There was a time when I once thought
that everything was possible.
Where dreams could come true
if we chased hard enough.
Where people could properly love
if we tried hard enough.
And then one day, you realise it’s not going to happen.
Not because you won’t try.
Not because you haven’t tried.
But because – you can’t.
Who said I can’t?
Is it that defeatist voice in my mind
Or that low morale in my heart – you ask?
It’s a lesson learnt from being alive;
It’s a message from the people around me;
It’s countless situations that have proven themselves.
It’s reality setting in.
And suddenly, I think no more.
No more wishing for the day I walk in the open fields, hoping to scale the mountains and seeing the villages on the other end of the peak.
No more wishing to live in place without fear or tears, and where it feels like home.
No more wishing to feel that sense that has since become estranged – that sense of hopefulness and cheer.
There is a time now that I think
Nothing I want is ever possible.
There’s something wrong, but I don’t know what to do.
I contemplate on things that have passed; those that puts stones on the shoulders, and those that bring the rare smile on my face. I think about the smallest of things and the most profound of matters in life.
What befuddles me is how they are one and the same thing – they’re minute yet major; they weigh down the heart yet lifts the edges of my mouth.
These things in life have such a strange effect – they create ripples – even waves – that crash at us. We sometimes rejoice in the refreshing coolness of the water; other times, we double over upon the impact of painful reality.
There’s something wrong, and I don’t know what to do.
How bad do I want it?
They kept asking.
I wanted it so badly, but I wasn’t allowed to.
No – because it wasn’t right.
Whose standards, you ask? I don’t know. I don’t know anymore.
And suddenly, there is nothing but defeat. There isn’t anything more than a feeling of nothingness. There is an immense surge of worthlessness, if worthlessness was meant to be something.
And then, that was the end.
How bad do you want it?
Perhaps that wasn’t the right question anymore.
Perhaps the question is: Can you want what you keep wanting, or should you give it up?
“My breaths are short and raspy,” she whimpered, “it’s like I’m unable to lift my lungs with the air that enters. Well, I don’t even think there’s any air getting in there.”
She paused for a moment, before taking in a deep breath of air – one which she felt nothing of – and continued, “I’ve lost all interest in anything. Those days where the cafes looked cozy and the restaurants seemed grand? I don’t think I fancy those anymore.”
After pacing up and down the same path more than twice, she starts again. “I can’t seem to think right, and I can’t let these tears stop. I don’t really know why, but I feel so down, down, down and down. I can’t even get my feet to listen to me!” she cried.
She looked up at the sun that seeped through the branches. Her knees gave way. Her tears fell on the roots that peeked just above ground.
The trees whispered in the wind, “heartbroken”.
That empty field where a rundown building pops up in the middle, without a name. Just some rickety broken barn doors, seemingly abandoned. But wait, a line of cars surround this building.
Oh, it’s a cafe for those who wish for a quiet moment. And it’s beautiful inside.
A church standing at the edge of town. Nobody ever goes there. The good, the bad, the kind, the evil. Nobody ever goes there. But wait, there’s just a few familiar faces who would visit once a year, saying their prayers in light murmurs. The sunlight seeps in through the stained glass windows from high above. There is peace in there.
It’s a different life out there. It’s a different world.
Where people go their own ways and walk their own paths.
Where people don’t judge.
But not everyone can make their way out to this new world.
Would I? Can I? What does it change, when time plays a little trick and put us years behind?
Wrong place, wrong time.
Merry isn’t merry when it’s Christmas.
Merry lost her loved ones – at least those that mattered – and had no one left to speak to when she was down; when she was proud; when she was in pain.
Merry could not understand why everyone was celebrating, when there was little but sadness that enveloped each living hour of her life.
Merry thought what it meant to be living in Hell, and while she tried hard to get there every holiday, she soon realised that she had been walking right through it all these while.
Happy isn’t happy as the year comes to a close.
He hasn’t achieved anything for the past 360 days.
What’s with the overly-positive tunes in the malls; and cheery greetings that everyone is throwing in at the end of a conversation?
He didn’t know that all problems would dissipate at the end of the year and disappear in the air.
He hadn’t found a solution to his job or relationship – nothing had gone right so far.
So while all those loving couples and perfect families went through the last days of a year, nobody remembered those who struggled to find joy in this fantastical world of festivities.
It seemed easy – “just be yourself”. Oh, those hated words.
How he hated it that the “himself” others saw, simply wasn’t real.
He had bent his back to make things happen. He had gone the extra mile – and another extra mile – to get what he wanted (and failed). He had been someone he hadn’t been, just to get what he wished he could. Wished. It remained a wish.
Funny how some people get what they didn’t even want, effortlessly.
Yet those who yearn, and make a concerted effort, never get there.
It’s been yet another year that has passed, with little change, little progress, little anything.
That’s what “future” looked like, a year ago.
Ah, the dangers of the festive season. Some see its beauty, others – melancholy.
Do you remember those days when we would set an appointment with friends to meet at a specific time and place?
No. No-one remembers those days.
“What do you mean you won’t have a phone for a few days?”
“How in the world am I going to be able to find you later?”
“Which street, again?”
“What if I can’t make it at this time tomorrow?”
Do we wonder how we used to be able to remember days, dates, places, and directions so much better in the past?
More so – we were once more responsible.
We were more specific – we had to make sure we would see the ones we wished to see.
We were more organised – we planned our day and gave buffer for traveling and traffic.
We were more reliable – it wasn’t as easy as sending a text when we wanted to cancel appointments.
It wasn’t going offline that mattered. It was what the phone and laptops held that mattered. I did not suffer from phone separation technology, though I did get a good lashing from many for going off the grid. But really, how long can we remain offline?
Ah, the dangers of technology…
What did you want?
What did you decide?
What did you expect?
What didn’t you know?
What didn’t you understand?
What didn’t you get?
Some days, when expectations and hopes get high, disappointment strikes hard and misery cripples even the most rational of minds.