One of my hidden talents is purchasing good books on a whim. By this I mean; something I’ve never heard of, something written by an author I don’t know, something I wouldn’t be searching for in a bookstore.
It’s a gift because most of the time, whatever I decide to pick up is a good one that I really like.
A couple of weeks ago I was in Waterstones in Cambridge and combed through their discounted boxes to find Landing by Laia Fàbregas. Adhered on the front cover was a sticker; “Now £1.50”, and I’m no idiot – obviously I had to get it.
‘Landing’ is translated from Spanish, 204 pages long. It should have been a quick read but I have been addicted (even more so) to my phone of late, mostly using it as distraction from bad moods, low energy and general rubbish feelings.
As you may know, whilst I read books I tend to underline the bits that I love, and during ‘Landing’, I frequently had to pick up a pen to mark sentence after sentence. And damn, there are some heavy but enlightening choices of words in this book.
Here’s a few of them (there’s a lot):
When you see yourself in another place, another life, it takes a lot of energy to carry on in the life you so badly want to leave behind.
We’re built to survive. We adapt to situations, bit by bit, but we eventually adapt. Sometimes we think we can’t take it anymore, but we get up the next day and it turns out we can.
We can be strong, but not invincible, and I was tired and lost. I was angry because I was tired and I haven’t been able to be strong enough. Doubt had made me weak.
I remember that feeling of living in the moment, not wanting to think about the past and bot being able to think about the future. The freedom of worrying only about the present moment.
I realised that freedom doesn’t exist. If I didn’t have concrete plans, I’d have to create each minute of my life from nothingness. Without a sense of purpose, each moment became a decision.
I’d have to continue choosing a path each second of my life, and that was a massive burden.
I decided it wasn’t necessary to run away. I’d find ways to escape while staying.
I realised how difficult we can make things for ourselves when we don’t have the nerve to say what we’re thinking or what’s going on. We fill our lives with conjecture and supposition, which we base our actions on, and in the end they’re false assumptions.
There’s no such thing as life without secrets. Couples have secrets, families have secrets, cities have secrets, countries have secrets. I have my own secrets. But it’s also a fact that sooner or later, secrets come to light.
After a personal tragedy we make critical decisions on the spur of the moment but they’re often temporary because they’re driven by emotions that are still raw.
People who are searching have a goal. They have a reason to get up in the morning, they know that eventually they’ll find what they’re looking for, and they have a reason to live.
We have two options in life: to go searching or to let yourself be surprised […] We generally combine the two, except when we lose heart, then we have to search.
I accept what comes my way […] I let myself be surprised, but knowing that whatever happens to me, it’s for the best, or at least something good will come out of it.
Sometimes you have to search for happiness. And sometimes misfortune befalls you, you can’t escape it. So it’s better to search for happiness. To find the things that are important to you.
If you are UK-based, lemme know if you’d like to do a book swap in the comments section.