Life lessons

Calling me home

It’s the name of the café that first draws me to it – The Rusty Rabbit. A café with such a name has to have good coffee. The beige building set against a cloudy Sydney sky beckons me with a warmth I’m not experiencing. When I enter, the décor is definitely hipster. Marvel figurines, hanging plants, rustic wooden furniture. The scent of the coffee is tantalising. It’s table service I’m told. I find a spot in the middle, the corners are all taken. It is lunchtime after all. There are young professionals, older couples and people tapping away at laptops. To my left are two young men who appear to be friends; to my right is a lone gentleman working away on his laptop.

It’s different for me; I’ve just come from a specialist appointment and have no work, nothing professional today. I pull out the book I had been reading on the train and apart from acknowledging the café staff who bring me my coffee and then my lunch, I am oblivious to the hum around me. My book has been unputdownable and I’m glad to have the chance to read without interruption. I could possibly finish it right here.

It’s a beautiful book and emotionally heavy. In a couple of hours, when I am nearing the last fifty pages or so, I decide a café is not the right place to be reading this. One tear has escaped but hopefully, unnoticed. I suspect there will be more to come. I shut the book, decide to pay my bill and read it on the train home instead. As I’m packing up, I notice the man on my right is too. The guys on my left are no longer around; I don’t remember when they left.

It’s none of my business, says a male voice. I look up to see the man is talking to me. What’s the book you’re reading? You seemed really into it!

I laugh and start to tell him about it, show him the cover. It’s fiction, I say. But it’s about grief and heavy shit but pretty good. He makes a note of it and wishes me a good afternoon.

As I leave the café, the light drizzle and grey skies don’t dampen my spirit. I’m smiling stupidly as I walk down inner-city lanes. I left this city almost three years ago. Back then, I complained it had become impersonal. Disconnected. Cold. Everyone seemed to be too busy doing their own thing; no one seemed to give a shit.

But now, as I visit Sydney often, experiences like these make me question my original beliefs. I don’t think the city has changed drastically. Rather, I realise back then, I was disconnected. I was aloof. I was struggling with depression at the time – friendships I cherished were crumbling, a relationship I was in was a sham, work was not fulfilling – and I shut myself from the world and succumbed to the inviting black hole of depression. It meant I closed myself off to others. I shut myself from good experiences.

Nowadays, despite the anxiety that’s my companion, despite knowing that depression can visit me at some point {and it has since 2016 but just hasn’t lasted as long}, I am more open. More confident. More yearning to connect. The brokenness exists but it hasn’t shut me off. And perhaps all of this – the yearning for connection, the confidence mixed with the brokenness somehow comes across in the way I hold myself. I don’t walk with my head down. I may occasionally have headphones on or my nose in a book, but there is a difference in my posture, in the way I walk. There is a smile on my face. There is warmth in my eyes.

The bustling city is welcoming again. It seems to be calling me back. Because I’m opening myself up to it, I’m ready to go back home.

You Might Also Like

  • Margaret
    4 July 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I love the optimism and easy everyday quality to this. You make it easy for the reader to put themselves in your place.
    Margaret recently posted…Nevada DisguiseMy Profile

  • Melony Boseley
    4 July 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I just love this, Sanch! Our perception of the world around us is tainted by the person we are. I’m glad you are feeling more like yourself again and can enjoy these little moments.

  • MM Schreier
    5 July 2019 at 7:32 am

    There’s so much truth in this story. I truly believe that we see the world very differently based on who we are at the moment. I love that your tale starts out grounded in the mundane, but works into a more existential exploration. It’s a nice reminder that simple can be profound!

  • Myna
    5 July 2019 at 8:28 am

    I love that you end on an optimistic note. The process of self discovery is nicely told.

    • Myna
      5 July 2019 at 8:29 am

      Oh my goodness, look at that funny little illustration by my name! Looks just like me.

  • Joanne Tracey
    5 July 2019 at 9:18 am

    A beautiful & textured piece, Sanch. Our perception of what’s around us really is impacted by what’s going on inside. Love the self-reflection and awareness as well.
    Joanne Tracey recently posted…48 Hours in MelbourneMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    5 July 2019 at 9:34 am

    I loved how the story progressed from cafe to self discovery. The city remained the same but perspective changed. There’s a relaxed, almost soothing voice to your story, which made me feel happy for you.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Who ate my face mask?My Profile

  • Shilpa Gupte
    5 July 2019 at 4:37 pm

    I totally loved this, Sanch!
    Yes, it’s the vibes we send out into the Universe that reflect back on us, through people and places. it’s like, when we are happy, the world around is happy, too, but when we are sad and gloomy, then that’s what we see all around us, and we wonder why things changed?
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Why we need to unfollow diet fads.My Profile

  • Natalie
    6 July 2019 at 12:08 am

    I enjoyed reading your self-reflection, awareness and optimistic ending in this post. Have a beautiful weekend! P.S. I’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress #lovin’lifelinky
    Natalie recently posted…June Wrap-UpMy Profile

  • Denyse
    7 July 2019 at 10:27 am

    Reading that was such a beautiful way to see and hear that you are indeed ready to ‘go home’. The coast has helped you gain that perspective and that is terrific. Knowing how you are going is so good to read! Coffee soon?

    Denyse x
    Denyse recently posted…Women of Courage Series. #7. Dorothy. 74/2019.My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      7 July 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Ooh definitely – would love to catch up for a coffee soon. I’ll message you

  • Natasha
    8 July 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Dear Sanch,

    It possibly seems I was meant to land up on your page, via Yeah Write, to read this deftly written, wonderfully expressed honest account.

    I simply love how your anecdote transits from a coffee shop setting, to your own inner journey of growth and transformation. I could almost see a mirror image of myself in this heart-felt account of yours.

    The second last paragraph where you describe how you still hold ground despite the anxiety coming by to clobber you once in a while, felt like my own personal journey with depression in 2016; to the empowered space I am in right now. Yes, I have my moments of weakness, but just like you, I stand steadfast and hold ground, much better than I did in the past. My coping skills are better, and I rise like the phoenix from the ashes, not allowing myself to crumble under pressure.
    The last few weeks, have felt like a melt down, honestly speaking; but I’m not letting anything deter my spirits, and my will to be the happiest person alive! 🙂

    I found this beautiful quote the other day, which was a balm to the soul:
    “We are all a little broken, But last time I checked, broken crayons still colour.” – Trent Shelton

    You have yourself a wonderful week! And please keep writing more such soul-quenching pieces. You probably have no idea how many lives you end up touching in the process. 🙂

    Much love, light and good vibes your way. <3
    Natasha recently posted…Silent Friends with Fins: #WordlessWednesday #WednesdayWisdomMy Profile

  • Rachna
    8 July 2019 at 8:39 pm

    This is so beautiful, Sanch. Sometimes the world does reflect what we feel. I can see how the city is dear to you and one day soon you will be back.
    Rachna recently posted…Saturday Morning and a Peaceful RitualMy Profile

  • Vinitha
    10 July 2019 at 9:33 am

    This was such soulful read, Sanch. I couldn’t help but smile as I read. “The brokenness exists but it hasn’t shut me off.” That’s the path to a healed and beautiful journey. These days one thing I’m certain of is that I have decided to keep the negative thoughts away even when they try to jump at me. Acknowledging the existence of both halves is healing me and I feel fresh blooms all over. I am so glad that I read this piece. Thank you for sharing this, Sanch. Hugs. ❤️
    Vinitha recently posted…At last an Author of my book | June Gratitude #GratitudeCircleMy Profile