Oh, what a beautiful day today (yesterday – it’s 12:16am) was! It was extremely windy – so windy, I could hear the howl of the wind, trees were swaying vigorously, and it felt like a the wind was cleansing the house of any negativity as it whooshed its way in and out..
I also had the chance to meet my 3 beautiful friends, fellow CP-mates with whom I worked on the E50 consulting practicum project in Uni.
A good ol’ catch up with them over dinner after more than half a year, I believe! Besides the usual catch up – how’s everyone doing, what has everyone been up to, and even our take on current affairs (foreign talents, new policies and how we feel about them, possible worries about it’s not-so-positive consequences), there was that extra special indispensable part on epiphanies and our dreams.
One such sharing that struck me and that got me thinking was a friend’s reflection on her life in US, when she was there for almost a year, in order to accompany her husband who was there to do his masters. She shared that they led a very meagre lifestyle because they could only survive on his monthly stipend as a student, and did not want to resort to asking for funds from family members in Singapore (how remarkably responsible!). She shared how in view of their tight budget, that every dollar mattered to them, how eating out was too big a luxury to afford, how they scrimped and saved even on transport – (they found an old worn out bicycle that she used to cycle 3km on, and 3 km back in order to go for a babysitting job for some additional income).
Her stories were eye-opening as it made me realize how many of us (myself included) have it so much easier when it comes to material wealth and standards of living. But beyond that, it opened my eyes to the concept of what is enough.
She shared that one of the greatest life-changing take-aways from this experience was that she learnt to treasure the simple minimalist life that they led and how she grew to realize that there really was no need for too much that we have grown accustomed to (branded stuff, bags,etc), and how just the simplest things – like having 3 meals a day was sufficient, really. That was a beautiful sharing – a humbling experience no doubt, but very much important in imparting life skills for her and one that pushes us to reflect on, I’m sure. It also begs the bigger question – how do we define and find meaningfulness in life? What is truly important and good enough? And at what expense?
The common theme of life and living is that many of us find ourselves being led blindly towards chasing a predefined dream that may not be the best in allowing us to reach our destinations (happiness, fulfillment), and that is because our journeys are different, heck, in fact they’re unique. 🙂 I guess it must first start with clarity from within, of purpose and goal. Once that is defined, the what and the hows are clearer.
When they asked me about my dreams, it was like uncovering a switch that was left untouched and covered with dust over time. When they encouraged me that I could be a trailblazer in those secret plans I shared with them – it triggered a spark that had nearly fizzled out, smothered by the exhaustion and long hours that work is to me today. This is exactly why such positive and supportive friends are a must in everyone’s circle – they help you remember, and then you must take charge, and move. God-be-willing, InshaAllah, there will be movements in the right direction and powered by the right intentions.
Special shout-out to my beautiful friends, we may not meet that often – but you’re a blessing I hold close to my heart. (This makes me such a red. *inside joke*) 😛