fit of utter desperation, I simply accepted it all – I stopped trying to evade the rain and allowed the droplets of water to fall onto my face. To my surprise, it felt refreshing rather than cold and unpleasant. Though the destination I had in mind was in the other direction, I turned around and no longer felt resisted by the wind but rather that the wind carried my every step. 

Then, I did the only thing that was within my control – I put on a pair of rose-tinted glasses that I had kept in my bag and my headphones. My world was still grey, but now a dash of pink reignited the spark in my eyes. Any colour on a grey canvas appears almost like it would on a blank one, the colours admittedly faded but still discernable. 

I ignored everyone around me because, well, everyone else was seeking refuge under their umbrellas and was too absorbed in their own worlds to care about what I was about to do anyway. So, I started dancing my way back home in the rain and, naturally, unapologetically, I began to smile. That smile then turned into ridiculous laughter. I couldn’t help myself from laughing and giggling at this crazy, unsubstantiated solution to the blues that I seemed to have uncovered. I was still dancing to my blasting music when I stepped out of the elevator of my building. My neighbour caught a glimpse of my awkward, frolicking movements, uncoordinated at best. We both had a laugh and parted ways. 

I write this hoping to find solidarity in solitude and company in building our realities. 

Then again, what do I know? I’m just a girl in pink glasses with an unhinged smile, dancing in the rain down the streets of Paris.