Month: May 2013
The other day I ran out of milk and had to take my coffee black. I remembered one of my friends who never understood those who drank their coffee with milk because milk masked the true taste of coffee. So I ventured and took a sip of my black coffee.
And I winced.
It was bitter.
But by the third sip my tongue had gotten used to it, and it made me think about how sometimes in life, a major crisis might hit us hard and blindside us, yet with time we learn to adapt the way my tongue adapted to the bitter black coffee. Such major crises – like the sudden loss of a job or the separation from a loved one – present us with an opportunity to stand back, take stock of the important things in our lives, fix our priorities, return to the drawing board and starting over from scratch. But more importantly such crises help reveal our true essence; who we really are. So when the clouds lift, we might realize that these events have helped us grow in ways we never imagined was positive, and it is only then that we learn to appreciate them.
As for the black coffee, it served its purpose well by inspiring this post, and after that I simply went back to having my coffee with milk. Some habits die hard.
Some memories just cling onto you wherever you go. The farther you try to walk away from, the more often you tend to bump into them. Sometimes they spring out of the blue when you least expect them; upon a whiff of perfume or the sound of a pen clicking incessantly against the table or the rainbow arc of a sprinkler’s water falling upon green grass.
Maybe you need to learn to carry a pen or paint brush, to write about it or flesh it out in water colors. And at first you might feel like you’re bleeding on paper because whatever this memory is, it might be as part of you a tissue or organ.
But the more you let it out of your system, the lighter you feel, the easier you can breathe again. The monster hiding within you is transmitted onto a piece of paper that can be torn, burned, laminated or framed.
And then you realize that it does get better.
Some time, some day.
You know how they say your past experiences shape your insights of the world, and how you decide to act in the present. Sometimes the way we react to a piece of news is inversely related to the number of times we’ve heard it before. And the numbers may as well have been taken from Fibonacci’s series; each number is a summation of the last two numbers. Take a simple example, tell someone in Minnesota that it’s snowing and they might not even react because they’ve seen snow so many times (many snow viewings = little/no reaction). But tell someone from the UAE that it’s snowing and keep a camera in hand to record the reaction and if you’re lucky it might go viral.
So while we may understand that we have a unique point of view, yet we still go through life judging people for being different. But sometimes in life, you just need to stop judging and start listening. We try to project our ideas onto others, we get angry at some of other people’s behaviors but maybe the things that bug us about them don’t bug them as much as they bug us, so we need to recalibrate our sensors instead of trying to change their behaviors. I guess with time you learn to be more accepting.
I wrote this because I came across this piece from my old journals…
Date: 25 June 2001
So the other time I was thinking that I’m tired of being stuck in this whirlwind of dreams of a brighter future for people who do not even care about having one themselves. Some of them are driving me nuts. I finally pull up the white flag. I surrender. There’s a voice that once told me to let it go. Maybe it was me who didn’t understand.
Sometimes ‘staying away’ is easier than ‘walking away’.
The first step of anything is always the hardest to take as it deals with a shift in the current state of equilibrium. It takes time for someone to adjust to the change that occurs. It takes time for life to move to a new state of equilibrium, aka the ‘staying away’ part.
If you think about it, change is mostly about overcoming inertia and maintaining momentum, with overcoming inertia the harder part of the two. I learnt that on the treadmill. My normal workout includes some time on the elliptical followed by a run on the treadmill. So once I was so tired after my elliptical session, I didn’t have the energy for the treadmill. Yet I told myself, “Just start and you’ll stop after five minutes”. Yet when I started, the adrenaline kept me going for so much longer than the five minutes I had planned.
I know I haven’t posted anything for a while and it’s not like I’m not writing, but rather I’m just not posting what I write. Most of the posts I have are half-baked, and I realize I never have the energy to carry an idea to completion. After 100 words, I tend to just lose my focus and talk about something else (exactly like what I’m doing here). But I’m going to be honest with you. Every time I sit in front of wordpress’s empty page nowadays I ask myself, “What’s the point? What’s the point of writing all this? Who reads this stuff anyway?”
I feel it’s normal to have all these self-doubts because writing is a very lonely process. They claim writing is supposed to be a two-way communication between reader and writer, when I sometimes think it’s just a person speaking at the beginning of a dark tunnel and listening to his own echoes wondering if there’s anybody listening on the other side. But the most important thing about writing happens to be my message for the day; “Dare to begin as it’s usually the hardest step.”