Sunday, 26 October 2008

Before the next milestone...

I woke up one day and realised that I have grown old.

The settlement of fine lines on my face makes me look like a new person. The lines are like tree-rings which reveal the age of a tree; but unlike tree-rings, which also record the climatic conditions of each year in the lifetime of a tree, you cannot tell if a particular year was harder than another from those lines alone.

I have created a reserve of people and events which I carelessly shoved away as "forgotten". Maybe it is the passage of time that has caused compartments of memories to be slowly erased. Of course I have to admit that my "attention radar" has reduced over the years, making it harder for people or things to score a point with me (not easily impressed, huh). Perhaps, some were unimportant in the first place to be remembered.

Without realising it, insecurity has creeped into my life. As people aged, they become insecured about their lives, their relationships, their finances... their future to sum it all up. As life becomes stable and routinised, people draw comfort and security from the monotonous lifestyles and are afraid to change. With more possessions to provide a secured and comfortable life, there are more possessions at risk of being taken away. It is funny that insecurity should breed from security and simply put, life like this is a sad irony.

I ponder on my thoughts a lot lately, about what 40 years could mean in a person's life. Why 40? Because it is the next milestone in my life. When Chopin died at the age of 39, he left behind a legacy of Nocturnes which still plays in my CD player, on nights more than 150 years after his time. Che Guevara led Cuba into revolution at the mere age of 28, and even though he died young, those 39 years which he lived were glorious, making him a significant icon of the 20th century. Coincidentally, on 9 October, the day when Che was murdered, we will also remember the birthday of a great musician of our time, one who shot to fame during the 60s as The Beatles (and continued to become a peace-activist), and was shot dead in 1980 when he was just 40. John Lennon demonstrated to the world that 40 years is enough to make a hell lot of differences (and noise).

Although there is still a journey before I would reach 40, I feel each day that I am running out of time. I do not want to become someone famous, and I have no desire to lead a revolution, but I am constantly afraid that my time will be wasted in a life I live only for myself, that I would be forgotten, as soon as I passed on, as if I have never existed in this world. Most of all, I am afraid that there is no purpose for my existence and that I am merely living a parasitic life, wasting the world's resources and air, which are already scarce.

Thoughts like these keep me awake at night, wondering what I should do to make my life "right". There is no question that I have to change, break away from my current routine, move out of my comfort zone, "erase the old concepts" and pursue something "more real". But what is real? If I can do things that will make a difference to someone's life, even though it is just for one person, I guess that makes me feel real enough and is what I should pursue.

Wait for me there, my purpose! I'll find you by 40, panting maybe, but I'll be there.

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