A note to myself

I write this on a sad afternoon when I feel the weight of the world.

I grew up being told never to be weak. I accepted hardships would come. One would be tempted and led ashtray. The character, which was supposed to be key, was all about standing up to all these difficulties, denying the temptations and be steadfast about one's own purpose. This is how I lived so far.

But I lost my way. I think it's the pandemic which did it. Partly it was me - a rush to reinvent myself! Partly it was my wrong estimation about people - who to trust and how much. And, of course, it was the circumstances, as my carefully constructed world collapsed in a perfect domino action.

So I sit, this afternoon, desolate. It feels that there is no escape. On top of my mind is the slow decline of my father. Someone whose incandescent presence illuminated all my life seems to be fading out by a little bit everyday, but irreversibly. The sense of hopelessness is corrosive - it is exposing the meaningless way I have lived so far. My whole life's utter mediocrity is now at my door, calling me out. There is - there can't be - any escape.

And bleak equally seems the future. I am supposed to be an optimist but my faith in human connection has evaporated lately. I was building something with passion and commitment, and so engrossed I was in that task, I failed to account for human frailties, including my own. My optimism made me see the sunny side in people and I fooled myself into imagining greatness where there were none. That illusion has now collapsed. I am therefore having to purge my life of people, connections, memories and commitments, not an easy thing to do. In a way, I am dying twice when once was unbearable enough.

I sometimes laughed at this misery saying that the disappointments made a poet out of me. It somewhat did - my sorrow and my anticipation of the ending made me find a source deep down which could still cry. The stress ate my body but the melancholy pervaded the soul, giving me the words to dedicate to an unreal, unrealised muse. Again, this was perhaps the revenge of the ordinary on me - at every turn in my life, where I thought I was about to be set free by greatness, my ideas have always collapsed in a fragile ordinariness! It was perhaps the excitedness of my eyes, the deliberateness of my search for escape that make me commit these mistakes again and again - assume that there is a spark of divine in people, leading to this type of deep disappointment.

And, finally, the pervasive despair with my cause: I sold myself my own rhetoric and thought I was doing something great. The pettiness of commercial life I overlooked and instead convinced myself that I am doing creative work! Each day of my time got eaten up by pointless conversations, massaging egos and useless keeping busy, with illusions of progress. An afternoon of stepping outside and confronting the real direction of journey - nowhere - sets up my mood perfectly.

This dark note is to myself. I want to still rise and make new beginnings. If I find the energy, it will be tomorrow. If not, perhaps another day. But this honest chronicle will perhaps remind me where I was. If I never recover, this will perhaps be the opening of that sad journey. Therefore, it is for the record: I aspired. I loved. I tried. I failed. I learnt. I shall let it go, but I shall try again.


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