There are times when I become increasingly sensitive to the world and the nature of life, that I begin to worry about everything. For example, just now, as I was watching my dog sprawled on the sofa, chewing on her blanket, and wondered if she was not feeling restless from the lack of entertainment, I could not help but to feel a little sad. Throughout most of the day, she would be sleeping. Only those times where someone came home would she awaken and pounce around like an excited child. Then after awhile, she would go back to sleep. During the nights, after dinner, she would always follow either my mother or myself around, because she knew that it was time to go for a walk. Thinking about all this, I thought further that maybe she was feeling trapped all the time during the day, and how pitiable it must be to only have an hour’s worth of real enjoyment (that is, going out for a walk). Will she begin to feel depressed if this carries on – if she learns what enjoyment is and is most of the time bereft of it? These things trouble me in the midst of ordinary nights. And all I can do is to lie beside her, brushing my hand through her coat, and trying to tell her that we are really no different; that we are suffering all the same.
I know that I had deliberately led myself onto this path, chosen it over another more lucrative one; and so ought to not be distressed by any shadow of regret, but rather forge ahead confidently and full of gusto. I know that I have warned myself of the perils of this path, of the dusky future contained in its bends and stretches, and further paid no heed to those who have warned me all the same. So certain I was then of my passions, and so brilliantly they shone in me, that I deigned to deny them their proper habitat. I thought those passions were immortal – something resting at the very core of my heart, and which shall never extinguish, neither by lassitude nor by the emergence of another eloquent attraction.
Ah, but now they have sunken into unknowable depths, and I find myself frequently questioning the purpose of my study. I peer into the distance and imagine that not far from I stand, a malicious cliff awaits its prey:“Come you wishful one; come with your carefree, all too carefree, heart!” Even Marx remarks from his grave: “Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.” Perhaps I might have been better off remaining on that earlier path, as a sure cog of society. These abstract thinkings seem pointless.
Have you ever, on a balmy afternoon, looked back on your entire life and felt an ineffable wonderment at the intricate turns and windings it has made? Every small action and consequence has culminated at last to this present moment where you sit insouciant on the park bench, the breeze brushing lightly against your features. The world spins as it has spun before, and all about life prances delightfully as it has before. Reality, usually mundane, morphs into something surreal, something magical. “However did I end up here?” You ask yourself. But you have been stupefied by the immense complexity and power of history, and can find no way to define an answer. You look around and see some other people chatting under a stone pavilion. And all of a sudden you behold the same immensity of their lives; are they not as profound and miraculous as yours? Life is indeed most beautiful, you think to yourself. The gratitude within you is flaring, but to whom shall you deliver it? God, perhaps. Or perhaps, you need only channel it to your will and turn it mighty.
Whenever a person expresses concern over the prospects of my decided area of studies, I cannot help from suspecting, and with great consternation, that this courage in pursuing a pleading passion might be simply a great folly of the mind. Have I let myself be ensnared by web of lies? To ourselves, we are after all the most masterful liars.
Suppose they were right, and I really am on a path to a life full of parsimony and less extravagant joys; suppose they were right about my having made the wrong decision, and at so crucial a juncture; suppose they were speaking of the objective truth, one not slurred by pride or passion but derived by the principles of practicality – what then?
I have let myself rest for too long in this rural hut. I have grown accustomed to its space, to its place, to the scenery that surrounds it, to the lake that reflects the sky in its shimmering eye, to the tracks that leads into calm forestry which I have imagined myself traversing in the many days ahead. There is no turning back now; I wouldn’t allow it. If to a life full of parsimony and less extravagant joys it leads, then so it shall be. But at least I would know that I’ve done what I most wished in life.
I am sometimes confused by the wisdom of my actions; that is, what appears to be a wise undertaking or decision appears at a later instance to be a foolish and ignorant one.
For example, there are times when I feel so strongly that I ought to follow my passion and pursue as a career something which I love. This I support with the strength of the aphorism which in essence tells of how with enough passion and interest in an endeavour, one will eventually soar to great heights. But if I were to pursue that career, I would have to relinquish my current studies in financial accounting, which is by most standards a highly practical and lucrative one. In consideration of this expense, it would seem unwise to pursue a career that at first pays meagerly and where the rungs beyond one’s own is rarely definite, when I could be pursuing another that pays steadily well, and that which is so applicable to this age of banking and finance.
The crossroads of life have never perplexed more than now. I am lost, directionless, helpless because I cannot trust even my own judgement. I shall have to wait for the Almighty above to provide me some semblance of direction, and then, I shall readily trust him.
I enjoy writing. And I wish so dearly to write all my life; to craft a career out of it or at least have a job in the future that allows for a less than mundane expression of thought. But it sometimes seems as if merely being able to write properly isn’t enough.
Everyone can write, some more prolifically than others, and yet inasmuch as they are possessive of good writing skills, their forte lies not in writing but in skills more technical and substantive. To have a career be built out of writing alone, that is to become a notable professional journalist or an author of an appraised book, appears then to require exceptional eloquence or a fashionably unique style that cannot easily be mimicked. This unfortunately, I do not think I have. So I have considered alternatives, such as in the study of social sciences (law is beyond my capabilities) wherein I will be granted the liberty to discourse as expansively as I please and in fanciful, flavorful prose, and be not bridled by the severe lack of space so inherent in writings of the most banal sort, like emails or financial reports.
But alas, societal pressures thwart all such plans. It is generally thought that the most probable outcome of having studied a social science is unemployment or landing a job that pays pathetically. Society hungers not for those who understand it well but for those who are able to run it; accountants, engineers, computer programmers, bankers and all the likes. And so here I am, pressured into melding myself into the cog that society requires and forced to disregard the muffled wails of my passion. C’est la vie.