A Letter to Myself. Part 2
“What should I do? What should I do? Should I still go to Cairo?” Myriad of thoughts were running through my head. I couldn’t decide what to do and where to go. Despite my anxiety and fears for the future, this June became the most important month of 2013.
I sank in the serene atmosphere of a silent meditation retreat in Koh Samui. I’ve learned that happiness is a choice. I pulled out the knife from my heart and buried my pride under the pristine sand of Thailand. I stopped being miserable and realized that life can be beautiful. I cancelled my ticket and stayed in Thailand for longer …
And I entered my post-meditation June. Imagine pristine beaches of Koh Phangan Island, bamboo huts and a calming sound of the ocean. I used to wake up from a clicking sound of Lena’s lighter as she was smoking her cigarettes at 5 am. Later there was an epic bike accident, a hefty fine, hospital, five stitches followed by a week of endless conversations, meditation, mango and papaya smoothies.
My summer continued on a secluded island of Koh Lanta with its endless rubber trees, old colonial port and delicious creamy curry. I’ve learned how to ride a motorbike, tried some suspicious fried chicken from a street stand, and didn’t get sick even a single time. I became an expert in visa-runs, and even walked with dogs from a local animal shelter. Lounging away on the island’s beaches, I used to spend my evenings watching movies or chilling at one of the local bars with brilliant rasta musicians who played Thai versions of famous songs and rolled the strongest cigarettes with palm leaves paper.
I’ve spent my autumn between Bangkok and Laos. I could have never imagined that I would fall in love with the boosting city of Bangkok with its skyscrapers, boat taxis, endless China Town, and various markets filled with people. My Bangkok is about countless Seven Elevens, hidden streets of an Arabic quarter, prostitutes around BTS NaNa; it is about fancy bars on Thong Lo and slums of China Town, playing ukulele at my friend’s house and sharing stories about a python who swallowed that poor rooster.
The biggest luck of 2013 – my cozy apartment on Thong Lo with beloved Christopher and Camille. It feels like home now.
Sitting by the Mekong River a week later, I was watching children bathing in the cacao-colored water. I saw monks walking through the town of Luang Prabang at 5 in the morning, I spent some time meditating at majestic temples as I was searching for some answers to age-old questions. I will never forget local markets on the ground with gigantic toads, snails, delicious mangosteens, and my conversations with Lena late at night.
And I missed our late conversations about documentaries, books and politics in Cairo. I missed our evenings with my cat and our walks by the Red Sea. I still remember our trips with Coldplay blasting from your car’s stereo. Oh, how I wanted to give everything I had to experience it one more time.
This year was enriched by my travels, adventures and new encounters. Here are some conclusions I arrived at:
1. For a very long time I had a feeling that there is something wrong with my life, that my job doesn’t bring me any satisfaction and I waste my time producing air in an office cubicle. Instead of dreaming about getting a perfect job in an NGO sector to help stray animals and orphans, I simply went to one organization and offered my help. As a result I went to my first journalistic adventure to a remote village of Sangkhlaburi in Thailand where I interviewed Burmese migrant workers. Don’t be afraid of new experiences, simply follow your heart and it won’t betray you.
2. I’ve learned to ask for help. There were times, when I thought that everything was hopeless, yet several Facebook conversations with my friends helped me to go through the difficult times. I’ve learned that if you need to find a new job, ask around and see if any of your friends needs someone like you. There is nothing shameful in asking for help.
3. I realized what’s important and what’s irrelevant to me. After all, happiness is a choice. Happiness doesn’t depend on the weather outside your window. It might be summer outdoors, but you may feel empty and cold inside. Getting rid of my fears and choosing the path of happiness is the most difficult task.
4. I am still learning how to become a friendlier and happier person. I’ve met a lot of fascinating people this year. I am lucky to be loved and love in return.
Despite all the difficult times, life is bright and beautiful.Yoga, meditation and my love for Bangkok help me to stay sane. Even though my life isn’t perfect, I am trying to enjoy every day in the capital of Thailand. Soon enough I will return to my cozy apartment with my lovely roommates to continue living my tropical lifestyle.
Looking back, I realize how much I have changed. Even though things aren’t the same anymore, I think that 2013 was an awesome year for my personal growth and maturity. I live in a beautiful county with great people around me. It is only the beginning …
P.S. Bangkok is a city of opportunities. And I even tried my luck in its pretentious modeling industry.