Beyond the Quarter of Life: Take it Slow this time

 

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25 years of existence is no joke. We celebrate pearl anniversaries with the view in mind that a quarter of one’s life in an expanse of a century has already gone like a blink of an eye. Years go unnoticed in the stream of life, not knowing that for a large part, we have already grown a bit farther from our once inexperienced self: we need not put gonfalons to wave our age in announcement though at the moment such a milestone ought to be benchmarked.

One reason not to show off could be that a more mature standpoint awaits for those who keep things for their own peace – discretion, detachment from approvals, and the value of self-worth. There is a lot that can still happen beyond the line: career shifts, rekindling of heroism or its faltering flame, and/or the decisive stance of proceeding to the real constituents of an ambition, along with the grit that should accompany one’s willpower throughout.

I do not valorize self-achievements, nor do I romanticize the atavism that scrutinizes present events as if nostalgia comes off better than introspection. Things are beyond us: what is given is always an overflow from an excess. What can be seen in appearances are results of processes that either have gone astray or are intentionally allotted for our journey – in this plot of seemingly predestined paths, we remain ontologically ignorant. The life of one man is nothing compared to the fate that holds the mystery of his disposition. That veil of hazy perspicacity remains to be the common rule that men of all ages adhere to. This cloudy metaphor however still leaves us with a propelling wheel to move on despite the atrocities that may have engendered the changes we aren’t supposed to do and experience. Limits and especially that of destiny push us to the brink of transcendence.

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For anyone who never expected to reach this fine timeline too, congratulations to you! What comes next in the upcoming years is yet to be appropriated by your flexibility to engage yourself again for new sets of vicissitudes. And as in all traditional celebrations of life, I have surmised quite a number of things for a birthday wish in the end:

  1. Family represents a pre-existing value system. It teaches you as much as what you need and what you need to know about the protocols of a community. Being a parcel of it makes you aware of the microcosm you are in: the world resembles the whole economy making up our common home. Though imperfect, your family will always be there for you.
  2. Age does not make a rod for one’s own back – it must not be a meter that bears your life baggage. But it makes for a footing by which you can measure time, no matter that most of it is spent with figuring out how to venture through your quotidian preoccupations.
  3. Double-standard is a reality, its face not just two. The rules of the game are tough if you take it seriously. One of the essential elements of a comedy play is its utilization of masks. And you have to wear one to help you accept that at times, significant life events may even be a joke in the first place. Learning to laugh at this entertainment part displayed by a lot of conventions saves you from idealizing too much. Honesty still is a must.
  4. Unrequitedness is an investment – love is a gauge and a sure sign that when things don’t go for your desires, you are still left with the love that returns to you. No effort comes in vain when it comes to love.
  5. Curses, like prayers, work in the same manner as double-edged swords. Your prayer is not a direct way of securing a want, but it works for your disposition when it changes your own heart concerning reality. The habit of cursing too will poison your soul, contaminate your vision and easily provoke your temper.
  6. There is freedom in the world. You might question your free will, the choices you make, and the circumstances that led you to make decisions, but the fact that you can do things as much and even prefer not to do things makes you realize that you are still the pilot of your life.
  7. Self-importance is a broken mirror. It shows you as Dorian Gray but hides a lot of pretenses. Immortalizing one’s self-image will always fail against the dominating ripples in a clear reflection.
  8. Regrets are utterly useless. Lost time is not a waste, for time will always be an ally. You don’t need to petty moralize and invoke the devil to say that it envies you because you still have time to change your ways. Only pallbearers of the past would surreptitiously mourn even just for expended saliva and sweat.
  9. I love her who is not predictable, whose brilliance intimidates the capacity of my own perception. I love her who surprises the bored mortal that I am. I love her whose perfervid soul drives me into madness. Fortune is a woman.
  10. The most absurd gesture is the smile. There are condescending smiles, fake smiles, forced smiles, but also genuine smiles, the smile of an innocent baby, the smile of someone in love, and the smile of those who have found inner peace.
  11. Big moments or small, always be thankful. Little things make for a grander canvas of your life. The dark edges create more meaning to the bright portions.
  12. There are degrees of perfection in different scales. Your excellence in one field does not guarantee you the sole mastery of that field.
  13. Death can never be bargained. Ironically, thinking about death makes you reevaluate more your life. The tears of someone dying is silent; the tears of those who watch someone die beget a heartbreak.
  14. Always, always – find the motive to become better.

  15. Ending something right is more important than appearing strong at first.
  16. Faith, the creedal side of hope, keeps you grounded to a source.
  17. Abstractions will remain mental gymnastics unless you experience it yourself. Reality will teach you a lot of things. The concreteness of physical reality is not evil.
  18. We demand justice only for those we value. Self-service of the law is an instinct of the insecure. Fight for what is right anyway.
  19. In everything you do and not do, you are forever responsible. There is really no one to blame.
  20. Writing is tedious; poetry, a sham. When mashed up in the beat of life, they become songs; they celebrate all together the harmony of a beautifully-carved universe – a vital reminder that reflections of a masterpiece will remain forever as long as the soul of that art lingers in the beings of those who live for it. Those who write will forever live with the hands of its creator when the writer participates in the act of creation. The poets too are not just thinkers but are partakers of a bountiful harvest allotted for them by the deepness of expression warranted for the welcoming passions.
  21. People don’t come and go. They stay within you – you are an amalgamation of those who came and went on. They too would want for you to go on. They may literally leave, but that is only because they have already done their part for you: you’re not the sun, but a sporadic speck of orbital dust lucky enough to meet fellow passers-by of this universe. Goodbyes aren’t goodbyes per se.
  22. To possess is an inhibition of life. The instinct of possessing is an inhibition of the soul; the direction it leads is often tedious, tiresome, and in the end, would not even matter.
  23. What are friends if not the testaments that the world is not altogether a gloomy vacuum devoid of inner connection? There are hidden links in the sociability we have with those close to us. These links make us thank a higher link forging our destinies together. We make up for the preservation of that link, for the choice of staying together, no matter the odds, remains at the disposal of our will.
  24. Learn that in the process, things will be better. Sadness, demarcations, broken trust and promises – these are objections, not endpoints. The case shall continue as long as the tides still wave, especially when in the high seas someone is still going to be there to save.
  25. Finally, I wish only one thing: I wish that upon realizing that life has gone too fast, things will be slow this time. A sweet and graceful struggling. In the shortness of this adventure, savoring reality is already a gift of heaven. Aggression and the mindlessness of precipitousness disturb our connection. I sure wish for everyone to be gentle for others; and if not, at least be gentle for oneself.

 

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