Saturday, 20 February 2010

Present: a present

"La vida es un regalo - Life is a gift and we can do with it as we wish." Said a random lady on the street.

So if this life we have is a gift then we can do with it as we wish, right? Wrong. We were brought up to believe that there is a set of codes and rules as to how this "gift" should be used. We live in a society where everyone is following this set of code of living and so we take it as the "right" way to live, to enjoy this gift. When we give present to someone, we don't tell them how they should use it. We relinquish the right and the reciever has the complete freedom as how he or she would like to use the gift. No one lives righter than the other. The rich doesn't have a more correct life than the poor. Nor does a vagabond lead a better life than a politician.

Growing up in an uptight Asian society, I was always bombarded by the idea that life is a routine, like a train track, everything is arranged, all I have to do is get on the track; Get a good education, get a career, buy a house and spend the rest of my life paying off the mortgage and wait for retirement. That's the RIGHT way to live! I had always find that very suffocating. I tried, honestly I did, but there's no way I could live like that. That's why I suffer from depression when I was growing up. If that's what my life is to be, then what's the point of living if I already known the end.

Now, looking back at that life, it all seems light years away. I have been living a kind of ephemeral existence where the present is all that counts ever since I left home. My family and most people think that I am wasting my time; everytime I call home, the very first question ask of me is a variant "when are you coming home/settling down?" Of course they think that I am not living correctly, wasting my university degree, my youth, my potential and my future. But this is my gift, I think I have the right to live it the way I see righ and that gives me the most happiness.

Life is fleeting, we are not born with a guarantee to live to a certain age. No one can say when this journey will end. Life is only meaningful when you live it in the present. So why not enjoy the present, after all this is all we've got.

If I could live my life over again
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly
and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments and if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments.
One after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoast and a parachute.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
If I had it to do again, I would travel lighter next time.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies...
- Nadine Stari -