Random Restaurant Conversations And Other “Special” Events.

She was alone on her table when Judy and I got into the restaurant. We’d planned to talk about the trip to Douala — alone in a corner. And to catch-up on the past few weeks. The only table with empty seats was hers.

Could we share the table with you?
She smiled. Of course.

She’d quit her job. Her health was deteriorating. She wasn’t able to get back to her Masters programme. She had no place to stay. Her Android device was giving up on her. She showed a pack of medication.

Gastritis, she said. And smiled. My father says I should change my diet. She shrugged. Smiled.

She told us about why she’d quit her job. About the person she thought was her friend who had demanded that she go against her principles for money.

She told us about how she’d stopped writing two years ago. How she didn’t want to bother her parents about her current situation.

I’m a hustler, she said. And I hate staying idle. She was smiling.

This afternoon was the first time Judy and I met her.

I don’t believe in luck. Even when I hate my life, I always find out that whatever happened brought clarity to the path ahead.

Like the lights of a car in the dark. I can only see so far. What’s the point trying to see the whole path if I can see where to put my feet next?

She reminded me of what I was good at. Of the feelings that drove me and why I started writing with intent.

I have always been writing. Mostly for myself.

But since we started Self-ish, my purpose is to leave a piece of my soul.

To bleed.

And that purpose has been tarnished by the life around me. The things that didn’t work out the way I wanted. The fact that I still have to practice saying “No” to any and all brilliant ideas. And things like that.

Every day, I face a choice. And I become aware of the consequences.

The weight of my words. My attitude under certain circumstances. The way I express myself. My body language. The books I read. The messages I share.

I have become borderline paranoid — even with the things I share ( RTs, Recommends, etc) on Social Media.

Yet, when I heard her story…what she was going through, I found that the work I have been consuming has changed me.

But what struck me more, was her smile.

At the start of the conversation, it was a courtesy smile. The one we wear at parties. The shield. The one which says: leave me alone. I’m fine. I don’t want to bother you with my problems.

But at the end of the conversation, even before we exchanged numbers, her smile was different. Her demeanour had changed.

Something about her was different. And I could see it.

I have written about an attitude of gratitude. In the midst of what is going on in my country right now, I am not yet ready to write about Eseka and the events that seem to come straight outta Stephen King’s mind.

I will. Not today. But, I will.

Last week, I had a Whatsapp conversation with a friend whose point of view I find fascinating. Coupled with the discussion I had today, I can cement the same thoughts I had back then: there are no special events.

I don’t think there are moments I can look back as especially happy moments.

Well, I used to have those. I use to elevate some events over others. I used to think that some conversations were better that others. And that some moments were, indeed, special.

I don’t think this way anymore.

Even though the meeting today expresses such a day. Even though the fact that I read a message by my friend C. Befoune, that pushed me to write what you’re reading in one sitting, I do not believe today is special.

I choose to consider every day as special. Every moment as extraordinary.

Sounds naive, huh?

But, I believe it. I believe that the fact that I can breathe air is a special event. That my life, in its ordinary occurrence, is special.

That the fact that one of the 7 billion humans is reading this right now, is special.

Psst, I love you!

Does this mean you live everything on a single plane?

I don’t know. I think that every day is a gift I do not deserve. And my job is to make the best out of it.

And to meet random people in restaurants who remind me that we all have issues to deal with.

P.S: She’s an exceptionally passionate communicator with experience as a Business Analyst. She lives in Buea and from what I got, is quite bilingual. If you have any leads for her, I’ll be more than grateful to connect you both. Cheers.

Hi. I’m Tchassa Kamga and I love writing. I currently live in Buea, Cameroon. I host a podcast and I freeze stuff on Instagram. You can find me on Twitter,Snapchat and Facebook as well. Together my good friend C. Befoune, we started Self-ish where we share personal essays on self improvement, content creation and human relationships.

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