Updated: Jun 19, 2021
Before going to bed every night, my best friend used to scroll through her gallery. I always asked her why she did that because I never understood the rationale behind it.
It took me three years to realize that such things don’t really need a rationale.
Scrolling through her gallery, she re-lived each happy experience she had in the past. She would take pictures of each memorable moment in her life and save it on her phone. Her gallery was her safe space. It was her space to feel what she had felt. This habit made her feel satisfied and happy; solace and a peace of mind that ultimately resulted in a good night’s sleep.
Especially on days that she considered “bad”, she would scroll through her gallery to reassure and remind herself that life is worth living each day since you never know when life would bestow you with a plethora of pleasurable experiences. To clarify, she did not live in a utopian world where everything was joyful. Instead, she acknowledged what certain negative events triggered in her and tried to accept them and move on with the help of certain memories.
A few days back, I was having a conversation with her about what she does these days before falling asleep. She just stared at my soul and questioned if I had forgotten that she scrolls through her gallery. I looked at her blankly and told her that she would know the answer to this in a few days. And here I am, writing to her. I remember you. I did not forget this habit of yours either. Three years of us being roommates has taught me so much - to adjust, understand, listen, appreciate, and just be there. I can never forget what we shared over those three years and irrespective of who my roommate would be in the coming years, you were, hands down, the best one I would have ever had.
My reason for writing this blog wasn’t just to assure my friend that I remember her. Instead, it was to emphasize how people from radically different backgrounds can come together and make a small happy world for themselves. It is so essential to acknowledge and respect each other’s safe space and to be non-judgmental of each other’s preferences.
I have started scrolling through my gallery, too. Right before going to sleep. Just like her. It calms me down. I have customized my gallery in a way to remove anything that would remind me of negative memories. A gallery full of happiness and positivity lightens my mood. Even after a long, tiring day at work, looking at happy, cheerful faces and reminiscing the good old memories of the hostel, of huge gatherings, of classroom teaching, of outdoor living, makes me so happy because I can relive each experience without actually being there physically. My gallery has become my happy place.
Let’s be hopeful of what the future has in store for us. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe, this pandemic had a didactic motive and has left us all with a lot of questions to ponder upon. Let’s acknowledge our learning, note it down, and accept the present while reminiscing and cherishing beautiful memories.