While sitting quietly in your car and patiently waiting for the green light, your mind can travel to a thousand places. But most likely, you’re thinking, “How did this end up to be my life?”. In the background, you can hear the radio’s soft music, and gradually you start wondering and observing your surroundings.
The middle-aged woman on your right looks ready to give up on her life while the young man on your left moves happily to the beat of the music on the radio. For a moment, you wish you could be like him, yet your heart feels exhausted just like the woman next to you feels for her life.
Suddenly, you have a deep desire to know more, to explore and feel all. Your eyes wander around and see a group of young students. Their animated gestures, their huge smiles, and their loud voices made you jealous. Their youth blooms their path with beautiful flowers, while your path seems to only have thorny weeds.
As the young students passed by, you notice a quaint café. Right outside of it, an old man sits alone, sipping on his coffee while reading a newspaper. It makes you ponder over the last time you felt the soft yet firm texture of a newspaper on your fingers. Maybe, you are not so old after all. But the old man looks so serene you again feel jealous.
As if you were in a trance, you started thinking seriously about how this ended up being your life. Luckily, you had your chance to have a good education, then you travelled around the world, you made great friends, you had crazy adventures, and then you went back home. You struggled a bit to find a place to stay and a good job, but eventually, you made it.
But now you wish to turn the time back. You wish to go back to the simpler times where it was all about having fun, being around people you love, and doing the things you love. Perhaps that’s the difference between the man on your left and the woman on your right. Although the man is stuck in a traffic jam, he is happy because he knows after he escapes from here, he’ll go to a place he loves.
You then fall into an endless abyss of thoughts of what happiness is. You think of travelling, of reading fantasy books, of being surrounded by friends while joking over your failures and mistakes. You think of your parents that always welcome you home with a big hug, of your favourite TV show that always makes you laugh or cry. You think of your cat that loves to burrow in your blankets and doesn’t let you sleep peacefully.
Then a loud noise wakes you up from your daydreaming. You realise the light is finally green, and the cars behind you began honking and cursing loudly. Without hesitation, you leave behind both the other drivers and your thoughts.
Perhaps all the noise made you nostalgic and warry for the future. But at the end of the day, it’s just noise. Because you are happy where you are, you are satisfied with your life. Yet others tend to influence your thoughts simply because they do not understand you or are not happy with their life choices. Do not let noise take you away from your path. It is yours, so own it no matter what kind of path it is.
When I lived in the Czech Republic, I would always get there via the airport in Vienna, Austria, and then with a bus, I would go to my place in Brno. Always, once the bus would depart, we used to pass by this small café near the airport, and once I saw this old man sitting quietly drinking his coffee and reading the newspaper. I got inspired to write this story. So, although I have no idea who that man is, I still dedicate it to him. Thanks for reading and supporting me:)