Monday, April 15, 2013


Let us be honest. Brutally honest. We're not going to live forever. The people we know and love are not going to be around forever. As I write this, adolescence is slipping away. Soon, it will be gone, just like childhood and the teenage years have slunk away, so tangible and fresh in our memories, but really, just out of reach. It's funny, how we were all once young and thought we were invincible. And maybe we were, in the little bell jars we lived and suffocated in. But those days are over, painfully over. Before I realise that there is a bigger chunk of my life to look back on than to look forward to, I have a few questions.

Is there anything you can do about people you miss? You meet people you take for granted. Until the day those circumstances that have brought you together, be it school, geography or sports, ends. You're not going to leave these people behind, not in the negative sense of the word. But there is a separation there. The regularity you speak with them dwindles. You see them online and you want to send them a message, but you falter. Some of these people will just fade away into the scenery, and that's ok. But others, you're not so ready to let go. Happiness brings people together, but nothing bonds people like suffering. When you're all broken the same way, you learn to read between each others words and into the silences. We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I'd say that was how I felt with those people, a feeling of family, and, to me, it's worth missing.

What do you dream about? Let's talk about your aspirations. Do you dream about the future and what it promises? Do you dream about a life of comfort and happiness you don't have to try so hard for, or are your dreams the same as waking life, with the same people and the same goals others have set for you? Do you even know the difference anymore? Or are your dreams so impossible and fragile that it cripples you sometimes? What do you do when you realise that your ambitions will amount to no more than a composition in your primary school exercise book? We are our own hardest critics, and it is often easy to forget to be gentle with ourselves.

What is the best way to be happy? Do we settle or do we push? The years inch by and suddenly this becomes a trick question. The immense sense of possibility we had as children has evaporated, leaving a bad aftertaste under our tongues. We have impossibly high standards that we will never live up to. We are overshadowed by our own past successes. Where does that leave us then?

I carry the past on my shoulders and cradle the future in my arms. That is my flaw. I need to revive that sadomasochistic relationship with the present that is my brand of happiness. Then, hopefully, things will start falling into place.

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