This is the last of our monthly blog post challenge. We have been doing this for more than a year now, albeit irregularly. But it has been a rewarding experience, sharing our thoughts about a common subject. I will miss this, surely.
In my twenty-four years of existence, I can say I’ve met a good deal of people from many walks of life. Some passed by and walked on without a backward glance. Some graced me with their fleeting presence and left a mark I can never erase. Some said goodbye too soon and crossed to another world before I got the chance to tell them how much they mattered. Some keep me company after all this time and we grow together into who we are now. Some stay and will stay even if I won’t ask them to.
And a few, to the best of my knowledge, saw my soul – the light, the dark and all the shades in between – and still decide to be a constant companion in this ever changing and often terrifying world. For that I will always be grateful.
Out of all of them, there is none I can say I know with absolute certainty. Is it even possible to get to know anyone?
I’m past the arrogance of claiming to know someone, partly because it is simply preposterous. Humans are too complex to be boxed. Thousands of years of recorded history cannot even shed light on our capabilities to inflict as much harm to the earth as we can. Every generation develop its own weapons to kill, destroy and pillage. And every time it gets worse. But we are also capable of goodness. We can be kind and compassionate. We can create beautiful things with our hands. We can be poets, musicians and artists. We can touch hearts.
Another reason is my love for the unknown. Not having all the answers to timeless questions does not bother me at all. I revel in the uncertainties, although I am guilty of having a curious mind. I believe I find greater enjoyment in the search more than the desire to come up with answers.
That is how I look at the people in my life. They are a puzzle I long to solve, but I know that it is an impossible quest. There are just too many layers to peel. Too many contradictions to come to terms with. Too many missing pieces.
And now Karenina asked us to write a piece about someone we know personally. It is quite difficult but I will try anyway. Of all the people who hold my heart, my sister is the only one I allow to see the best and worst of me because I know she will love me unconditionally. At least, that’s what I hope for.
My sister was christened as Donna. People always mistook us as friends. Well, we don’t really look alike. She’s fair and I’m dark. She is sporty and I’m a bookworm. She is practical and I’m an airhead. She is capable of showing emotions and I tend to be comfortably numb. I know her favourite colour. I know what makes her tick. I know what can make her cry. I know what can make her angry. I know what can melt her heart. I know her deepest, darkest secret. I know how strong she is, having withstood her demons for many years before spilling it out. And I know how vulnerable she can be so I try my best to toughen her up, just in case I have to leave without prior notice.
Donna may seem boyish but she is all heart. She is too generous and selfless that it makes me ashamed of my self-centeredness sometimes. We used to fight a lot when we were kids. I guess that’s a default feature of sisterhood. But we always make up, and every time, it pushes us even closer. She can be stubborn and we often clash. I won’t have it any other way. How boring can it get if we are both agreeable and docile. Heaven forbid!
But does knowing all those things give credence to my claim?
I don’t think so. I’m not privy to the workings of her mind. There are too many aspects that I’ve yet to uncover. As we go through this life, everyday is a new discovery. We conceal. We reveal. If she is anything like me, she will have too many secrets that a lifetime will not be enough to unravel them all.
We also don’t stay the same. Change is inevitable. I might just wake up one day and wonder about her dreams, hopes and fears. Or I will realise that the person I thought I know was actually someone I wish she could be and not who she really is.
I mean, I don’t even think I know myself. How can I say I know her completely?
One thing I can be certain of is that she will always be my little sister who may pester me to death at times but who will always have my back nonetheless, for better or for worse. And I hope I can be there for her all the same.
PS I hope Donna won’t be visiting this corner for a long time. I won’t hear the end of it if she does.