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I love the sunrise. I love staring out into the horizon in front of me, feeling the sun's glow, and losing myself in my own world of thoughts... I love being awake when the world around me is fast asleep, and staring into the distance at the tiny glimmering ball of fire as it shyly creeps into my world… Each sunrise brings to me a new day and with it a fresh start. An opportunity to do things differently, see things from a different point of view... but best of all, an opportunity to ponder over the day ahead, giving a new chance every day to live...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life wears you down

Trying times are integrated into our lives. If there was a God or a Master Plan above, He, She or It did not code and format our lives such that misery is not part of it. This is, of course, always a difficult lesson to learn. Sometimes, a sense of entitlement or naivety can cause us to almost be in denial that trying times can happen to us, that the world could be so cruel to us. The good guys.

But the reality is, life will always wear you down. It is literally physically, and logically, impossible for us to not become broken at some point or another. There are always calamities: deaths, financial troubles, break ups and not being able to eat the food we get cravings for. It is difficult to understand the purpose of our existence sometimes, when everything spirals out of control and the scoreboard mocks you with its triumphant ‘life 1 – 0 you’. It is difficult when you first start realising life wears you down.

(All (C) to Rotten e-Cards.)

This gives me great admiration for people who manage to remain kids at heart, throughout their lives. When I was younger, and I saw Growns Ups acting… well, Grown Up, I often wondered how they may have been as kids. How, and at what specific point, they morphed from wanting chocolates and watching cartoons, to a different state of mind of problem solving and taxes-managing adults. It always baffled me, because undergoing that metamorphosis seemed like an impossible concept to get my head around at that point.

In all honesty, it still does. Although I understand now (far better than I did a couple of months ago) how this change takes over our core way of living, it is still somewhat of a mystery to me. Perhaps I am in classic stage one of the five stages of grievance over the loss of my childhood (denial). Ha. (And yes, I count ‘childhood’ as up until I had to be a grown up with a job. Sue me!) But on a more serious note, it puzzles me how smoothly people who were once children transition into adults. Where do they get that strength from? Where do they get that courage and purpose to carry on from? Did life not wear them down?

This transition from childhood into adulthood is, for some like me, a very trying time in life; when the comfort of having a regular pattern of a friend-filled, activity-filled life where your actions had no real financial consequences is shed to reveal a thicker, more lonely layer of financial and career worries. School has provided for us a comfort zone where our next classes, courseworks and activities are clearly planned out, and emerging from that into the Grown Up world where contracts are time-dependent and performance-dependent, and you don’t know where your next scheduled activity could be, is a different ball game to reckon with.

It speeds you up and slows you down all at once. The constant meetings and ward rounds and deadlines and work-based activities leave you wondering where the day has gone, and yet when you look at your list of accomplishments for the week, you realise you have slowed down. You haven’t done half the things you wanted to do. The writing, the photography, the TV shows (but never Mindy. We solemnly swear we will always make time for Mindy.), the promised phone calls to friends.

What a funny paradox to live in. To realise life has, indeed, worn you down. The idealistic dreams are now replaced with practical bread-winning aspirations. And in turn, the bread-winning aspirations wear you down purely because you realise the idealism and the fantasising has gone. Slowly, like unwanted flies in the room, the questions creep in, demanding that you pay attention to them: who am I, what am I doing, why am I here? And the most painful one to answer – am I happy?

They say knowledge is power. And perhaps gaining the knowledge that life will wear you down – for some, straight out of university like myself, and for others, in the middle of their hard-earned careers, for instance – is our strongest weapon to fight the life blues. To know that there will come a time when we have to face the question, ‘Am I happy?’ and stare at our wounds and demons directly in the face and answer with brutal honesty. Regardless of how little we are left with when throw away the superficial and the unwanted. And change what we can, while crossing our fingers in the desperate hope that our personalities have developed enough over the years to accumulate a sense of humour enough to accept what cannot be changed…! The best person to laugh at is yourself, sometimes. Then maybe, somewhere along the way, we can hope to find a good balance between the demands of a Grown Up and the requirements to keep our childhood alive within us.

1 comment:

det-res said...

Hey long time no hear. I hope you are okay.