I have the most reckless side when I try
I have the most beautiful darkside
I need to find some meaning
Something true to believe in
‘Cause left to my own devices
The beautiful darkside wins
Beautiful Darkside – The Classic Crime
28 years on my pilgrimage.
I guess you’d call it ‘life’, or the more clichéd ‘journey’. But more and more it does seem it’s a pilgrimage. Because it feels like I’m looking for something; looking for something more than just existence, more than just success… more than destiny? I’m looking for significance, I’m looking for meaning, I’m looking for the dots to join.
I’ve never been a ‘do it for the sake of doing it’ kinda person. Neither have I done anything with ‘reward’ or ‘result’ as the main goal. I’ve always felt that when doing something, it has to mean something first, and it has to be intentional. This ‘hard-wiring’ has got me through some ‘sticky’ situations other people usually succumb to; like I’ve never felt what you call ‘peer pressure’ or ‘desire to conform’ or ‘fit in’. I’m also very picky when it comes to friendships, or relationships in general, though not because I feel like you’d be wasting my time, rather I wouldn’t want to be wasting yours. This recipe does make for some interesting interactions and perceptions; like how people assume I’m shy when I just really don’t care for ‘in-the-moment’ conversations, or how I ‘never seem to talk’ but in reality if I did people wouldn’t know what to do with what my mouth would produce. Things that depress other people I can easily brush aside; but the things that put me in a hole are so ridiculously trivial that one would wonder what kind of mettle I’m made of.
See that’s the thing; you’d think that since we’re all human we share the same thoughts, and these thoughts should resonate among ourselves. Or even if the thoughts were different there would be some form of ‘accommodating mechanism’ that would merge all these different thoughts onto the same plane. But more and more it does feel that that doesn’t apply to me; almost as if I’m not human, almost as if I’m from another planet. It feels like I was on a journey from another inter-galactic community, and just made a stop here, at Earth, to search what I’m supposed to be looking for. And the differences aren’t just in terms of what I think would make for good conversation, or what (and who) should be remembered, or even what should be given priority. It goes beyond that; sometimes it’s in the ‘mundane’ stuff like respecting queues, or ‘doing the right thing’ without having to wonder ‘what’s in it for me’. Sometimes it’s in ‘carrying someone across the river’, because you’re ‘tall enough to wade through the water, while the other person would drown in it’. People are so focused on getting ahead; eyes front all the time, not even bothering to look those they are trampling over in their wake, or holding the hands of those who are looking for guidance, even though they’re heading in the same direction.
From my ‘journeyings’ it seems that when people want to do something it’s based on how they prioritize these three things: reward, convenience and necessity. The ‘ambitious’ prioritize ‘reward’, the laid-back (not lazy) prioritize ‘convenience’ and I (with probably most other INFPs) prioritize necessity. There’s nothing wrong with any of the three, only that people see someone doing something without ‘an agenda’ and they are quick to call it a ‘red flag’, a ‘ploy’; that something isn’t right. But I’ve never known any other way to live. Like I remember I was undercharged for some groceries, and when I reported the mistake I was ‘rewarded’ ? Interesting interesting world. And interestingly, the people who could be of least help to you when you need it are the most ambitious, and I’ve met some of the poorest people with the kindest souls. Maybe it’s because the ambitous credit their own strength for their success, and the poor know the feeling of having no one come to your aid when you need it most.
The sad part is that this is indeed a cruel world, and both good and bad people will always be looking for good people to use. No one uses bad people (why would you), and the good ones are in short supply – do the math. But surely all of it – yes, all of it has to mean something eventually.
Being selfless has its scars; you will move mountains, cross treacherous seas, because you felt it was the right thing to do, and in the end if you even ask for a drop of water to quench your thirst you may not get it. The worst response I’ve ever heard was ‘I never asked you in the first place’; how convenient. After all the only man who ever lived right was nailed to a Cross, by same people who were singing His praises a week before.
The thing with taking pieces of wood out of a fire to light paths for different people is that that fire begins to diminish, and if more wood isn’t added to it for replenishment, it could disappear altogether.
As I get closer to 30 I feel birthdays have become less of a celebration and more of ‘time-markers’ on this ‘great pilgrimage’. I’m beginning to ‘understand the locals’ and their patterns of behaviour. I’ve never been bothered about being different, but if birthday gifts are still a thing, it seems that the greatest gift I’ll ever receive from this world is the ‘gift of being understood’.
Obligatory Birthday Post.
I like how when nVidia releases a graphics card some have the tag ‘Ti’. I don’t even know what it means but a GTX 1080 Ti has a significant performance boost over the GTX 1080 even though they essentially have the same model number. My guess is that the Ti is what the 1080 was supposed to be had they had more time to work on it but PCMR wouldn’t have any of it. So the 1080 is a good, solid card but the Ti is the ‘ascended’ version.
Likewise, because of how the past year has gone I feel it would be better to call this my 25-Ti’th year rather than the 26th. Actually this post would have been labelled ‘Twenty Six’ had I written it on my birthday but after something happened (which I will NOT go into details here, at least for now) I decided to add Ti to previous page.
Not because the previous year of my life totally blew. It was actually one of my best yet. I’m getting a hang of this freelance thing, I put down my foot more often (in spite of my INFP nature wanting to sacrifice more than I should) and I can now converse properly on phone without zoning out, at least for 5 minutes. Of course they are many other things; things have been smooth, manageable and relatively stress free. Even unpaid invoiced don’t frustrate me as much.
But see that’s the problem. You get too comfortable you start coasting. You start coasting you become complacent. You become complacent you remain where you are. The weird thing with this kind of ‘coasting’ is that you don’t even realize it. After all, you’re doing work, you’re pursuing clients; you’re not just letting life pass by. “I’m doing my part, I’m okay.” That’s dangerous. That’s selfish. And more importantly, that’s a far cry from God’s Will.
I’d never really thought about it till last Sunday, when the weirdest thing happened. Have you ever had a full conversation with some that lasted only 1 second? I did. I usually tell people that I can look into someone’s eyes and hear what they are saying regardless of the word coming out of their mouths, or even when they aren’t speaking. But the way the one on Sunday happened I’m still recovering from it.
It’s probably not a good idea to give details of this person (at this stage anyway) but it’s someone I’ve come to respect and have taken an interest in. It was just in passing but one look into this person’s eyes and I was suddenly so aware of how ‘comfortable’ I was. How I was limiting myself. How I wouldn’t push myself if I was okay with what I had.
Is that all? Is this what ‘the great Juniboy’ amounts to?
Probably the greatest turning point in my life was when I finally understood how much God loved me, regardless of my actions. Even if I decided to close up shop and live under a bridge He wouldn’t love me less. But what I had lost sight of was the other people I should be helping, the others I should be blessing, the others that are looking up to me. This isn’t a need to please others. Nor is it peer pressure. In fact I’m actually proud of my ‘peer pressure’-less life. But how unfortunate would it be if you were to die with someone’s miracle in your soul? How awful would it be if I had the solution to World Hunger and I just decided to coast; after all life is great, right? How scary. How terrifying.
So my 25 year was great. I did help out some guys. I did in my small way cause some significant impact. Just like the GTX 1080, which is a great card; a high end graphics churning monster. But it isn’t a Ti, that just churns better, and is the 1080’s true form. One look into this person’s eyes and the message was clear:
Life isn’t just about you anymore.
Weirdly though I think it’s only babies that think everything’s only about them. They don’t care if you just went to sleep after a long day; if he/she wants attention you will respond.
I probably met an angel on Sunday. Oh well.
I remember that night. I had just gone out for some fresh air. Breathed in, felt the air into my lungs, refresh my soul; my hands were stretched out, eyes looking up gazing into the heavens. And my, what a sight! On this night the starts were peculiarly beautiful . I dashed out to get my camera. I had to capture this. How could anyone not?
I came back hurriedly, getting my settings right; and as i was about to take a photo the battery died. Such disappointment! I really wanted that photo! So I just lay there, imprinting it into my memory; the best I could do. And after I had enough of mosquitoes tingling my legs I wnt back to bed; hoping for a dream of the same.
Now the next day, I went about asking everyone if they saw what I saw. That spectacle. And the only response I got were, ‘No’ and ‘Yeah..’ Nothing more. There were those that didn’t see it, and those who saw it couldn’t care less. But how? I was really disappointed. And confused. Still trying to figure out why no one cared about such beauty.
They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. No, this was not what the universe was trying to teach me. That night again I went out to see if I could go and see what I saw the previous night. Nope! To no avail.
There were stars alright, but seemingly not as beautiful and as breathtaking. I may have been staring at the exact same thing, but the magic was gone. Then I realised it. It was the same spectacle as the previous night; but its magic had been robbed. How? And then the universe pulled out her ruler and pointed to the board; a great epiphany that was.
In this life we’ll see, we’ll feel, we’ll experience, we’ll think up many awesome things; so awesome that we’ll want others to be in the loop, and possibly experience them also like we do. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with sharing such experiences, such thoughts, such feelings. But sometimes, such things have limited magic (limited to one person, you). Sometimes such things are meant for you and you alone; not you and your friends, not you and your family and not even you and your significant other. Such magical experiences, such inspirational moments, are meant just for you.
Just. For. You.