Friday, September 7, 2012

Jumbled thoughts floating around in space.

I lie on this bed, acutely aware that my future meetings with it are numbered. The luggage bag sits ominously in the corner. Save for the cacophony of the crickets, the silence weighs heavy. Outside, all is darkness. I have never bothered looking for the moon through my window, and today I search in vain. Somehow, knowing it will wax and wane many times before I tread on this land again makes a difference. And yet, from all this, I draw comfort.

There is comfort in familiarity. There is comfort in fruitful friendships. There is a guilty comfort in whiling the time away watching Korean variety shows. But comfort will never be happiness. They are no more synonymous than solitude and melancholy. It is entirely logical to be comfortably unhappy. And therein lays the problem.

It is too easy to fall into that trap of being too comfortable inside your own skin. I should know. I am my own victim. Comfort breeds complacency, and complacency spawns... nothing. Happiness is the exhilaration of a hard-fought victory, the satisfaction of grounding obstacles under your feet and emerging a stronger man for it. It is in the pounding of your lungs, in the rush of blood to the head, in the heady, intoxicating roar of triumph. In its most fundamental form, it is the one extra pull-up that I force myself through when lesser men would have chosen release. That, and that alone. How would I know what it is to be happy, when I have not fought tooth and nail for it every goddamn step of the way?

I guess it all boils down to what makes you tick. I was not always like this. All those years of mindless training and drilling have either awakened something very primal within, or it has permanently changed something fundamental about me. It manifests itself in the way I assess challenges now. I am afraid, but there is a raw hunger there too. It scorns the fear when I am hesitant. It mocks my weariness. It feeds on my victories, and failures whip it into a crazed frenzy. It is a living , breathing thing inside of me, as much a vital organ as my lungs. It is real, and as much as I hate it, I respect it.

But I am losing it. If at this point you still do not comprehend what this thing inside me is, then I do not think I am capable of putting it into words you will understand. This primal hunger, it isn't something I'm bragging about nor lamenting. It isn't good or bad. It just is. It drives me. I can no more lose it and escape largely unscathed than I can cut off my right arm and expect life will go on normally. It is not so much the bleeding that is painful, but the sight of the unnatural stump every time I look into the mirror, a reminder that I am unwhole. Without it, I have nothing. I am nothing. Maybe it's because I'm spread too thin that I'm losing it. Maybe it's true I can be good at anything, but not everything. To me, it's a strange thought. I am unsure I see that statement as a challenge or sound advice. I am losing grit, getting soft. It is easier to let my sighs drown out the sardonic voice.

The things I am passionate about, books, running, friendship, have not changed. But this superficial, material world has sapped me of my drive. I still picture my dreams as clearly as ever, but at times I wonder if it's not a mere mirage, a trick of the light. I feel like The Little Prince, lost in the desert, knowing his rose is somewhere above, yet, woefully directionless.

I think of the future with conflicted emotions. There is a measure of fear, because I do not want to end up living an average life with average dreams. To me, comfort is not happiness. Happiness is when your heart beats in time with the victory fanfare. Living a life of servitude isn't living. It is a travesty of life. And thus I am deathly afraid my dreams will always remain dreams.

In 17 days, I leave for Warwick. I wonder what it will do to my faith.

"Look me in the eye. It’s ok if you’re scared. So am I. But we’re scared for different reasons. I’m scared of what I won’t become, and you’re scared of what I could become. Look at me. I won’t let myself end where I started. I won’t let myself finish where I began. Look me in the eyes. I have something more important than courage. I have patience. I will become what I know I am."   - Michael Jordan.

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