Thursday, April 17, 2014

I was sat there on Tuesday thinking about this paradox we humans have. You know the one of always wanting to grow up when we are kids and now as adults, we really wouldn’t mind being a kid again to enjoy the so-called “easy life”?

It’s only natural to say that, as children, we knew not what awaited us after “growing up,” and perhaps we took for granted the easiness and simplicity that came with student life. It’s no one’s fault, we simply didn’t know. But of course we wanted to be grown ups so we didn’t have to listen to all the rules and so we could finally sleep at whatever time we wanted, doing whatever we pleased. That’s what we wanted—right?

The paradox is that when we were “limited” by these rules and by the time we had to spend in school, we saw them as impediments that kept us from being free and happy, but now, maybe more than ever, we are living by these rules ourselves without complaint, just because the ones demanding this lifestyle is none other than…well, us.

The 21st-century generation loves reading about ways to improve health (we probably need to anyway), and most of the time, what’s recommended is not dissimilar to what we were being “forced” to do as children—sleep early, wake up early, spend less time in front of computers, eat a more balanced diet (i.e. more veggies; less fast food), get more exercise, read more books—the list goes on. Ironic, isn’t it, that we are contempt as long as we get to dictate what we do?

I was sitting in my university’s campus the other day. It was sunny and cool—one of the rare crossover days that we get between constant rain and perpetual, asphyxiating heat. These days are few and far between. My days as a student are now in double figures. From the thousands of days in my first year, I now only have around 60.

Two of my days in the week are taken up by my classes and the rest by my internship, so I now appreciate the chance to relax at university when I can. I didn’t ever think of stopping before. But why? Why was I always going somewhere and doing something as a student? Was I really that busy? Maybe. Maybe not. The point is, the past me did what the past me wanted to do—and that’s completely OK.

At work, there is no time to chill under the sun with a soda, neither is there time to wander around aimlessly. Work brings its own rhythm, and that means there’s no time for spontaneity and adventure. And it quite literally eats away my days.

In the past, I might have expressed a longing to return to former times—to be back in school once more. But the truth is that I would never swap anything I have now for anything in the past.

Yes, there were some magical times in the past that I often think back on with reminiscence, or heartache. But the way I am now is a culmination of 24 years of my life. Every scar, every imperfection and every click in my joints is me like I never was before.

Yes, being in school was great, but every phase teaches us something different, forcing us to grow up, and we do what is required of us during every stage. My time came and went. I’m now in my final term and I’m setting myself up for the next stage of my life.

So scholars, workers, fighters: do what you’re suppose to do. Don’t overlook the potentially beautiful things around you. Stop looking backwards, and remember that there’s no rush to immediately look forward. Look at the “now” and enjoy the little things in your life that are afforded to you because of your current position in society.

All these words are first and foremost for myself. I am first, second and third person, but I’m just as happy to share them with the world.

Study, work and live as you’re meant to be. Don’t let the “now” slip through your fingers. JSF.

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