Bus rides and everything in between

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Image
A woman leaning on a bus' window.
stills and peace.

I can still remember those long bus rides every afternoon, sometimes during the night. After class, I and my friends will start to wait for a bus that we can ride home. Sometimes, the moment we stood in front of the bus stop, a bus will appear out of nowhere, sensing our desperation to go home and lay flat on our beds because the day was exhausting. But most of the time, we stand for a couple of hours waiting because the buses were nowhere to be found. It goes like this every day, but I do not get tired of it. Maybe I became used to the idea of waiting and it became normal to me. But the moment a bus will appear after waiting for several hours, my mood will lighten up, eyes sparkling with joy, and I will keenly jump inside, like a kid when you hand him some treats. After hours of standing, I finally get to take a seat, letting the time pass by until I reached the next stop. I always choose the seat near the window so I can see the things outside, slowly fading as I pass through them. After making myself comfortable, I will bring out my phone and start browsing through my e-books. This is the time where I can read in peace, so I took the opportunity to bring out my companion, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. As a dreamer and idealist, I loved how this book strengthens my belief about achieving my dreams and life as a whole.

As I peek through the curtains of the windows, I can see the beautiful sunset. I can see the perfectly blended hues of orange and red and a little bit of pink and purple along the skyline. All I can utter is, it was perfect. After witnessing that magnificent sky, I turned back to the book I’m reading. It says, “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”. I just nod my head as I agree with this sentence. And slowly, I find myself thinking about my dream, which I can consider as a destination. It made me realize the value of living each day, making little progress, and achieving small victories, because every step of the way helps me become closer to that dream and destination. I realized that it is essential to always be grounded to where you are and who you are so you can go wherever you want to be and who you want to be. The noise of the television disrupts my thinking. I turned a few pages and I read, “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”. At that moment, I paused, and I was astounded for a while. It seems like the book is talking to me, giving me advice, teaching me how to stay true to my heart’s desire. As people would always, nothing worth having comes easy. That’s true. For you to achieve something you want; you have to be prepared to take the risks that come with it. You have to be brave and leave all thoughts of doubts and fears behind. If you pour your heart and passion towards something your heart desires, the universe will always be there to reward you with attainment. But of course, failure is part of the process. If you never bleed, you’ll never grow. You have to be in the process of shedding and becoming. As I browse through the pages, it read “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times”. Take each failure as a cornerstone for something better, for something beautiful that we never expect. As the bus ride comes to an end, I flipped through the pages once more, and I find this striking statement, “It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary”. It is indeed; like this bus ride. It is simple. It’s part of my daily routine but it was a life-changing experience. Life comes with its twists and turns, and it is up to us how we will enjoy the ride and make the most of it. As for me, I read a book as I savor every bus ride going home and it is a metamorphic experience.

Those afternoon bus rides with my companion influenced and changed the way I perceive the meaning of life in this world because, in those moments, I learned something, and I experienced a transformative realization of life and dreams. I know I am not alone; I have a book with me, and it is more than I could ever ask for. I may be in solitude or people will see me as a lonely individual because I am alone, but the truth is I am not lonely, I am simply at peace. In this world filled with chaos and overwhelming uncertainties, that book remains the same - a companion, a friend, and one who witnesses every single thing, yet you cannot hear any judgment, only life’s greatest lessons. From that moment on, I treasure every bus ride I get to experience because perhaps it is when we are spacing out and we seek life's meaning, we find our lives well-lived. 

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Philippines