Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Faceless Stories

Everyone has their own reason for waking up every morning, or “a reason for being”. The Japanese call this “ikigai”. All of us have so many different reasons for jumping out of bed (or, as in my case, crawling out). It could be a compulsion to meet the minimum attendance percentage required in college (most college-students’ cases!), or, maybe, to just meet up with friends, to take up a new challenge that life throws our way – carpe dium. Reasons could be many – perhaps, to just hug your parent, or cuddle with your pet, or even crank up some silly music and goof around in your PJs. Maybe, you just like to see the sun rise and hear the birds chirp. The dawn gives you hope, light beyond the dark, and a chance to start afresh – a new beginning. Since the chance can be grabbed, why not?? Even though we might not all be morning persons, there is always that one reason in our life that gives us the belief and the hope of another day. It’s the belief we take with us to sleep at night and hold on to – and that is how life goes on…Really. Days, weeks, months, years pass by for these little reasons that make us “want” to wake up to a bright, new day. Reasons that keep us alive. These “ikigais” are something that just makes us so much more similar to each other than we realize…These “ikigais” are the faceless stories that are common not just to you and me, but also to stories we do not perceive, or realistically, choose not to perceive.

Last month, I had the unbelievably amazing opportunity to attend a workshop in Rishikesh and the lessons I learnt there – I could not have learnt them anywhere else. Amongst the various life-lessons the workshop taught me, one was that no matter where you go, which language you speak – everyone is one and the same...Flesh and bones…With the same hopes and dreams, same reasons to wake up every morning, same fears and insecurities. We are all watching the same movies, listening to the same songs and fighting the same battles.

Let me now get back to the title of my post – Faceless Stories. These stories are merely just every single person around us. The crowds that we get lost in, in shopping malls or in the middle of a crowded street. They include our batch-mates and our colleagues. Our parents. Our teachers. Even the celebrities we adore and worship. How much do we really know about their lives? Have we ever really stepped into their shoes and seen for ourselves what living their life felt like? How many times, before placing a judgment, have we stopped to ask ourselves what that person’s life has been like? Forget about each and every day, have we ever lived even one day in his life? If not, then, what gives us the power to decide for ourselves what ‘might’ that person be like, or what his life ‘might’ be like. We paint a face what in reality is nothing more than a faceless story…A novel that we are NOT the author of. This serves as the building block to all the pandemonium that we see around us, today. Clouded judgements and influenced perceptions.

Being absolutely non-judgmental may not be possible for all of us. All I feel is that – yes, we may be different from each other, but then, if all of us are different together, then in that, we are all similar. So yes – we are in all entireties, the same. I do not ask you to not judge. I ask you to not judge people by your own standards. Everyone around you is trying to hold on to their “ikigais”, fulfil their dreams, fight their demons, win their battles - and all unbeknownst to you. 

Faceless Stories - Scenario 1:
As you walk home after an exhausting day, a cute seven-year-old skips along the pavement holding her mother’s hand. You smile to yourself and say, “What a cute little girl!” and then something else catches your mind. Little did you know that the cute seven-year-old won her first poem recitation competition in school that day. She was given a certificate and everyone clapped for her. The certificate is now safely kept in a pink folder in her school bag that is slung across her mother’s shoulders. Her mother cannot help but smile a proud, little smile. The mother is reminded of her school-days. She remembers her days in school when she was great in debates and is so happy that her daughter is following her footsteps and enjoying public speaking. She can’t wait to reach home and announce via Facebook proudly before the world about how her daughter won a prize.
At home, the cute, little girl snuggles in bed clutching her teddy bear and soon drifts off into a dream world where she fantasizes about receiving ten more certificates and trophies that’ll adorn her bedroom, and more claps, more hugs, more Facebook statuses, more praises.

Faceless Stories - Scenario 2:
Your boss has just announced your promotion in front of the entire office. As everyone is busy cheering and congratulating you, you observe a colleague, who is a good friend of yours, slightly moving to a corner, with no smile on his face, fidgeting with his phone, and you immediately realize, “He wanted this promotion. Now he’s jealous of me.” Your colleague notices you looking at him and smiles, but you can make out it is forced. You make up your mind to stay away from him as far as possible. He has no idea about your decision. Just a while ago, he found out that the girl he really loved is marrying another man and he’s heartbroken. However, he does not want to share his bad news with you at a time when you are celebrating your success. He decides to shake off his grief and join in the merrymaking even though he does not feel like it. He is happy that he at least has a friend at work.

Faceless Stories - Scenario 3:
Your date just stood you up. As you sit by yourself, blinking your eyes rapidly to stop the tears from flowing, you suddenly hear a delightful scream! The woman on the table in front of you has just been proposed by the man of her dreams, and she's said 'yes'. You stare at the happy couple in anger and mutter to yourself, "Life's not fair! How can they rub their happiness on my face." You don't notice the sigh of relief on that woman's face. You do not see the creases on her face, caused due to incessant nights of worry. For the last ten nights, she has not slept a wink. "How do I tell him that I am pregnant with his child?", "Will he accept me and the baby?", "What do I do now?" - that is all she's been thinking. Finally, she can have a restful sleep tonight. Her baby is going to have a father figure after all. Life's good again. The man too can see nothing around him; he's too engrossed staring into the eyes of the woman he loves. It's time for him to become responsible now, take charge. He cannot behave like a child any more, because an actual child is going to come into his life - his own baby. He just cannot believe it!

Faceless Stories - Scenario 4:
You're having a great time with your friends. All of you have had a few too many drinks. Your friend insists on driving the car, and even though you know it isn't right,  you let him. The music is loud and all of you are singing along, having the time of your lives. You do not notice the man crossing the road, and by the time you do, it's too late. He's gone, and your friends just drive past the empty roads without even turning back to look at him. "He seemed poor...Was probably homeless...No one will miss him...Let's not get into any trouble...Run! Drive fast!" and you and your friends have escaped. It's been a week and life goes on for all of you. There are a few moments plagued with guilt, but nothing so extreme that you aren't able to focus on the task at hand. You just shrug off the ill feeling and get back to work. Back in an old dilapidated house, a visually impaired father is desperately waiting for his son's arrival. The neighbours feel his son abandoned him because taking care of the sick, old man was no easy task. The old man hears these whispers every day and wonders what is it that he did that drove his son away. 

There are so many more faceless stories just like these. Everyone around us, making their way home by the roads they know best - roads that we probably would have got lost on, till we made a phone call and asked them to repeat the address again...Because everyone around you has a life outside of yours, complete with their own thoughts, feelings and emotions. You could potentially just be a passing figure on the street to them. Every random passerby you encounter is living a life as vivid and as complex as yours - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk…
Let them write their own novel, a novel that you do not need to write a book review of!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Let There Be Light

Suzanne Collins may be widely known for the Hunger Games trilogy, but years before she became popular, I remember being a fan of another series written by her - the Underland Chronicles. And I really liked the series! Now, in the Underland, a world within our world (or rather below it, to be precise), the word “light” is synonymous with the word “life.” This was years ago, but the only reason I mention this reminiscence is because I have only lately realized that for the current optimist in me, this was one of the earlier forms of positive reinforcement I encountered. In the words of Stephen Hawking, “However bad life may seem, where there is life, there is hope.”
So the formula goes:
Life = Light
Life = Hope
Light = Hope
Ever since we slid out of that primordial slime, our unifying cry has been for more light. Light in so many different forms – sunlight, torch-light, candle-light, neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, and the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night match at Eden Gardens. Little tiny flash-lights for those books we read under the covers when we’re actually supposed to be fast asleep. Light is more than watts and foot-candles.
Light is a metaphor. Light stands for knowledge, light is life, light is light…
When we were children, we were afraid of the dark at some point or the other. While psychologists believe fear of darkness is not a natural fear (after all, we live in dark wombs from the time of conception to birth), it is still a very valid fear – darkness stands for the unknown. It stands for oblivion. Time passes and we are no more children. We grow up. Monsters under our bed turn into monsters in our heads. Perhaps that is why, more times than often – we are afraid of the light. And what could be sadder? We are always on this never-ending pursuit of happiness, yet we keep finding reasons to lose our way. Hope is everything. Hope is the light that guides us home, to happiness.
Hope is being able to see that light despite the despair and darkness. Yet we still fear the uncertain, the unknown. Earlier, we feared the darkness, and as we grow old, many of us start fearing the light. It’s hard to say which fear is worse – a child’s fear of the dark, or an adult’s fear of the light? Or perhaps, both are just the same. Nevertheless, what’s important is that we move past these fears. Yet we seem unable to do that. Why?
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore had said, and I quote, “Happiness could be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
This thought is iterated and reiterated throughout the series. Let’s take Ron Weasley and the Deluminator as an example - the Deluminator did not just turn off the lights, it was a beacon of hope. The light showed him the way; like a lighthouse would to a ship on a stormy night lost at sea, or a lantern to a passerby on a foggy evening. The main point I am trying to make here is that Ron Weasley was not afraid to let the light show him the way. For anyone who wonders why light symbolizes hope, this would make perfect sense…
Because light is what we wake up to every single day – to sunlight and a new beginning. It has been said that with the flight of the morning, through a heart of darkness shall always emerge the light.
If there is only one lesson to be learnt from a lifetime on this planet – I feel it would be this: light shall always trump darkness. I see it as a universal truth, if you may. A single candle is illumination enough to show you the way. Hope. Hope could mean the “light at the end of the tunnel”, hope could refer to a “driving force”, but hope is a matter of perspective. I like to believe that hope is everything. Lumos > Nox. Where there is life, there is light.

“For, the world may be broken but hope is not crazy!”
- John Green

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Lesson On Love

"I love your shoes... I love you...what are you comparing me to? Your shoes?"
- Jackie Shroff on Koffee With Karan

People complain that the word “love” is used very loosely these days…At one point of time, I did have an issue with that, but these days I feel that the laws of love cannot be the same for everyone. Popular conception may have restricted the usage of the term "love" only while referring to couples, but why do we only need to perceive love in only one particular manner?
As human beings, we are born to love and to be loved, and it is alright, I feel, if love has different perceptions, manifestations, and expressions. Love is an incredibly powerful experience and those who’ve been in love can vouch for the same. Of course, the path of love is not an easy one.
Falling in love is easy, staying in love is hard work and for some, a bit of a challenge. Like many before have already said, love is the hardest thing we do…But it is also the best thing we do.
Love is an empty house that we move into when we need a place of comfort and security. However, love does not always prove to be a good home. Just like homes have dark corners where we aren’t willing to go for reasons we cannot fathom, or awkward spaces where we cannot reach; in the same way, love can have unfamiliar nooks for years.
In the beginning, we view everything with rose-tinted glasses. We are sure that if we make love look awesome, it will feel awesome. We don’t bother with the dark corners and focus and concentrate on what is in front of us. We decorate it our way so that it looks great, to make ourselves feel at ease. However, even when love is a comfortable home, it’s never a wise idea to stay at home all the time. Sometimes, we need to explore those unvisited rooms, those untouched territories.
Love has a tendency to dawdle. It does not believe in operating smoothly and ensuring that everything runs like clockwork. There are times when it disappears or goes missing, leaving us, the parties involved, to just ad-lib awkwardly.
Love is lazy and shirks from doing homework. While there is no end to the amount of love we really crave, how much love do we actually need? Love is an ungrateful, entitled brat. Sometimes, love hates intimacy. It hasn’t attended all its lessons. It blanks out when it has to perform. Most of the time though, love likes togetherness. Being in love may be a “wow” feeling but many times, we realize that it’s just not working for us! Love can suffocate us, it can make us feel claustrophobic. We keep remembering the warm, fuzzy feelings we experienced in the beginning and hold on tighter, embrace it harder without realizing that love needs to make space. Sometimes, allegiances may remain one-sided for years. Love may underestimate the amount of space it needs. Love needs some amount of distance to sustain itself. It needs to breathe, to run, to go away so that it can always return to earnest, safe embraces and the desired intimacy.
Saying “I love you” is only the first step. The steps that follow can be a bit of a struggle. Each day, as we move ahead, love changes colours. Sometimes, love is expressed in the form of anger. At other times, it moulds into anxiety. We also have a tendency to destroy love each day. We chase it away. We stop ourselves from acknowledging it, from recognizing it, because who knows, what it may ask from us. Many of us are threatened by love. We sometimes resent the fact that love does not come our way in the package that we expected. What is wrong with us? Doesn’t love mean dealing with differences, accepting contradictions and celebrating diversity?
In love, we become the keeper of each other’s memories. He may tell you about the cousin who bullied him incessantly when he was a kid and then acted as if nothing happened in later years, leaving you to deal with the bully when he comes visiting. You may tell him about the Sunday outings with your father when you were a child.
One of you will be the dreamer. The other will be fantastic with logistics. But the one with fabulous logistics skills will realize that she too has dreams of her own. She’ll hand back his dreams to him, and charge ahead to pursue hers.
You will witness the other person fighting lost battles. You’ll want to rescue them, you will be judgmental, and you will tear each other down. You will bask in glory when his dreams come true. You will feel left out.
Love can feel uncomfortable. She will never be good at being ill. She’ll be cranky and refuse to see the doctor. He’ll have no clue on how to deal with her illness. Instead of being useful, he will scold her when he discovers that she stashed away the medicines as soon as she felt slightly better, instead of finishing the prescribed course. Love involves a bit of yelling. It’s natural because when she are weak, the anxiety in her lover is triggered. Love makes us vulnerable. How can it not?
Love requires patience, sometimes a great deal of it. We need years to get into the skin of love and wear it comfortably. Love has childhood issues.
Love teaches us to trust in different ways. It helps us discover mistrust despite love. It stuns us. Love assists us in taking some steps back. Trust always has to be earned, it is never served on a platter. One of you will always be better than the other when it comes to handling trust issues. One of you may be better than the other at handling money. One of you may abstain completely from social media, while the other could be a Facebook junkie! One of you will thrive in clutter, while the other person needs everything well-organized and clean. One of you will get along fine with watchmen, plumbers, taxi drivers and carpenters, while the other will be ill-mannered and rude. Lead by example. Positions can and should be reversed from time to time. 
Love is the union of two souls. Love brings two people together to form a world of their own. However, the most significant aspect of any relationship is the realization that the two people who came together are still different persons, separate entities. They have their own rhythm, priorities, pleasures and passions. They have to fulfill their own separate dreams - dreams that may come in the way of them being together...
That does not mean love is over. In fact, love is the exact opposite of that. True love wants the lover to be absolutely liberated. It means that she’ll be separate from him and he will be separate from her. They need not continue walking on the same path – sometimes their roads may diverge and things will change, but it does not mean that love has gone.
Love always reinvents itself. It resuscitates.  Love demands diversification. Spread your wings and fly, and allow your lover to do the same. Love more and more, love yourself, love others, make love in new places, in new ways because no matter which path you choose or which destination you wish to reach, you’ll end up rediscovering love in these new spaces. Never close yourself to love, because…
While love is one of the hardest things that we do, love is the best thing we’ll ever do.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Far Far Away

After ages, I am reconnecting with my love for Neil Gaiman. Paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton, he wrote, “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”

I love fairy-tales. Some people say for a twenty-seven year old, my love for fairy-tales actually borders on obsession. Somewhere I feel they’ve cast a spell on me that does not have or need a cure. To many, this may seem immature, weird or even childish and I have had my fair share of “Aren’t you too old for…?” questions, but I don’t mind. Really. For there is no feeling that I would ever choose over the magic and hope you feel running through your veins when the shoe fits Cinderella or when Sleeping Beauty awakens or when Wendy flies for the first time.

J.M. Barrie said it best when he said, “All the world is made of faith, and trust and pixie dust.” This just happens to be all we need too. But we let reality get in the way, and I wish we didn’t let that happen. I do not see why Neverland has to be left in the fairy-dust. And I most definitely do not understand why we cannot keep the hope we once had as children alive and afire. Like it has been said, growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. What happened? Why did people have to go from loving fairy-tales as children to mocking them as teenagers? Don’t tell me, “Life happened. We’ve changed and we’re now moving past our former selves – we don’t know us anymore.” Yes, life is frustrating, chaotic and sometimes unbearable, and we cannot really do much about it. Dark clouds block the sunshine often for me as well – but what I do to pull myself out of this is wish ‘Once Upon a Dream’ like Aurora or ‘Let it Go’ like Elsa. The point is fairy-tales do not deny the existence of heartache, despair or sorrow, but they do deny defeat, failure and unhappy endings.

The lessons we learn from fairy-tales are no different from the lessons learnt for life. Yes, you do not need to believe in poisoned apples or pumpkin carriages but believe in the themes that these stories are rooted in. Fairy-tales, in all entireties, are not an escapade from realistic situations – our world is not unlike theirs, in which both good and evil exist. The difference could perhaps be that we don’t have magic or a Fairy Godmother to save us from the clutches of evil. But, perhaps, we’re so accustomed to being Muggles that we do not realize that magic exists. A good heart, a spoonful of courage to use kindness and goodness wisely and humour – that’s all the magic one really needs.

Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – your story began, truer than true. And they all lived happily ever after – for that is how all stories should end – and yours will too. Life is a story with good parts and bad. How would you know happiness without knowing the sad?
If you do not like the story you are in, leave and find your own happily ever after. The best thing about fairy-tales is probably how applicable they still are in our lives – of course not literally, but metaphorically or symbolically – and how we are so oblivious to it all…
It may have been centuries since Little Red Riding Hood took on the Big Bad Wolf or Dorothy defeated the Wicked Witch of the West, but “Fear” has not changed. We were frightened as children, we’re possibly more frightened now. What frightens us today might not be what frightened us back then, but it is just a different wolf, a different witch. And we still need to battle them.

“Fairy tales since the beginning of recorded time and perhaps earlier, are the best means to conquer the terrors of mankind through metaphor.”
- Jack Zipes

I feel this is what seems to be the most sensible approach to feeling better about the world that we live in – if we could only believe in making our own magic.

"Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget what precisely happened but if a story touches you, it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind you rarely visit."
- Neil Gaiman

One of my favourite metaphors is the following:
Just like the Baby Bear’s porridge in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the universe is “just right”. Happy endings need not exist just in fairy-tales. I love fairy-tales and while I may not believe in magic mirrors, or Fairy Godmothers granting me the most exquisite glass slippers (shoes are quite expensive in real life!) but I do believe in the idea of hope and love, which runs from the end of one story to the beginning of another – the idea that happiness does exist. Love believes when you don’t. That is all the motivation and validation I usually need to get on with my life. The ‘bare’ necessities if you know what I mean!

To wrap this all up with a flick of a wand, I wish you all find the same joy and inspiration that I do from fairy-tales.  Fairy-tales have the beauty of always giving one a simpler, newer perspective of things, a transformation of ideology from “I wish” to “I will” and a belief in trust, kindness, goodness, hope and love.

I wish you all Hakuna Matata and lots and lots of love! There is life beyond the stone tower in which you’ve enclosed yourself. Set yourself free, and go seek your kingdom of Far-Far-Away!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Chrysalis

Don’t we all love butterflies? Well, maybe not all – I know my brother was scared of butterflies as a kid (yes, laugh all you want!) – but I’ve always been inspired by them to a huge extent. The first tattoo I got was of a butterfly…

I really feel that Nature is the best teacher. I mean – look at the butterflies! Magnificently hued and the objects of everyone’s envy! But then again, I wonder: what do we envy? We envy their beauty, we envy the fact that they blossomed from relatively ugly, green caterpillars to luminescent self-propelled flowers, if I may put it that way, and we envy everything we cannot be and cannot do. Human nature…

Just some time ago, while reading random facts online, I found out that butterflies have short life-spans. Yes, the longest may be a year, but their average life-span is a mere five days to two weeks. When I read this, I remember thinking to myself that this was yet another example of the law of impermanence in life. Nothing lasts forever. Now, that is both good news and bad news. What really was the point of being so beautiful if your life was merely fourteen days long, at the very best? Ironically, two weeks later, I got the answer to my question. Mother Nature’s mysterious ways cannot be undone; these fractals of our amazing world are here to inspire all of us, if only we paid a little more attention.

The butterfly counts not the days or weeks it has, but the moments it has, and that is time enough…
Today a caterpillar, tomorrow a butterfly. We should never lose hope of what tomorrow might bring. Despite all the heartache, sorrow, pain and insecurities, we are all butterflies waiting to happen. Just when the caterpillar thought life was over, cocooned in darkness and misery, it transformed into a butterfly.

The caterpillar thought, “It is the end of the world.”
The butterfly realized, “It is the beginning of the world.”

The struggles, the battles you fight today, prepare you for tomorrow. They help you develop the strength and make you realize that you need to fly. You might feel that you are about to fall, but butterflies can’t see their wings, can they? They can’t see how beautiful they are, but people around them can. People are like that. We really are butterflies waiting to happen. People are like butterflies and the world is our chrysalis.

A month ago, I found a dead butterfly. It’s not the most common sight. Incandescent green wings, unimaginably beautiful…Dead…It really is not every day that you find a dead butterfly. Until I held it in my hands, its frayed wings, I could have lived in the bubble that butterflies are fairies that come out of nowhere, entertain us with their beauty and disappear into nothingness soon thereafter. But no life is unfair…and fair: an integration of happiness and sadness; change. Change is the only constant. And probably, that is the biggest lesson we can learn from a butterfly.

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies. If nothing ever changed, clear, blue skies would not follow storms. If nothing ever changed, life would have no meaning.

Just like the butterflies, we will awaken in our own time. We really are just butterflies waiting to happen…

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Bubbles

It’s been almost five years since I’m writing here, sharing random thoughts, emotions and feelings with the world that stops by this space from time to time. Maintaining a regular blog had always been on my bucket-list of life, and only lately have I realized the need to actually check items off this list. I am lucky to have had a wonderful life so far (touch wood!) – a loving family, amazing friends, lots of magical moments – but nothing really lasts forever. Life goes on, until it ends. But what comes between these two polarities depends entirely upon us…And that is my minimalistic approach to life. I’ve tried to make mine count so far. The rest of the journey is still a long, long walk to go.

And because we all have a bucket-list – a list of certain expectations that we hold of life – I intend on checking items off of mine, or maybe, writing a few more chapters. After all, your life is your story. You are the author. You are the author of this never-ending novel of love, adventure, fun and all that you want and more! (And the owner to a bucket full of soap-water!)

Life’s the bubble you need to blow. Blow your own bubbles, and pop them if you want. That sums up really what life is in my eyes…That sums up what my thoughts on life are – my thoughts are bubbles that don’t go *pop*.

There are so many bubbles like my thoughts – bubbles of happiness, regret, sadness, compassion, inspiration, etc. Maybe, we are all just bubbles ourselves. Bubbles that keep getting bigger and bigger, and inevitably, one day, go *pop*. The last couple of years are when I’ve really grown up though, to see the world as it is, and blow more bubbles. Bubbles can be more than just thoughts and feelings. Bubbles can be the happiest moments of your life – a sum total of all your happiest days – and it is because of these bubbles that you are still alive. A bubble can be a memory that cheers you up and reminds you of sunnier days. A brilliant-hued bubble reminds you of the rainbow beyond the rain and the dawn ahead of the dusk. These bubbles take you back to your childhood days when blowing bubbles was the supreme joy of life and blowing bubbles made a day your best day – made every day your best day! So, it is vital that we hold on to the bubbles of life, vital that we hold on to our thought bubbles and then enjoy the transcendence that follows.

What are these bubbles of life that make us smile?
Playing Uno with your brother. Petting dogs on the road. A good hair day. Someone saying that you look beautiful today. Music. Reading a book that you just cannot put down. Meeting your friend after the longest time and still feeling like you met yesterday. Raindrops. Telling your niece a bed-time story and even though she’s heard it a thousand times, she still has the same, curious moon-eyed expression on her face. Coffee after a long, tiring day. Your favourite song on repeat. Switching the television on and seeing that your favourite movie has just started. A bubble bath. Having 100% charge on your phone. Chocolate chip cookies. Pizza. Oh, these bubbles just never end!

And they never will…These are bubbles that never go pop. Because happiness never ends. Happiness is always around us. In forms that we don’t acknowledge and take for granted. A hug is happiness. A cup of hot chocolate is happiness. Happiness is always around us. And yes, so is sadness. But life is your bubble, and thoughts are your bubbles. So, it is your choice. You can choose happiness. You can choose joy. You can choose forgiveness. You can choose better instead of worse. You can choose love. Because you can make your own life. Life is your bubble. And if you don’t like your bubble, pop it. Start again. Blow another bubble.