By: Alexis Jones
Have you ever had that moment where if you could, you would literally crystallize a moment in time? If only there were a magic machine so that we could relive certain memories again and again and again. As I get older, I’m realizing the natural ebb and flow of life as an endless roller coaster of highs and lows mixed with ordinary moments that plateau. When I was younger I was always seeking the extraordinary, the highest of highs, the summit of any situation. I tended to ignore or disregard altogether the low moments, the boring moments, and the heartbreaks--ignored as many of those as humanly possible. I threw them out thinking that it was only the positive, happy memories I wanted to keep, and I could live without the rest; but what I realized was that it was as if I were eating an entire diet based on cupcakes and frivolous, delectable delights. More importantly, rather than wallow in my storms, my predictable downswings and undesirable misfortunes, I learned to savor them just as sweetly as the slice of red velvet cake cupcake from my favorite restaurant in L.A.
You see I joke that I fly to and from L.A. simply for this cupcake, this small piece of heaven that God placed here just for me. I’ll go a month without it, trudging through life, daily work outs, difficult conversations, and relationship hiccups with loved ones; but then, there is this moment when I sit at my favorite café in the city of angels and I revel in perfection. Recently, I had the same experience here in Istanbul. I witnessed one of those perfect moments that maybe only happens a few times a year. I went to breakfast with my boyfriend on a stunning sunny day. The breeze was sweet but not too strong, warm but not hot. Of all the cozy restaurants lining the beautiful Bosporus Strait, Brad chose a restaurant at random and before you know it they waltzed us to the back to sit at a lovely round table overlooking the water. The combination of it all: the perfect view overlooking gorgeous Istanbul, the delicious food, the music, the company, the temperature, and the time of day was as if this breakfast was a perfectly choreographed moment. I kept repeating under my breath, “I just can’t believe this is so perfect, I just can’t believe it.”
Image courtesy of Alexis Jones
Unlike my expectations in the past that often left me disillusioned between them and the reality of life; I soaked up every single second. I captured the moment as holograph-ed memories inside my body, and I promised myself that when life threw me a curve ball that I would revisit those chocolate chip, banana pancakes and allow their memory to crutch me until my next lovely life moment. I think we are gifted these precious experiences more often than we think. Maybe it doesn’t last a whole breakfast, maybe it’s just the unexpected laugh attack with your best friend, a thoughtful card you received in the mail or a rainbow that reminds you of the majesty that unfolds before us in nature daily; whatever it is, slow down so you don’t miss it. One of my favorite things about traveling abroad is that it shakes my up and down world and dares me to do things differently, to see the world differently, myself, the people in my life and my unique circumstances differently. I love that when I’m abroad I relax far easier than when I’m in the States on a plane every three days bouncing around and attempting to keep my head screwed on tight enough.
We live in a busy, distracted world and it’s all too often that we sprint by leaving only traces of blur behind us, missing not only the tough, challenging moments (where all the greatest life lessons lie!) but more so the perfect, magnificent moments that are our life’s sweetness. So my advice for all of us is to slow down and enjoy every bite when life offers you, your favorite dessert on a silver platter.