On long bus rides in India, I used to sit by the window, enjoy watching the world pass by, and love the breeze in my face and hair. Anyone who watched me do that called me “a dreamer” or “someone who enjoys getting lost in their thoughts”. They always said it with that smile associated with romantic thoughts, and I always responded with an awkward shrug. I didn’t really relate to those tags and I didn’t know how to articulate my experience either, so the shrug was my go-to tool. That gave the other person a sense of validation and me a way out of that discussion. It worked.
All these years later, in the middle of my attempt to sort my mental health, the woke concept of mindfulness explains what I used to naturally do at that time. I was in the present. There were no thoughts to get lost in. Any that emerged also possibly went past like that truck or tree or cloud that disappeared within seconds from my window. This is where I insert the cliche about life being simpler as a youth. Of course, I haven’t come that far from that time to believe in that cliche. I had shit going on at that time too. But the younger mind was probably better at dealing with it. Now I am using some external help to get transported back on to that bus.