Take the path of the best story
I once felt like a fool flying 800 Km from Mumbai to Bangalore to meet a special friend on Valentine’s Day.
Because it was not a date in the strictest sense. By all definitions, it was stupidity. And that too, is an expensive stupidity given the cost of flight tickets at the last moment.
But, it was much more for me than a simple stupidity.
All I knew was I felt a spark of excitement when I thought about seeing her once again. Before that, I had already lost hope of ever crossing paths with her again.
But, later that day, I was walking with her on a dusty road in Bangalore after a delicious lunch at an exquisite South Indian restaurant. Our destination was about 2 km away.
She asked me, “Do you want to take an auto? Or do you prefer walking?”
The answer was clear in my head.
Walking, of course. I wanted to spend the maximum time with her before bidding a final goodbye. I did not want to sit in a speeding auto when my heart rate was already through the roof ever since I had landed in the city that morning.
She was a former classmate and we had always connected extraordinarily well. After college ended, I had no intentions or hopes of ever meeting her again.
But, then came her birthday and we were talking over the phone after almost 8-9 months. We wondered how cool it’d be to meet again and celebrate together. It was a completely impromptu plan.
I had to pinch myself in the broad daylight to confirm I was not dreaming. So many thoughts were going through my mind. What if she was just joking? What is even the point? It was not a romantic date for sure. I already knew that there was no future there.
I asked her once again and she assured me that it’d be fun to catch up and chitchat like we used to do in the college. So, I booked my tickets for the same night. I was over the moon.
On that special afternoon, I told her that I’d prefer to walk that 2 km distance as I wanted to remember ending this lunch with a long walk. I also thanked her and told her that it was one of the best days of my life. I told her it was a story I’d love to tell after some years to my kids or grandkids perhaps.
She laughed and asked me almost incredulously, “Really? Do you think you’d tell this story to your kids?”
I told her, “Absolutely!”. I smiled, wondering inside if she actually realized that it was indeed the best day of my life.
That story ended on that day.
But I am glad I flew more than 800 Km without any overthinking or planning.
I knew in my heart that no matter how silly or expensive that decision sounded on paper, it was going to be a great story one day.
I learned that not all decisions need to be rooted in reality or logic.
Life is rarely logical. There is not just one path to take. Life offers a range of possibilities if you think about it. It is about choosing what makes you come alive and feel excited.
You can choose different paths. You can choose a path with a clear end goal. You can also choose a path that seems to lead nowhere. And your brain will tell you it is useless to choose that path. It will try to convince you that it is not worth taking a path because it leads nowhere.
But, sometimes the path to nowhere is often the path of the best story. Sometimes the best decision is to take the path of the best story.
Because these stories are how we create meaning in our life.
They fill us with a sense of hope, love, connection, and belonging. These stories might not have happy endings. They might not even be sad endings.
The best story is not necessarily related to happiness.
It is about how alive you feel in that moment, in that story.
So, even after years when you remember that story in a cozy coffee shop writing about it, it leaves you with a smile and makes you believe in life itself.
Isn’t that all we need sometimes? To believe in the wonder of life and all it has to offer.
So, tell me. When was the last time you took the path of the best story? 🙂
Until next time,