The Lost Girls.

It was easy for me to feel depressed at the horror, and I was just a visitor passing through. But these kids lived with daily reminders of the violent past and had no choice but to carry on. Again my mind traveled back to Esther and Sister Freda, who showed me that it’s possible to transform ourselves into something greater than our suffering, how life forges on despite pain.

I excused myself to go to the bathroom. Then I stood at the edge of the room and watched the Cambodian teens going about their business. I imagined them wanting the same things that I wanted: To feel safe in an unpredictable world. To work toward somethings that mattered. To know love. To belong.

– Chapter 23, Holly. Boston, Massachusetts/Cambodia. December-January.

I’m not done with this book yet. A part of me hopes the end doesn’t even come. Because, I know I’ll never quite be able to find another travel memoir that matches up to this book. I’m not even kidding. All of you, who suffer from insatiable wanderlust like me, need to get your hands on this book. I’m not sure if the male gender can relate to this book as much as a female does. Especially if you’re a 20-something-year-old female. This book speaks to me through and through. Since also, it’s a true story of the 3 girls below.

[From left to right] Jennifer, Holly and Amanda

And if you’re looking for an actual review of this book, before you actually read it. Head over here (a review by Athira from Reading on a Rainy Day).

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16-year-old self.

Dear 16-year-old self,

I’m bursting with so many things to tell you. But, I think I wanna begin by saying I wish you held on to your adolescent years a little longer. You often fought with yourself to grow up and questioned so many things about life. You questioned happiness and threaded it with caution instead of embracing it when it came knocking at your door, albeit transient and short-lived. Happiness at every phase in life, whether you’re 16 or 60, is going to elude you. It’s only going to leave you if you decide to hold on to it longer and tighter than you’re supposed and expected to.

The years ahead of you will redefine what friendship and friends mean to you. You’re going to get hurt, betrayed, cheated and go through a whole lot of other emotions but you’ll survive only stronger and less gullible. You will realise soon enough that life works like a curveball and that, karma exists. You just gotta be patient and let things run the course they’re meant to.

You know nothing about love. So quit trying to understand it. Love isn’t meant to be understood. You’re not going to understand it even when you have your first kiss. Or let alone, on your wedding day, for that matter. Or even when you have your first kid. Maybe then, you might understand it just a tiny bit more. But, you’re still going to get a lump in a your throat when the next person comes up to you and asks you what love is.

I can’t wait for you to join me on this side of life in 7 years and 5 months time.

Love always,

Self