"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted - one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?"
-Lose Yourself by Eminem.
Music. The new psychedelic drug. Coleridge took opium. We take music for inspiration and lyricism in life.
There is something I love and hate about major exam periods like the 'A' Levels- how they manifest themselves and start to be symbolic of something surprisingly greater, so much so that it frightens and excites you at the same time. Everything reveals itself for what it truly is. Everything starts to fall apart. You begin to realize that you have been living in a world of your own, a world of illusions unconsciously or consciously crafted, as reality comes crushing down on you. Friends show their true colours and you begin to become aware of who really cares about you and who is really just trying to make use of you. You know exactly who you are going to keep in touch with, and who will keep in touch with you or leave you after this battle is over, regardless of whether you bleed to death or succeed triumphantly. My dearest and closest friends who truly understand me are people I haven't seen in days and months.
The masquerades of decent manners and diplomacy are torn into pieces and no one bothers to repair or maintain them. Whatever for? There is no time to waste. The race is on and they must win. A friend I had an argument with had no qualms about telling me that after the tiff we had, out of sheer spite and vengeance, he masturbated himself while indulging in the sexual fantasy of hurting me. This is a friend I have known for two whole years. You might have dreams, but so do they, and under no circumstance are they going to compromise it at this crucial point in time. They come first. Their studies come first. Everything else- love, friendships, family, and others- must become nothing, if only for now.
You start doubting yourself as well- your character, your abilities, your ambitions, and your place in this world. You become tired and you feel yourself on a verge of a breakdown. It becomes so easy, too easy, to slip into depression. Your past mistakes and memories come back to haunt you and taunt you. I hear voices screaming and laughing at me in the background. It makes me spin in circles with frenzied paranoia and pray hard that I am not the only one who can hear them. They tell me that I should have killed myself when I was in Normal Acad. Why didn't I? They tell me that I cannot make it in life. They tell me that no one loves me; that no one gives a shit about me. I know I am the only one who can hear these voices. And I don't know if they belong to me or the devil.
It feels as though no matter how hard I try, it is never hard enough. It seems as though as hard as I have tried to change my fate, nothing much changed. I still feel empty. Empty. Empty. So so empty. And terribly lonely. Things, people, and snatches of words and images fill me and leave me; they leave me feeling more empty than ever. "Give up... Give up and run away," the voices say, "It is the easiest thing to do." Yes, it might be weak. Yes, it might be cowardly. But it is quick and easy (even if it isn't painless). Should I? But there is so much at stake. Can I really bear to let it go? Can I really give up, just like that? Can I?
I CANNOT GIVE UP.
I cannot give up because I have not lived my life to the fullest. I do not know what it means or what it feels like to love, to be in love. I do not know what it feels like to kiss someone I love or be kissed by someone I love. I have never seen or tasted snow in my life. I have never experienced autumn, where orange leaves will break from trees and rain all over me. I have not seen the Great Wall of China, or Mount Fuji. I have not been to Paris, to Germany, to New Zealand, to all those exotic places with exotic names and food and people and music. There are things I would like to do too. I would like to scuba-dive. I would like to parachute myself down from the highest mountain and fall, and float, gently, within a surreal realm of puffy white clouds lingering in a sapphire sky. I would like to ride on a horse through a forest of green grass with the sunlight kissing my cheeks. I cannot give up because I have big, big dreams too, that would make you laugh at how awfully idealistic and childish I actually am. Heh.
I cannot give up because I believe in a God who says in Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a Future." I believe in a God who also says in Isaiah 41:13, "For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"
When I think of all the things I don't know, and all the things I want to accomplish but haven't, and all the different sorts of people I could meet in the future, something like the 'A' Levels suddenly becomes so insignificant and inconsequential. I cannot give up because I have hopes and dreams and a God who watches over me with love, and so do YOU. You cannot give up on yourself because you have your own set of hopes and dreams and religious and/or personal beliefs.
If you think about it, there really is a lot in life to smile about and be thankful for. I have come to realize that almost everything in life, depends solely on the sheer power of your mind. If you remain optimistic and hopeful, life will become beautiful.
I believe in what Paulo Coelho wrote in 'The Alchemist', "At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fates. That's the world's greatest lie. Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it."
I will not lie to you. I am not that stupid and gullible yet. I know that life is tough. Life is a pain in the ass. Often, the hours drag on and on without reason and you just can't take it anymore. Life doesn't make sense. Things happen and screw up, just because. But life is also a challenge. Every single day that you wake up and face the world, is a challenge. I struggle to love myself. I struggle to gain self-confidence. I struggle to carry my burdens, to stand up straight and take the kicks and punches of my troubles and my enemies instead of running away. I struggle to find meaning in life, to find someone or something real and true enough, to hold on to and gain new strength and courage to continue living.
But every day that you struggle, whether you win or you lose, you try, and that is all that matters. You survive somehow, and you learn new things about yourself and about the people around you and about the world that you live in. As long as you keep trying, you just might find bliss and joy, however short they might last, even if it is at the expense of finding sorrow as well.
I believe that it is worth it to keep fighting. Fight it. Fight it. Fight it. The day you stop fighting is the day you either become a winner, or you die. Either way, I'll take my chances. I'm going to fight it. Are you with me or are you going to give up?