It seems that when it comes to the good parts of life, we are always running out of time. Even when I was a little kid and thought that tying enough helium balloons to my arms would make me fly, my friends and I would hurry each other when playing dress-up, so that we could make the most out of our play time before her parents came to pick her up.
This is what I’ve managed to ultimately conclude as I sit here trying to write my perfect final UpbeaT post for this school year: the fact that life is short. But you already know that and are probably sick and tired of hearing about it. To be honest, writing this last post has proven to be an extremely difficult task. I figured that not only should it to be generic, meaningful, and fun, but it should also contain a fresh perspective -you know, nothing too cliché. I had actually put a ridiculous amount of time into it before losing almost an entire entry to the unfortunate event of my browser freezing. Later on, after finally getting over this sad loss, I was actually thankful that it happened, because it really wasn’t very good. So I decided to start over.
The one thing that I’ve learned from my UpbeaT experience this year, is that anything in life can be made into a story. This is where I think the art of writing lies: to make the extraordinary out of the ordinary, to capture and distill moments that otherwise would have been lost to time, and to dare to take a leap of faith and embrace a whole new perspective. Life, like writing, is all about the way you see it – it’s all about story-telling, the only difference being that the audience is yourself.
Another thing I’ve always known but never truly understood until this year, is that often success comes from relentlessly working despite not having any idea as to the outcomes. Sometimes this involves rejections – being temporarily certain of what your future won’t be. Sometimes it involves waiting – spotting end of the tunnel but not sure if you’d get there at this particular time. Sometimes it involves a blank picture – choosing to do something you normally wouldn’t do, and have it open up a whole new path.
I know that it takes a lot to still work hard when nothing looks particularly promising, when all this struggle and sweat might end up making no difference at all. For the past three years, I’ve been there – and so would all of us, for the rest of our lives, simply because nothing in life is absolutely certain. This year, I’ve learned to put less emphasis on the “expected results”, and considerably more on the process, and as Eckhart Tolle would say, on the “power of NOW”. The truth is, when we look back at our successes, we hardly ever dwell on how great the results are, but how amazing it is that we actually made it through the process, however difficult it has been. So I guess I’m here to tell you that no matter who you are, no matter how grim your situation looks right now, hang in there and be strong, because it will get better one day – just don’t lose hope, and work hard regardless of the circumstances. My dad always says that the darkness before dawn is the blackest. In my opinion, while there is nothing “blacker” than feeling confused and listless, it does make the elusive certainty that is dawn so much more worthwhile.
Like yours, my year has also been quite a roller coaster ride (and it’s far from over since exams have yet to make their final appearances). You know how sometimes people say things like “Life is crazy”? Well, it actually is, and since the day we were born, all we could really do is to take all that life’s thrown at us and learn how to deal. This year, I’ve finally learned the best way to deal the craziness that is life, is to simply be crazy with it. There is something compelling about the concept of extremity, possibly because of its definitive nature, and the way it symbolizes the very peak of human potential. To be extreme, to be distinct, to be the outlier – we all know this is what we should aim toward, yet so few of us actually put in the time and effort to go the distance. I used to wonder about how people can have faith when everything is so uncertain, and I think extremity might be the answer: it’s easy to have faith when you know you’ve given your best shot, when you know that there is nothing else you can do to improve your chances of success.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I wrote my first post for UpbeaT. Every week, writing for this blog has always been the one thing to help me break away from my humdrum life, so I think I’ll have to thank Student Life and its staff for this amazing opportunity. To all you readers out there, thank you for bearing with me through all of my craziness this year. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to entertain you, scare you and hopefully inspire you. In the meantime, I just want you to know that I am very grateful for all of your comments and support, and for everything that you have done to make me smile.
Best of luck with your exams everyone! Have a fantastic summer! And remember, it’s “just a ride” 😉