Day Eight: The Bench

I was meant to post something else today. But after watching a video which FCM from Just Cycling Through shared with me, followed by an interesting experience, I changed my mind.

If you haven’t already, you must have a look at Andrea Dorfman’s video on living alone; it is an inspiration that holds much truth. Today I was on training at a new office. Having been at work for only a week you can imagine how new everything already is. When you feel like you are just settling in, you are again thrown into a new environment. Talk about overcoming social anxiety and trying to wing an extrovert front.

You would think working is the hard part right? You are wrong! It is the breaks that are even more difficult. What do you do when you have three-quarts of an hour in a place that you have absolutely no clue about? Would you just stay in one place staring at your watch or would you wander around?

Well, since I carried my own lunch I decided to enjoy it on a bench by the sea. Keep in mind that I have never really eaten lunch by myself on a bench. But the experience was worth it. When I was half way through my sandwich, a fat sparrow – let’s say she is a girl called Chipper – landed on the ground in front of me. Chipper eyed my sandwich as I continued to munch on it. When she realized I wasn’t paying much attention to her she decided to hop onto the bench next to me and watch me…. Almost like my dog. I finally gave into her charm and handed out a little bit of bread. To my surprise she came right next to me and picked it with her dainty beak. It surprised me mainly because I have never seen sparrows that are so daring; crows and pigeons maybe but never the gentle house sparrow.

Coming back to Andrea Dorfman’s video, she says that “sitting alone on benches can be uplifting” and this experience truly was one of those moments. The breaking waves and windy air coupled with a relaxing aura made me understand what people mean when they say, ‘You can be alone but that does not mean you are lonely.’

I definitely was alone on that bench, but I wasn’t lonely. Chipper accompanied me while I ate and Mother Nature set the ambiance to calm my nerves; it was indeed beautiful. I decided to take a stroll around when I was all done with lunch. I realized that there is pure magic in discovering new places by yourself.

You tend to see things differently; maybe you make a better attempt at remembering landmarks. You pay more attention to the things you eat and drink and you sometimes learn to appreciate the simple things in life like a public bench.

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