Monday, August 13, 2012

the thrills of learning

You’d think that getting better at something would make doing it easier, but here’s the paradox I’m going to stick right in your face: it doesn’t. In fact, it just gets harder. Your gaze has fixed itself on a steep slope somewhere towards a place in the sky, but after taking a few steps, you bump into something, before realising that it is the frame of your own work still down below where you stand (or maybe, float, a few feet off the ground). You fall into the habit of discounting the baby steps you take to move forward and forget to glance back every once in a while to see how far you’ve come.

I’m lost again; periods of total clarity are short-lived, and although I know that it’s by this way that I grow, it isn’t always easy. I’d thought that I’d spend the summer sharpening my skills,  train myself so that I’ll be able to look back and see a huge leap in improvement. Instead, experience caused the distance from where I was to the horizon to lengthen and I ended up rejecting one of the very things that hold my heart. So I started running. I’m good at running, escaping by sinking myself between the pages where I breathed in oceans of printed words. But even that wasn’t quite the same and I needed the strongest fictions with the heaviest anchors to keep me submerged.

It took learning something totally new (I found the post which the link leads to just minutes after I wrote this!) for me to remember the trill of learning. The ‘wow, I know how to do this now!’ feeling that goes in with the new breath of air you suck in, eyes widened in awe of your new capability. 

I think I’ve managed to trained myself to write only when I’m in better feeling moods in hope of creating more uplifting sentences, as opposed to just producing rants. I don’t really know what I’ll think when I look back on these passages, but anyhow, this journey is life and what I’ll continue is grow.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

lost seas

We've been friends for almost as long as we can remember. In primary school, we would spend recess time together and occasionally, even exchange colourful notes with our own private jokes and the deepest secrets that children have. If people were born pretty, I would say that she's one of those.

Then the time for secondary education came, and we went to different schools, and that meant going different ways. I think since then, we only saw each other at most a couple times a year. I guess it was good enough that we managed to plan meet-ups.

Till today, I'm still not very sure about what has been deemed as 'true friendship'. Everything seems so fleeting, and that made me wonder whether it was something about my life and all the travelling. However, there are also the other times when you go to an event, or even, just walking down the street. Faces skim past, and every once in a while, if you're lucky, a stranger may exchange a smile with you. How about these people? For all we know, that girl in that flowery print blouse whom you'd just chatted to in the bus might share more interests with you than all those friends you currently have in school. But the last you saw of her was her disappearing back as she got down the bus, and you never see each other again. Couldn't we keep all these people? 

I've had only too many of these encounters lately. That exchange student from France whom was a sweet girl and had offered her coat when I was cold, and later, had a chat over ice-cream where she told me about her family then never saw her again when she went home; an old Indian man on the bus who had shown the featherbrained me how to prop the arm rest up and gave a kind smile when I thanked him sheepishly; the boy who'd brought along his laptop to watch the Harry Potter movies when we'd gone for a lecture to start off our driving tests, and we'd bonded over that. And these are just to name a few right off my head.

I've figured something out though. I've learnt to stop missing people and places so much now, which may first sound like my heart has frozen over, but it hasn't. Because I have learnt to live in the moment better. When I'd first truly discovered that this very moment, the one that is currently happening is the only time we have, something in my mind clicked. I wondered to myself, rather than spending a miserable time missing another place when I'm at home, and missing home in that heart-aching way when I'm away, shouldn't I enjoy my time being home when I'm home and similarly, enjoy my time out there in faraway places when I'm in different lands? Because, that makes a lot more sense than that ridiculous wanting for that which you don't have right now.

In the same way, I've started to treasure my friends in a different way too. I remember always trying to plan a list of things I'd want to say before meeting up with those I haven't seen for a while, but this time, I decided that I'd just be present -meaning not wandering around lost in my own head in thoughts, but actually being focused and giving my full attention to whoever I was with right then- and make the best use of that in whatever ways we would. What I found out was that was nice. It truly was.


A few of the photos above were edited with Amanda's curves. Go check out her photos, she's an all round lovely and amazing person and I really like her colours. :)