In a few days, I will be celebrating my birthday.
Yes, celebrating – as I have not done so for quite a while, or the past six years to be exact. In the past, my birthdays have always been occasions for get-together among friends and relatives, but when that terrible event in 2001 struck me, it became unbearably difficult for me to celebrate personal milestones.
But the milieu has changed drastically. This has been a good year, not just for me, but my loved ones as well. And with the crisis resolved, I now have a better appreciation of life. You see, when fate plays tricks on you, the initial reaction is to despise life and the roller-coaster ride it brings. Misfortunes are usually questioned, as we claim not having done anything to deserve soul-shattering setbacks.
Six years ago, in a moment of deep depression, I was ready to take the extreme course. I thought the future holds nothing worth fighting for. Ready to throw in the towel, I wrote this ….
Life, indeed, is a very difficult mystery to fathom. I have tried not confronting the questions it has raised in my mind for years now, but it does have its own way of getting my attention.
I thought I’d peacefully run life’s course by looking at it from my point of view - where all other lives revolve around me, where the events outside my sphere are virtually unimportant. Not that I thought I would be invincible, but I did believe at certain times, that many things are within my control – that how I’d live is mine to choose.
Until this misfortune came.
For once in my life, I am now confronted by the fact that other people’s actions could affect my life so drastically. I am now faced with the realization that I could end up having no control or bearing no possible influence at all, with the life ahead of me.
I have been told, that there really comes a time when one surrenders to the forces outside his realm. Sometimes, they say, the best way to meet a raging wave is to float through it. It may not lead us to the point we aim to reach, but it could bring us to someplace far better than the one we wanted.
I wish I could be that positive, but there are limits to how rosy a picture could be painted. I can’t imagine myself letting go when I could logically figure out the deluge of difficulties waiting to crush me all through the entire path. Chances are, at the end of it all, I’ll just be a helpless, miserable, lifeless being, so why would I allow the forces of Fate bring my already tired self there?
I could only say no to that prospect. True, I may in the end regret not having allowed myself the chance to see how actually life would eventually unfold, but at least I will have the consolation of being able to decide on things while my will still mattered. It may indeed be a matter of pride that I could not let myself to be tossed by fate, but such pride is simply a manifestation of how I love myself. I want to preserve the gains I’ve had in this lifetime, and if clinging on to my self worth will keep me from being degraded, so be it.
I know that I have in various ways touched many other lives and I can only have the faintest idea as to how my presence means to each of them. But still, these lives, whatever may their connections be with mine, are by themselves independent, and my loss may just feel like passing through a pothole in the road – causing a shock but not enough to stop the journey. Life for them, will still follow the course they choose to lead. But for me, it ends here.
Were it not for the unwavering care and support of newly-found friends in the foreign land where I was stationed at the time, things would have taken a dangerous turn.
And looking back, that would have been very, very stupid.