We’ll Take the World On

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.
—— Rumi

Beijing/Peking, May 2013

Setting my life on fire, starting with my hair.

This week so far, has inarguably been one of the toughest and roughest I’ve ever had to endure and learn from, on so many different levels. It was to such an extent that I started questioning myself, the choices I’ve made and the decisions I’ve come to over the past few years, seeking validation for said choices —— when I should very well be allowing them free reign instead —— and searching high and low for some semblance of certainty to hold on to as the more conventional side of my character demanded security and the warm comfort it usually brings along with it. No surprises there considering how I’ve been indulging in conventionality for most of my life (and have gotten so accustomed to it) until just very recently. But as with any other obstacle you face, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

What I’ve learnt from the week:

i. Courage is having the strength to be vulnerable. I initially perceived this as a (figurative) second of weakness, and as I prided myself on being strong, I fought with fervour to pull myself back up although I wasn’t completely done with letting it go, and I was determined to ensure I didn’t fall back down again. My closest —— and by far, the strongest —— pillar then reassured me that it was alright to open one’s heart up to vulnerability. Because vulnerability unveils the humanity in us, and it’s what makes us real. Human. Beautiful. There is, after all, a time and place for everything.

ii. Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company. As said by Booker T. Washington. Throughout the week, I ran to my respective pillars for support —— because although I was surrounded by people, I felt utterly lost and quite alone, given the experiences I was then going through. It’s times like these which tremendously amplify the gratitude I hold for these jewels in my life, and remind me just how lucky I am to have them with me.

iii. Experiences like these are what builds character. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for the obstacles and hurdles I’ve encountered and had to overcome along the way. It’s easy to get sidetracked and to lose focus on the goal when distractions are aplenty, and there are times when you simply feel like throwing the towel in, especially when push comes to shove. But then you pause, and you remember —— the big visions, and the inspiration behind them. The things which make (and will continue to make) all this so incredibly beautiful, and so incredibly worth the fight. I wanted to go back to the conventional, I wanted to go back to the secure, not necessarily fulfilling, but something concrete I could count on. But in doing so, all the time and effort I’ve so willingly invested in this would’ve been for nothing. It’d be an absolute shame to let this go, without even trying. And with that, perseverance comes rushing in like a bullet train at full speed. As the saying goes, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

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