‘Hello Balázs, Meli speaking. I’m calling you to tell you that I decided to rent your apartment.’
‘Sorry Meli, too late. Somebody has just rented it, it’s not available anymore.’
For a second while the information travel from my ear to the brain I am speechless, then I hang it up with a high-pitched scream.
(My Spanish friend Laura admires the heart-shaped lake during a midnight hike.)
At this point I’ve been searching for flats to rent for an entire week after it turned out that I had to move from my present apartment very soon. The tight deadline and the enormous level of obscurity made me fall out of balance (ok, well, let’s make it clear: recently I’ve been acting like a bitch.)
I have moved five times in the last year, this is gonna be my 6th move and now the only thing I am longing to is a place that I can call home. Ridiculously, as I found the perfect apartment, it was not available for me anymore.
(Five star view at Henningsvær. I might as well go camping if I can’t find a place to stay.)
That was the very moment when I silently wondered if knocking down my cell phone to the ground was a brilliant idea or not. Well, don’t judge me hard, you might remember from an earlier blog post my friend Barna saying that I practice a special type of ‘passionate’ zen buddhism: I go crazy every time before finding my peace.
But in the end I always find my peace like I found it again this time. After the call I was just sitting still for a couple of minutes in a catatonic way, my mind was busy with thoughts like ‘andnowwhat’ ‘Imgonnasleepunderthebridge’ ‘fuckthatnothingworks’. And then like I awakened from a strange dream, I started to see myself from outside and I really didn’t like what I saw.
So I realized that I had to change something. I took a couple of deep breaths (inhale, hold, exhale, pause – four times, four seconds each stage. Girls, it fabulously solves the ‘Hell, I’m a bitch’ problem.) I decided to not give a shit and I was not willing to go crazy about my situation even if the clock was ticking. I put aside the problem of not finding a place to stay and started to enjoy life a bit again, because so far every problem has been solved when I was at ease and not when I was about to control everything.
In the Grimm brothers’ world now this story would continue like this: ‘…and the next day my phone rang, somebody found me the perfect apartment and I shouldn’t even move my little finger for it.’ But life’s not a Grimm tale. Reality is that only my middle finger moved a bit from time to time and life surprised me with a different kind of lesson to be learned.
After the long intro we are now finally getting closer to the main point: when I decided to not give a shit, right after I somehow found old memos on my phone from last year’s journey to Lofoten islands, Norway. Re-reading them I understood in disbelief how far I am from being happy, carrying the weight of everyday life.
Here are a few lines quoted from my memos:
‘If something such as a happy life exists, I don’t know. Life is always about ups and downs, yin and yang. But there are plenty of happy moments in it. Happiness is for instance to wake up in the morning realizing that the crazy wind that almost blew your tent away had already stopped. Happiness is a bite of chocolate cookie for your morning coffee. Happiness is pitching the tent in the belly of a fjord and watching the sun go down behind the mountains. Happiness is finding a rock that has exactly the same shape as your ass and sitting down as if you sat down in a comfy armchair. Happiness is smiling fiercely on the bike going downhill. Happiness is staring at the God knows what species of birds diving deep under the water in perfect motion. Happiness is getting tired. Happiness is getting off your hiking boots after the day’s hike (and that’s a big happiness, I would say). Happiness is jumping into the icy lake after spending ten minutes in the steaming sauna. Happiness is looking around and watching amazing mountains all around. Happiness is getting lost in space and time and be present. Happiness is doing nothing but enjoying life. Happiness is the taste of real freedom. Happiness is saying out loud how f.cking happy you are.
I’ve never been happier. Because first time in my life my happiness comes from within and not from something I could lose.’
(Probably the best place I stayed in Lofoten.)(Big living room with a comfy sofa. No read lamp needed, not even at 11pm.)
(Meli sitting in the lake sipping the awkwardly named beer.) (Andris and Lejka in rough North.)
How can it happen that we are so open while on a journey, trusting our guts and letting life guide us to the best experiences without stressing out – and on the other hand, when we live our ‘normal’ lives we tend to forget this so fast as if we never learned it.
My friend Melinda asked me what the hell happened to me. To me who used to go on some journeys to the unknown not having booked accommodation even for the first night. And everything just worked out somehow for the best. And now I was fully freaked out because of this minor problem.
Sometimes we accept almost unnoticed to be drawn down into a deep and muddy marsh while living our ordinary life. Our routines make us believe that our problems are much bigger than they actually are and that our sources of joy and happiness are limited. But in fact, happiness is all around. In the corner of the Norwegian fjords as well as on the top of Benedek hill in Veszprém. You only need to adjust your focus a bit.
(Actually in this post I wanted to write about our latest climbing trip to Sardinia, but the subject of keeping and loosing balance wanted the whole blog post for itself. Now I don’t fight so probably in the next post you’ll find some fun stories about that small Italian island as well.)
The photos in post were all taken in Lofoten islands, Norway in 2017.
Photos and text © Melinda Egyed / Mind the Map