Why do we read stories that we know the ending to?
It has been over a month since I was in Taiwan. In truth, the memories do fade, but the ones that count still hold their warmth.
I remember the first day of excitement that gleamed through my eyes when going down every new street I had never been down before. My friends and I followed the scents of savory and sweet to reach the tasty treats of the Raohe night market that left us drooling. Choosing between wearing a squid or alien hat and making a silly face right when the flash goes off in a capybara-themed photobooth. Even when we were supposed to be studying quietly, we always made space to just have some fun with late-night study breaks of Just Dance Rasputin in the living room. A road trip to Pinglin district as we pluck at leaves to see who is the tea picking master. Away from the city sounds of motorcycles on the streets I remember lying on the grassy fields of Yangmingshan, drifting off to sleep as the sun also tucks itself into bed.
As we get older, we often feel tired of what we are used to, believing our life is mundane. As kids, we wish too soon to grow up and be mature. So these moments, glimmers of happiness, remind me, and hopefully you too, that the joy we once had as kids to explore was never lost; we just need to move past our self-esteem to feel it. Even if you can’t go to a new country, there is always something new to appreciate. Whether today you made the perfect ratio of coffee to cream; do a little happy dance. Or your dog feels a little bit fuzzier that morning, give them a good pet. Hold those memories close, because when you need them, they will feel like a dear friend.
We all knew how this would end. With goodbyes that make you want to hold every connection just a little bit tighter, unsure when your next hello will be. But we continue to read stories that we know the ending to for comfort, that we are not alone in the longing of the past, yet knowing how it ends makes us read every word just a little bit slower.
Thank you to everyone for following my journey in Taiwan. If you would like to continue following my path, here is my LinkedIn.