Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those sense weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.

Life has to end. Love doesn’t.

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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The Wanderer

What is she like?

I was told –

she is a melancholy soul.

 

She is like

the sun to the night;

a momentary gold.

 

A star when dimmed

by dawning light;

the flicker of a candle blown.

 

A lonely kite

kept lost in flight –

someone once had flown.

It’s like a war raging inside when your head behaves like an economist, and your heart’s like a Shakespearean poet. Each day you fight for resolution, each day you fight for some peace and some tranquility. Even for just a bit of silence.

The mind demands rationality, it sorts things into two simple buckets – cost and benefit. It is straightforward. The weight of each bucket will tell you the answer.

The soul fights for something more, something intangible that the mind doesn’t believe. Things that you can’t put into any bucket. Things that transcends beyond rationality, that cuts deep through the infinity of your being. Things that you can’t quite find words to describe.

How do you move on without letting go?

More than meets the eye

Today I realized; nothing is really that hard to comprehend if you pay close attention.

People are complex creatures, I absolutely agree. But we are creatures of habit, and that makes us predictable to some extent. To understand a person takes a lot of time to slowly put together minuscule puzzle pieces of habit and pattern. But that doesn’t render the comprehension impossible.

Quite too often we hear people saying things like “sometimes I really don’t understand you at all”. And I wonder, after knowing someone that long, can we really not understand someone at all? If that is so, then what were we doing during all that time spent together if we weren’t trying to know that person?

There are always reasons behind every behaviour we display. Sometimes we are conscious of it, and sometimes we aren’t. But there are always reasons. Quite often, I realized, differing behaviours spring out from the same underlying reason. I think understanding a person is trying to figure out those underlying reasons. And the belief systems and values and principles associated with those reasons that makes up the core of a person’s personality.

When we are able to map out the very core of a person, then acceptance and empathy becomes easy to extend.

Quarter-Life Crisis

Laughter

They say that if you love what you do, you’d never spend a day working.

I grew up thinking that I need to find work in my passion and find passion in work, only to discover that it is a lot harder than I thought.

I have always been a keen believer that we should find ourselves in a career that we are innately passionate about. Doing the kind of special things that never fails to kick some excitement in you. The kind of things that you spend time doing because you love it too much.

Perhaps I blurred the line between a hobby and a career. That a career could be an extension of a hobby, doing what you love the most and make a living out of it. It seems like such a great deal.

But there are fundamental differences between a hobby and a career. A hobby falls in this loose category of space. There is no time constraint, no deadlines, or any expectations from anyone other than yourself. A hobby is a personal exploration, a personal choice. It’s your Utopia. You’re king (or queen).

A career is on no Utopian island. Sure, you always have the choice between a path you’d like more than another. But here’s the deal – the law of equivalent exchange comes into play. I am probably too much of a novice in the corporate world to make this statement — but I will anyway — to get something you’d almost always have to give something else up in exchange. It’s more than just the work, a career involves the people, the environment, the vibes. It involves decisions, and very hard ones at times. A career is no child’s game. It’s serious business, and often for most of us it is what puts food on the dining table every day.

Slowly but surely I am starting to think that there is no such thing as a perfect job, based on the assumption that you weren’t born with a silver spoon and inherited a mountain of gold bars. No one pays you to have fun. Salary is monetary compensation for your effort and productivity. I would love to be a barista for 6 months and then be a keyboardist or guitarist for another 3. Explore the world for a year as a Nat Geo adventurer, and freelance for the rest of my life, But as long as we are working for money, we will always be stuck in this gridlock and our passion will always be out of our career reach, There is a reason why they call it a dream job – maybe it’s better left in our dreams.

So maybe If it was really impractical to work on our passion, then could we just learn to be passionate about our work?

Passion is an odd thing. You can’t really define it. It’s psychological, and it’s emotional. And the scariest part about passion is that it changes. So perhaps we could just learn to be passionate about what we do? But wouldn’t that beg the fundamental concept of passion in the first place?

Emily Dickinson

” To fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.

Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love.

We trust, in plumed procession,
For such the angels go,
Rank after rank, with even feet
And uniforms of snow.”

Friends We Grew Up With

friends

1. The Almighty

The class queen, who had that special center seat at the usual canteen bench. She never walked around alone; always surrounded with people. She never has to get her own lunch because someone else would offer to get it for her. She knows everyone, including you, but sometimes you’d wonder what goes behind that smile. Everyone wants to be her friend, because it’s cool. Befriending her is a must, else risk sparking controversy.

2. The Indifferent

The Inert, and the immensely stable. To them, social pressure is a myth. They stand their ground, hardly swayed by opinions about them or others. They don’t subscribe to what’s popular just because it is, and they dare to go against the flow. They are not quite concerned if they have 5 or 5,000 friends on Facebook, if they even have an account to begin with. The world is their playground, and they shape it exactly how they want it to be.

3. The Princess

Anything and everything can be too hard. They’d rather spend three hours on a manicure than an hour in the gym. Nothing should be done alone, companions are always necessary. Fragility is always displayed because it is an ideal feminine trait. The sun equates to sweating and sweating is unacceptable. Seat priority should be given; ladies should go first. Hardship has never and will never be part of their history.

4. The Unpopular

The prime target for bullying stints, the laughing stock of the parade. No one wants to be associated with them. Nothing they do will ever and should ever look cool. They are looked upon with judgmental eyes and condescending stares. They cannot be allowed to fit in. You wonder who labelled them as unpopular in the first place; somehow everyone just knows that’s the unwelcomed kid on the block.

5. The Geek

The cerebral and intellectual whose mind processes logic and details seemingly ten times faster than the average individual. Nothing is too hard to understand; math is always easy. Decisions should be based on consistent logic; emotions are a waste of time. Quantum physics is amazing.

6. The Happy Pill

Nothing can quite bring them down or spoil their day. There’s always a silver lining, and a bright side to everything. They focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, not the darkness in between. They genuinely see good in people. They give the benefit of the doubt. There’s always better tomorrows and happier days. They carry an air of positive vibes wherever they go. Smiling is default; frowning is non-existent.

7. The Magnanimous

It is always others before self. There is no such thing is giving too much because giving is the only way to receive. They’d rather give away their lunch boxes than see a friend go without recess; they’d have no qualms in standing up for others when in need. They’d never reject your request for a talk on the phone, and they’d listen to you pour out your soul for hours so that you’d feel feel better. Their quality of life hinges on the well-being of others. They give relentlessly.

The Unkeepable & The Unthrowable

There are things in life that fall into this bucket.

You don’t want to keep them because maybe they make you upset, angry or turn you into a monster of emotions that you can’t quite put into words. These things are the black sheep of your history, the scars of your wars, the nightmares that haunt you.

Yet, you can’t throw them away. They don’t quite come in a physical form that you can stuff into a trash bag and dispose of. They are like speckles of dust, small enough to consciously ignore but significant enough to remind you of their existence. They may settle temporarily in the corners of your mind but a little trigger could cloud up your rationality and create a mess. Lingering fragmented bits that you can never rid of.

And I wonder, what do you do with these things?

I had always imagined our minds to be like storage warehouses, filled with boxes of all shapes and sizes. There’s one for work, one for family. One for friends, and one for enemies. One for general knowledge, and one for lyrics. One for faces, and one for voices. There is one that keeps our secrets, and one that keeps our thoughts. Some boxes are carefully sealed, labelled and shoved to the furthest corners of our memories. Some are left open, with their lids lost – or maybe they never had one in the first place. Their contents spill out once in a while and we try with great haste to put them back in. Some boxes are just too small; contents grow so rapidly that we struggle to keep them in place. And sometimes, we just decide to let things swell and grow and flood our space. We’d feel overwhelmed.

What kind of box do we keep the Unkeepable and the Unthrowable? Seal them up, like an artificial vacuum void of air? Perhaps they’d stop unsettling. Mix them up with another box in hope that chaos breeds distraction from remembering? Keep them in layers of boxes so that they will never overflow? Stack them underneath bigger, heavier and more important ones in hope that the weight keeps them buried below?

Or maybe, they don’t even deserve a box in the first place. I still don’t quite know.