This is a story I wrote for a school test. Note: English is my second language so any corrections on my spelling, grammar or writing skills are greatly appreciated.
It was the usual sunny day, the sounds of birds chirping and rays of sunlight seeping through my curtains woke me up from a deep slumber.
It was the first day off I have received in weeks at my job in an elite company. I glanced at my mirror and saw my reflection staring back at me.
"Wow, all those paperworks really took a toll on me.", I muttered. My eyebags were darker and much more visible than before. "Well, there's no way around it, I guess.", I thought to myself.
I opened the curtains to let the sunlight brighten up the sullen room. I scanned outside and my eyes landed on the local park.
Memories of my carefree days came rushing into my mind as I saw kids playing tag and laughing in joy.
"Maybe I'll go for a stroll." I decided. I washed my face and put on some simple clothing before I left. I walked to the park and breathed in some fresh air.
"How long has it been since I last felt like this?", I wondered. I sat on a bench and enjoyed the tranquility around me.
No paperwork nor sounds of the keyboard being tapped; Just peace and quiet. I sat alone for quite a while before someone came and sat beside me.
"Hey," a man in his mid-30's greeted, "I haven't seen you around here before.". I took a glance at him and noticed he looked quite gaunt.
I did not want to be rude so I decided to keep the conversation going.
"Hi, yeah, I usually go to work but it's my day off today.", I replied.
"You look quite ill from afar," he stated, "are you feeling okay?"
I was taken aback by the sudden question. I realized that I have not been asked that question for a really long time. I felt a rush of sadness and pain in my chest.
Next thing I know, I was crying in front of a total stranger.
"Woah! Are you alright?", he asked again, "Do you want to talk about it?". The thought of telling a stranger about my problems never crossed my mind before this but there I was.
My constant rant kept going on and on for what seemed like an hour, yet the stranger kept on listening intently. I was quite grateful for that.
All the pressure and stress about my job that I held back for far too long erupted like a volcano.
After my emotions were somewhat stable, I felt embarassed over what I did. I apologised to the guy but he just laughed it off. We kept quiet for a few minutes and just looked at our surroundings.
"You know, I was also in your situation not too long ago," he said, breaking the silence, "I felt like I was always unhappy and stressed.".
"That is exactly what I'm going through.", I thought to myself. I dis not realise there were people out there who are having the same problems as me.
"It took me a long time to realise that I was working in a toxic workplace," he explained, "but in the end, I did and chose to quit.".
I stared at him and admired the actions he did to obtain happiness in his life. I wondered if I was able to do the same.
"My advice foe you is to be strong and devide your own life," He said, "Do what you feel like is best for uou and never let your life rot away like that.".
Somehow, his words motivated me and gave me hope. The guy was surprised when he noticed the look plastered on my face and chuckled, which snapped me back to reality.
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name." He said, smiling at me, "I'm Mark, by the way.".
I chuckled and replied, "I'm Joana.".
"It's nice to meet you, Joana." he grinned, "I have to go now, I'll see you around.".
We said our goodbyes and Mark went back to his place while I went back to mine. I ended up thinking long and hard about Mark's advice for the rest of the day.
In the end, I decided that I would quit my tiring job because I finally understood that having a job that constantly leaves me unhappy is not healthy for my mental health.
I decided to be strong and chase for my happiness, just like Mark.
The next week, I officially resigned from my job. I went back to the park and told Mark about my decisions. I was glad to know that he supported me and offered help whenever I needed it.
Mark's words will forever be embedded in my mind and I am eternally grateful for him.