Milan, 24th September 2013
Some years ago I went to Thailand to visit a very good friend of mine, Anita, who had been transferred there for work. I had just graduated from University and I didn’t know exactly what I wanted in life. The biggest question was: should I follow my passions or do what my family expected of me?
I traveled to Thailand to clear my mind, stay with my friend and have a good time. “My mind would eventually clear up” I thought. It was my first time in Thailand, and I loved it.
Bangkok is a city full of contrasts: it’s dirty, smelly and chaotic, but you can find peace in one of its buddhist temples, you can dine in the finest restaurants and dive into a pool on a beautiful rooftop. I met some very interesting people and saw things that I had never seen before. We also spent some time in Koh Samui and Koh Phanghan: the nature, the sea. The hot and humid weather was all that I needed.
One night a friend of Anita's, an english woman in her late fifties, invited us for dinner. She and her husband lived in a penthouse in one of Bangkok's most beautiful condos, the Baan ChaoPraya. The view was spectacular: from their apartment you could see the Chao Phraya, the temples, the city … We had the yummiest Thai dinner and drank good wine.
One of the people at dinner was a thai woman, who we were told was a psychic. Anita and I were so curious and eager to ask some questions about our future, so we sat in the living room to have a talk with her. Anita went first, asking about her love life, her work and family.
“You will have a relationship with someone from the Middle East” the lady said “but it’s not gonna last for long. I see you will get married in 8 years but I don’t see with whom”. Anita was pleased with her response. Then Anita asked “Will NIKO be ok?”.
“No, NIKO is not ok and he will not be ok for quite a while” said the lady “He has a lot of anger inside him”.
Those words had an impact on me. I tried to hold back my tears but I couldn’t. The lady was right. At that time, I was feeling lost and alone. I always put on my happy face, but behind my smiles there was a deep sadness and dissatisfaction. I didn’t know where I belonged, I didn’t know what I wanted to do… I was in a very dark place, and I didn’t know how to get out of it.
The lady didn’t want to answer any more questions: it was late and we headed home. On the boat that took us from the apartment to the Chao Praya boat station, Anita and I didn’t talk.
The night after we lit a chinese lantern, wrote our wishes on it, and let it fly in the sky.
Since then, lots of things have happened and I grew up in so many ways. I can say that I am older and wiser now, but I will never forget that night.
One of the wishes we wrote on the lantern was : "Be Happy".
But how can one be happy? Is there a secret to happiness?
To me, now, happiness means being who you want to be, where you want to be, with who you want to be and doing what you want to do. I guess it’s impossible to be a 100% happy all of the time. But I also think that happiness is a choice.
If we choose to be just ourselves, be with whoever and be where we want to be, and do what we want to do … then we will tend to be more happy, no?