What our futures hold is a mystery, a mystery that we try to uncover everyday. Holly Mitchell encourages us to focus on moments in time that bring us joy and let us forget about what’s next.
Too often, life is a whirlwind of never-ending loudness - a rigorous cycle of lathering, rinsing and repeating the same mundane little tasks day after day. Striving to find meaning in the meaningless becomes excruciating, but hey, blaming the world for its twisted grudges that seem to be held against you always helps. Fortunately, the world isn’t just against you - it’s against everyone at all times! One of the best movies I have ever seen (Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)) reminds us all that “all we get are a few specks of time where any of this actually makes any sense”. This truth holds only one solution, which is of course to, as the movie says, “cherish these few specks of time”.
The incredible thing about finding everyday peace within this bizarre world is that it looks different to everyone. It is a uniqueness that showcases the magnificence of humanity, and gifts us all a moment in time where we admit there is, maybe, a point to it all. A moment where a breath of contentment feels earned.
A gloomy evening in January, at Manly beach with a friend, felt reminiscent of one of these moments. It was the antithesis of a perfect beach day – brisk, heavy droplets of rain, with thunderous waves lashing violently against the shore. Nonetheless, my friend and I ventured along the saturated boardwalk, discussing what our futures may hold. Yes, the dreaded “what will the future look like” question that usually makes me hideously tense, as it echoes the setting of any job interview. Why would I know what I would be up to in five years, when it was 8:24pm and I didn’t even know what breakfast tomorrow would look like? No discussion with a friend should resemble the answers you have rehearsed while sweating profusely in a shopping centre bathroom.
Yet, not one droplet of stress-sweat was seen that night. Maybe it was because there was strawberry froyo sitting fresh on my tongue, but this conversation felt optimistic and inspiring. Cracking jokes to weaken our fears about the future made for an entirely enjoyable evening, despite the drizzle.
Why is it that baking always helps? Is it because the procedure rewards you with a physical creation? Better yet, a physical creation that is nothing short of delectable to the senses? Whatever the case, baking similarly reflects a brief moment in time where everything makes sense. Lemon cake is a household favourite both for my hometown, hours away, as well as within my current shared apartment. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving - that is after you head to Coles and buy a Green’s Smooth Lemon Cake Mix packet. Lemon cake is refreshing and bright and it reminds me of those icy mornings in the winter where the sun’s vibrant rays leave you confused as to why your fingers feel bound to fall off from the cold! The problem with lemon cake is that you can’t have it too often, lest you live on a permanent sugar high. Yet this is what makes it special - it’s something to look forward to every once in a while, a small reason to push through another shenanigan-filled day.
As you may have predicted, moments of contentment for me tend to involve food, which makes plenty of sense for someone who admittedly becomes hangry at the drop of a hat. What makes a good feed far more memorable though, is when it is shared amongst loved ones. Food is a passing, trivial thought more often than not. Not every meal is supposed to amaze (I’m looking at you, my stale Uncle Toby’s muesli bar, I probably should have eaten you sooner). But meals that are attached to an exciting night at a beautiful bay with friends? A milestone celebration dinner with family, in a restaurant that is on the verge of sleaziness? They truly make life likeable, and it’s my hope that everyone is able to experience some moments where peace is found within the madness.