Finding my rose-tinted glasses
And why it matters that you find yours too
It took a while before he agreed to follow his girlfriend to the shore. And honestly, I don't blame him. It was cold, raining and every gust of wind held enough power to make you lose your balance. I remember looking at the girl, wondering why on earth she wanted to go now. After all, I had been walking behind them for long enough to learn that she's studying in Brighton. She could go anytime. Why now?
The girl looked at him lovingly and with the playfulness of a child, kept pulling his jacket until he finally gave in and followed her. I stayed behind, looking at them as they made their way down, over the rocky beach and towards the water. She stopped a few times to collect some rocks and he simply smiled, softly shaking his head as her excitement grew bigger and bigger.
Meanwhile, I was standing on the bridge in the pouring rain, enthusiastically watching this couple I had never seen before. My hair looked like I had just stepped out of the shower and I could sense being watched by eyes filled with question -which is ironic I know- but I just couldn't help but feel mesmerized by the girl's radiating happiness.
And that's when I realized the power of love. Suddenly I understood the importance of focusing on the right things.
In similar circumstances -ones that are usually considered to be negative or inconvenient, like rain- most people wouldn't have taken the time to give meaning to what otherwise would've been a meaningless moment. Not many people go out of their way to take an ordinary moment and turn it into an extraordinary one. One worth remembering. It’s rarely the place or the moment or the object that’s remarkable. Usually it’s the attention we give something, or even the awareness of experiencing something that makes it desirable, not the thing itself.
In Dutch we have this expression 'door een roze bril kijken' which translates to 'looking through rose-tinted glasses' and means that when you're in love you tend to look at life differently. Often with more positivity, excitement, and joy, even if your circumstances could be described as unpleasant.
Seeing them make the conscious decision to enjoy the time they have, regardless of the weather, and realizing that I wasn't, was truly astonishing. We often spend so much time complaining about things we can't change, that we completely disregard the fact that time spent complaining is less time spent enjoying.
The sole difference between feeling good and not feeling good is what you decide to focus on. Sure, it might be easier to feel the ecstasy she so fearlessly seemed to emit if you have a loving partner by your side, but luckily that’s not necessary. You don’t need anything from the outside to make you feel loved, or make you experience love on the inside. In fact, the beauty of all this, and the point I’m trying to make, is that the way you experience your life, comes down to the way you perceive it. Which in turn tends to be (positively) affected if you’re in love. In other words: being in love makes life more enjoyable yes, but you don’t need to have a significant other to experience love.
I loved seeing how excited and uplifting that girl was, and how easygoing and encouraging her boyfriend reacted to her. I loved the bridge I was standing on and the buildings I walked past to get there. I love to travel. I love getting lost in different cities and asking strangers for help. I love being asked for help by strangers. I love walking around with a camera to take pictures of things or people that otherwise would’ve been overlooked. I love it when I look at the sky, breath out and notice a feeling of serenity overcoming me. You know what I don’t mind rain.
But when I felt that the rain had entered my shoes, and my socks were getting wet, I realized it was time to leave the couple alone and move along. Before I did however, I decided something really important: to look at life as if I was in love, cause in a way I am. I'm in love with everything life has to offer.
So, before I left them and left Brighton, I picked up the rose-tinted glasses and vowed to never ever ever take them off again.