Florence was a beautiful city with its mesmerising architecture and vibe. I remembered walk down from Florence Central Station to the Cathedral and found a giant advertising board of renowned smartphone brand that said : More than just a smartphone. In my mind, yes, its more than just a phone, it could explode too. (Try to remember which brand had battery issues in late 2016 and you know what i meant)
The weather was not great, but not so bad either. It was cloudy with drizzling of rain. My accommodation was lovely, but each early morning a fire alarm rang. Oh, Wifi didn’t work too. My host was frustrated about these and honestly i had no option other just listening to her ranting and hope things would magically work okay, which did not happen that way.
I visited Florence for two short days. Like in our world, life is not always exciting and/or adventurous. So is in travelling. Sometimes i found good stories from people. Sometimes i found the story of my own. Or, not at all.
But, it gave me a chance to be with my mind. Like what i do right now, months later, writing this post. I am in the what-so-called “sabbatical leave” which in my definition is to give myself time. I am “buying” myself time to do things i would like to do; a luxury in our modern days. And, how i am so far?
In 9 months after the first step, many items in the list were crossed. I followed my curiosities one by one. Traveling to places. Meeting new people. Catching up with old friends. Writing my own stories. Commenting other’s writing as a speaker. Playing my own music. Singing my heart out. Dancing salsa. Speaking a whole new language. Learning new things. Collaborating with others. Listening to my own voices. In brief, living my life as full as it can be.
My bestfriend said to me twice, “I envy you. The freedom you have.” And, i replied, “Life is choices with its concequences” – with strong emphasis on the very last word. I might write something exclusively for this, maybe with a classic title of “Don’t be like me” or maybe “Choices i’ve made”.
Frankly, sometimes i wish i had a map for this path; the road less chosen. Or a high level guideline to answer those questions surrounds me, at least for my own questions and doubts. But life does not come with a guidebook. And more often, the answer is simply always keep your faith in yourself, as cliche as it may sounds.
A question people always asked to me is “What’s next?”
This question often holds an expectation that i know my own future. Skeptically i wanted to respond like this, “If i know about the future, i might bet on stock exchange since i was 17 years old.” Seventeen, because thats when i officially became independent.
I always have plans. Like in my Europe trip, i planned to visit Florence after Cinque Terre or Bologna after Venice. But, i never knew what the tomorrow would be. Who i would meet. Things i would do. Or even places i would go. I knew more only when i arrived in each city. Its really like walking in a mist, i can see one step ahead me, but i can’t see clearly the next steps.
Yes, sometimes its scary. Not only for you, but also for me and everyone. But behind that fear of unknown, i feel there is possibility of greatness. A sprinkle of freshness. An impulse to truly feel each moment and be ready on whatever happens next. A gentle tap on my back to always keep going.
The journey so far is amazing. Stories about all kinds of love, hope, strengths, adversities, independences, coincidences, hurt, and loss. Both from people i have met and my own story. But as time passed by, I realise that i wrote more people stories, but not much on my own.
Why is that? As i embrace my own journey, i understand one more thing. My story is like on page 150 of total 300. I am still in the middle of it. It has the main ingredients like love, loss, tears, and hope – like most dramas have. But still, it is not complete, yet.
Then, when will be the page number 300?
At least when i reached that full one-year period. Or maybe when i moved to new country. Or maybe when i published a book. I don’t know, like i said before. I don’t know when is the best time to publish a part of my life publicly. But, if i feel the time is right, i will certainly let you all know. One step at a time, babe. 😉