Some people live life as if it’s there last. Others live life as if it’s their first.
And I? I live life as it comes. I live by the moment. I don’t think past the hour, or beyond the day. I always put in mind to cross the bridge when I get there, and I make it absolutely sure I don’t rush as if a herd of bull’s after my hide.
Why do I have to hurry like it’s the end of the world? What does it matter if I get there fast or slow, sooner or later, when I’ll get there all the same? Isn’t it more rewarding to savor every moment, to take time in admiring the world around you? Isn’t it wonderful to stop and stare and breathe in the beauty that we often take for granted? If we are always in a haste, we will never notice how calming is the deep blue of the sky, how vividly green is the grassland that goes on forever, how soothing is the feel of the morning breeze to our skin or how beautiful is the sound of the meadow lark to the ears.
But maybe it’s just me. I see life in a different light. I shy away from the tangible and the concrete. I hate thinking about the end, and I’m not a big fan of beginnings either. I used to think I simply sprouted from the earth and walked into life without a real sense of where I started and where I will end. Or maybe I just had too much of the ridiculous concepts of life. I know too much, I understand too much without really experiencing everything.
When I try to look back and see myself, five, ten years ago, the image is vague and blurry, as if some kind of a flimsy and transparent curtain fell before my eyes and kept me from seeing what I wanted to see. Instead, it provided me an illusion of what was, of who I was.
In my eyes, I was invincible, impassible and nothing could ever get to me. Not the petty material things I couldn’t have, not the looming exam weeks that seemed to threaten to swallow me whole, not the inevitable drop from honor roll that made my mother sorely disappointed. Not even the thought of having no boyfriend since birth. (I muttered a bored “Gosh” while rolling my eyes heavenward.) Well, when you really think about it, those were the things that comprise your life as a teenager. Or so most of us thought.
But in actuality, I was that scrawny little girl, who had a pair of big, wide eyes that saw and understood too much, even way beyond her years, and whose forehead always knotted into a frown of bafflement or concentration. I was that little girl, feeling lost and alone in a big, sorry world but never letting it show, not even for a moment. I was that little girl, who had a great thirst for knowledge, but not the kind that was learned from the four walls of a classroom. I had a great thirst to learn the kind that teaches about life and how it was supposed to be dealt with. I was that little girl who kept to herself most of the time, silent and alienated from the rest, too busy dealing with the swirling thoughts in her head to pay attention with what’s going on in the world.
I was painfully awkward. I shrink from the crowd. And I’d sooner be a wallflower than risk being noticed. But I don’t cower in a corner like a pitiful misfit. I make up for my shortcomings by pretending to be really tough. No one would have guessed that I was shaking inside, that I was about to flee and hide. I can look at the world with eyes that reveal nothing.
I used to dash where others amble, I used to duck where others stand tall and straight, I used to be impatient to get through the day while others relish every second they have. I don’t always weigh my options. Instead I flung myself headlong into uncertainty, without any thoughts of the outcome. I guess, you could say I was careless with life. Maybe it’s because I was young and foolish, and I was always sure that there will be another dawn after a sunset.
That was eons ago. I think differently now. Life is not how I see it then.
Right now, I have a new resolve. Live by the moment. Avoid counting the seconds, the minutes, the hours. It would be easier to let everything pass you by without itching to move on into another chapter. Before you knew it, seconds ticked into a minute, and minutes dissolved into an hour, and the hours will give way to days and days to months, then you’re through a year and you welcome another with open arms.