Shopping Lesson from Port Douglas

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PDGloomy. That’s what it’s like. My expectations were crushed into pieces by dark clouds that covered the whole heavens. The sky was painted with gray, a not so happy color. In total contrast to the usual heat and brightness brought by the yellow sun whenever we’re here, I felt cold and saw paleness. Refreshing to the body, I know. The gentle touch of the cool breeze relaxed my senses. But somehow I felt a bit lonely. Then came the drizzle which eventually turned into a heavy downpour. Under the shade of the shops we passed by, my friends and I had to wait patiently for the rain to stop. Funny how nostalgia brought us scenes from home. We found ourselves missing street vendors selling umbrellas of various designs for only P50.00. A happy thought amidst the staleness of everything.

After a few minutes of chatting and giggling, the rain stopped and we headed to the main town where more stores are found. I had to buy some personal stuff. In a snap, thanks to the shopping list I have, I got most of the items I needed. Except for one. I was hoping to buy cute tops which I saw the last time we anchored here. You see, I am never the kind who buys on impulse. I usually stick to the plan I have in mind or to the list I have at hand.   Perky bright colors of yellow, green, and red started flashing in my head. Pastels to tone down and soften the look of interesting prints seen. What a perfect picture of joy standing solely in a place of gloom. So with excitement slowly budding inside my heart, I started walking towards that one tiny place that can surely put a smile on my face.

It took me a good 15 minutes to get there. Once again I was overwhelmed by the happy hues inside it. Enough to brighten a lonely day. Enough to lift up a sinking spirit. I was surprised to see the new arrangement of the items. They weren’t in their old places. I quickly looked for the tops I found last time. I’ve been dreaming about them for days. And clearly, I can think of their nice and simple floral designs. So when I found them again, my heart leaped. 🙂 I was planning to fit them already when I chose to ask the staff for the price. To my horror, it changed. It went up not only double but triple. Nyaaaaay!!! 😦 They were just on sale the last time I had a glimpse of their beauty. Well too bad for me. Despite this misfortune, I decided to torture myself some more by trying them on. And to my dismay, the fit was perfect. Just like I imagined. 😦 My heart sank. I would have felt different better if they were too big or too small. At that moment I felt like giving in to the loneliness offered by the dark clouds I saw outside. I know I wouldn’t buy them. I can but I won’t and I didn’t.

So lazily and regretfully, I started walking back to where I came from still thinking about the cute tops. Still thinking why I didn’t buy them before. But then that’s what I am. I was never spontaneous. I like things planned. I’m slow to decide and think things over. I prefer being safe. While contemplating on this, I realized (thanks to the pretty tops I’ll forever miss) that maybe sometimes it’s okay not to be too careful because when one is you miss really good opportunities. Happy moments pass you by and before you know it, they’re gone. And then slowly I began to think about missed opportunities in the past. Things that could have made me a little happier but then I ignored only because I was too careful, too safe, maybe even too scared. Battles I could have won. Words I could have spoken. Help I could have gotten. Love I could have received and given. A long list of could have’s and what if’s. Not so inspiring. 😦

I’m not suggesting that we totally hurl caution to the wind and forget about being careful. I can never do that. That’s not how I was built. It’s still good to have a certain degree of control, to know what you’re doing and what consequences your actions will bring. But then taking risks adds spice to life. It makes you more engaged somehow. It keeps you at your toes when you don’t know what will happen. In a way it makes you feel more alive. So I guess it’s best to enjoy shopping whatever it is you plan on buying. If we don’t try or buy, we wouldn’t know if it’s worth the gamble. Precious lessons will remain unknown. Chances to be happy will be left unborn.

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