I remember watching Cast Away a few years ago and wondering how Tom Hanks (Chuck Noland) must have felt alone in that island, totally disconnected from any human interaction, discovering everything all over again. The joy in his face after realizing how to set up fire is tattooed to my brain. It was one of those moments. We all have those. I always thought, how could would it be if it happened to me one day ?! You may think I am a lunatic, but think about it. It doesn’t sound too bad, well maybe it does. It depends on what type of person you are. Why am I blabbing on this subject anyways…Well, An extremely milder, kinder, and less severe version of Tom Hank’s Cast Away story happened to me a few weeks ago. I’ll go into more details in the paragraph below.
When I arrived back in Toronto last month, I didn’t think I’d be staying for more than a week. It was the plan, at least on paper. I had a vacant flat available which was as bare as Adam and Eve upon their creation. You could post the photo of the flat in Oxford dictionary in front of the word “bare”. Alright, challenge accepted! For the first week, I made peace with idea of sleeping on the ground. I didn’t know if I’ll be staying or whether it’s worth to actually invest in furniture for the flat or not. There was no bed, blanket, no pillow, no nothing. I’d go to cafes during morning time and comeback after sunset, go to war with my bones until I fell asleep. It started to get frustrating after a few days, but I couldn’t be too reckless with my spending. It lasted for a good week until one night I woke up at around 4AM. My body had given up. My bones were cursing me left, right and centre. It was a sunday morning with nothing on the horizon. I couldn’t even lean on anything anymore. My bones wanted out. They passionately hated me for how I had treated them for the past week. They had had enough. I head out at night and kept running. I had to find a way to forget the pain. Finally, it was 10AM and Canadian Tire was open. Never in my life, had I been so relieved to see Canadian Tire open. I ran straight to the home comfort section and bought $200 worth of pillows and chairs. It was a glorious feeling. Upon bringing the stuff back up, I thought to myself “Now, I understand why sitting was such a big deal when I used to play Sims in my teen.” Sitting on a chair had never felt so good. Sleeping with a pillow felt as glorious as university graduation. I sat, and literally just sat for an hour. The sleep that followed, was among the best I had experienced in years. Sitting on a chair had never felt so good. Perspective, eh ?!
Going back to Cast Away, when Chuck is finally found and returned home, his friends throw him a big and fancy party where he is reminded of how easy it is to light fire with a lighter. The look on his face at that moment tells everything. It’s my favourite scene of the movie. We’ve all had our Chuck Noland stories. The depth and severity of the situation varies, but there is always this one thing that we always take granted until it becomes rare or completely vanish, only for us to appreciate it a lot more when we get our hands on it again, if lucky. For Chuck, it was the fire, for me it was pillows and comfort in “sitting”, for others it could be getting back with their significant others, Coming back from a near death experiences and many other things. It’s tough initially, but once you have it again, it feels better than you ever imagined it would.