Life can be tough.
Early morning sinuses, dust allergies, long working hours, late nights, horrible traffic, debts, peer pressure, being 25 – you know what I mean. And most days we just suck it up and (try to) grow up. Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, and soon we yearn for a nice vacation somewhere away from the usual mundane scene.
How do we do it?
I don’t quite know how, but something happened yesterday that reminded me it’s not all that bad. It’s not a big thing. In fact, it’s such a small, forgettable incident that I could easily take for granted.
Which is why I’m writing it down. A good way to start 2014, right?
My week has been quite long – battling the KL traffic everyday and staring at the computer from 8am to 5pm trying to conjure and interpret graphs that look like a heartbeat monitor meant that every time I come home all I look forward to is shower and bed.
So yesterday was the last day of training, and the last working day of the week thanks to Thaipusam (my trainer from Mexico was just sharing his amusement on how he has a hard time keeping track of our endless public holidays). I decided to take it easy for a bit, so I called a friend whom I’ve not met for almost half a year despite living just half an hour away for dinner and ran some errands while waiting for her to get off work.
I went to the pharmacy to pick up an eyedrop over the counter for allergies since the bottle that I had has expired – and ahead of me was this Korean/Japanese business man probably in his 60’s, who was getting a lot of meds. And because of his lucrative purchase, the cashier gave him some complimentary angpau packets, alongside with a RM2 voucher for his next visit. He made quite a fuss saying he doesn’t want the voucher since he’s not local and won’t be coming back, so he would prefer more angpau packets instead.
After some grumbling and persuasion, the pharmacist obliged and went to get him more packets, but told him he could still keep his voucher. He turned to look at me, and continued to ask the cashier, “If I gave this to someone, that person can use it right?” The cashier nodded somewhat reluctantly, and he turned to me once more and said, “Here, you can use it. Better than to waste it.”
I smiled in surprise, and thanked him. The eyedrops that I was getting was not expensive in the first place, so the RM2 did give quite a discount to my purchase. I beamed at the cashier and said, “Must be my lucky day.”
Not long after, I was meeting my friend at the restaurant. There are some people in my life that I may not see everyday, but they have somehow become an important part of my life – and seeing them always brings me joy. This friend of mine started out as one of the first people who believed in me by giving me a chance to design something for her company. From a client, she a became a friend. She probably doesn’t know it, but that was the day she made me believe I could do anything if I put my heart and soul into something – even if it doesn’t always work out the way I expect it to be.
From dinner, we adjourned to her place for tea (so Brit!) and we chatted the night away. As I was ready to go home (which was past 1 in the morning), she told me to text her when I’ve reached. I told her, apart from my mom and a couple of friends whom I meet now and then, no one asks me to do that anymore.
It’s not a big deal, but it was nice to know people still cared.
It was nice to know that there are kind souls around.
It was nice to know that I have people who still say yes to a last-minute invitation for dinner.
It was nice to know that I can be who I am with a handful of friends I trust my life with.
It was nice to know that the good world still exists.
Happy Thaipusam, everyone.