In this new phase I am constantly being made aware of the magic in life. It seems every time I find myself in a rut, have an emotional evening or start to feel lonely, something happens to remind me that things are happening the way that they should be and I am, we all are, synced up to the world around us in a way I don’t think we will ever truly understand.
“Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.”
“The simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” – Oxford English Dictionary
If you open up to your surroundings and expect nothing in return, have no sense of entitlement for your existence, things will happen which will surprise you. This is the sometimes the obvious nature of reading the wrong book, taking a wrong direction, making a wrong move. Last summer I read Pride & Prejudice and enjoyed it so much I still find myself talking abut the story to this day. This year, in an attempt to pick up reading again, I took out another of Jane Austen’s novels from the library. After getting frustrated at my inability to connect to her characters or appreciate the writing style I gave up. The same happened with Dorian Grey despite the film being one of my prevailing favourites.
For the sake of convenience, I then picked up Chinese Cinderella by Adelaide Yen Mah, a book I have had for years; a present from my grandparents in my teenage years. I think it is meant to be aimed at a younger audience but I get on with her story so well I find myself rolling from page to page for hours without thought of an ending. Knowing nothing about the story before diving in I was surprised to find that it is educational in Chinese history and religion, and in the run up to my internship in Chengdu and my failing of learning the language and customs, this book has been absolutely brilliant and so unexpected. Its bite-size chunks of knowledge have energised my leaning ‘ethic’ and encouraged me to delve deeper before I get to China in October. As a result of the book I have had conversations with people about the history of China, it’s relationship with Western culture and been much braver in practising the language, out loud.
This week I walked into a new coffee bar in Cardiff, one I applied to for work and had some temporary annoyance when they didn’t get back to my emails. But which is refreshing and beautiful in their design, with friendly service and because of its long corridor-esque shape and contemporary chilled out music, holds a feeling of escaping the bustling streets and unpredictable weather. 200 Degrees is relaxing in a way I haven’t found anywhere else in the city, and it feels obvious that I should have found it before I leave.
After coming in for my morning coffee and break from the outside world a few times, in my Metro uniform, the guys working here asked if I could bring in some newspapers each morning and in return get a coffee on the house. Can I also point out that this is one of the few places in Cardiff that offer vegan food and three different types of vegan milk and I would have been happy to buy a coffee each morning with my hard earned and very limited funds (don’t tell them that!). However this has just proved the refreshing generosity of humankind and this makes me endlessly more happy than a nice selection of veggie options.
This week I am also making more of an effort to be open and connect with the people around me before my travels where it will be a lot more necessary. If I am going to travel the world I need to shed my anxieties and be able to freely communicate with other people, if not just for the sake of human contact, then simply for a source of income and/or resources to live. I consider this time a practise run.
Yesterday I stopped at a market stall in the city centre and had a lovely conversation with a woman who reminded me a lot of my (very Welshie) step mother and ended up learning about bone china and buying one of her recycled vintage blanket lavender bags. This morning I approached a man sitting on his laptop in 200 Degrees which could have been considered rude, even dangerous, but resulted in learning about a novel he has written and making a connection with someone I would otherwise have ignored for the sake of my own boundaries, which, let’s be honest, never got anyone anywhere.
I guess I just want to say that however bad things sometimes get, there is always something good around the corner. We just have to allow ourselves to accept it. We can think of it as simply an amusing series of coincidences or we can imagine the universe is looking out for us in it’s strange sort of way. Either way we should find a way to believe that we are all capable of surviving and enjoying our short time on this planet so keep going and keep smiling!