I once wrote that it was not my destiny to fall in love, to find a soulmate to share the ups and downs of life with. I was only 22 and only just starting out my life as a young adult. Life was a black hole of opportunities, and yet in my naivety, I had written off companionship.
The reason was simple. A broken heart, an illusion of the one and only, and youth's impatience for all of life's answers to reveal themselves to me, not just the moments along the way.
The paragraphs of my writing at the time paint a picture of a vivacious but shy, hopeful but sad, happy but confused and yet already brave enough to take a risk and make a dream come true.
A few pages of dwelling in the past, of looking back in time and meeting me, a young and insecure me with a beautiful independent spirit. It's funny to look straight into the raw centre of the self and discover how early I found my two passions, traveling and writing.
It seems it was always meant to be. Those two passions gave life a meaning before I understood how they've shaped my every step in life.
In writing, it's not just the act of writing. It's the act of reading, of bathing in words that are attached to a white slender sheet or a soft beige page on which words, sentences and paragraphs decipher the mysteries of this world.
A single word moves the soul across the horizon and all the way to the sun. Even though this universe is but a reflection of the past, a glimpse into a past, life happens in the moment. This life is reflected on the pages of great literature, and moves the soul. It brings joy, sadness and amusement - a roller coaster of emotions as the eyes scan the pages to find the answer to the mystery, finiteness to the story.
Traveling on the other hand is a curious journey with no predefined end. And one ending often leads to another beginning. It's the journey of continuity, one that answers the questions I didn't think I wanted an answer to.
It's a mirror for the soul. On the road that is travelled the light of knowledge glows brighter than ever, and the senses are wide awake. Each day is a new adventure, a new dimension, a new look on life and this incredible planet of ours, and the extraordinary people on it.
Both passions are still as strong as they were twelve years ago. The urge to explore and the urge to express is bursting within, like a bubble about to burst from excitement.
Much has changed since I took my first steps into adulthood. I no longer live in Paris even though my love for Paris is as strong as ever. I have seen more of the world and learnt to land on my feet no matter what with relative ease. I have travelled down the road of literary academia, and fallen deeper in love with words and their infinity.
The one thing I learnt along the way is that life has a way. The map is not mapped out by fate or a plan that is decided for us. It's the decisions that we make along the way, followed by the one after that, and so on.
The only compass is the heart, and thankfully, I listened to mine and found myself on a path that is entirely mine. I share it with the love of my life, who celebrates his 34th birthday for another half hour or so, and encourages me to pursue the passions that still give my life a greater meaning - as I encourage him.
At 22, I didn't know true companionship, the kind where mutual respect and deeply rooted affection for one another - one that is born out of love and continues to thrive in love - and this as it turned out to be, is the surprise I treasure the most.
Life is indeed a beautiful journey of unpredictability with no fated end.