Have you ever had someone enter your life and fill a void you didn’t know existed? And I don’t mean by physical presence, I mean with the words and lessons that come with them. While traveling and meeting new people, I’ve been swooped up and buckled into the back seat of my life. I’ve compliantly become a part of the audience watching my life swing a full 360. It is these experiences that as I have said before taught me more than any classroom, and as an avid book worm, it is the words that bound off pages and into my thoughts that put those experiences into perspective.
I often take longer than the average person to read a book, and that is because I get so consumed in genially phrased sentences and inner meaning, that I often find myself rereading or penning down word porn in my journal. While enroute from Germany to Paris, and all of the picturesque (AND not so glamorous) train rides at the end of the European Summer, it was another work of art from my favourite author – Elif Shafak, that got me thinking.
While every chapter or every book I’ve read of hers has had me enthralled, it was this passage that really took a seat in my thoughts, putting so much of the past two years into perspective.
“Bountiful is your life, full and complete. Or so you think, until someone comes along and makes you realise what you have been missing all this time. Like a mirror that reflects what is absent rather than present, he shows you the void in your soul – the void you have resisted seeing. That person can be a lover, a friend, or a spiritual master. Sometimes it can be a child to look after. What matters is to find the soul that will complete yours.”
“It’s as if for years on end you compile a personal dictionary. In it you give your definition of every concept that matters to you, such as “truth,” “happiness,” or “beauty.” At every major turning point in life, you refer to this dictionary, hardly ever feeling the need to question its premises. Then one day a stranger comes and snatches your precious dictionary and throws it away. “All your definitions need to be redefined.” He says. “It’s time for you to unlearn everything you know.” – ‘The Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak’, pg.320.
I can tell you of a moment in Tuscany sat upon a cobblestone wall that showed me pure bliss, followed by a moment in Plymouth that redefined it again.
I can remember a person that showed me true love, only to have another snatch that definition out from beneath me and redefine it like no other.
I won’t forget the one that showed me happiness, for another’s words to only reconstruct that definition just one more time…or so I thought.
It is these moments in life that while some are gloriously prettier than others, that keep us truly alive proving in every aspect that it is well less than complete.
Those words, those people and those experiences are what have made it apparent that while travel has become so dear to me, it is more about the journey, the moments and the things that fill it, rather than the destination.
My advice: Find that person, that book or that place that will be your mirror.
– Haylee x