Pretense

That one word to end the meanings of all words; words that do not stand a chance in front of the façade this one word entails. Every truth, all ingenuity, all graciousness is useless when faced with the intricate web of all the shiny mendacities this word so effortlessly weaves.

Such is the cruelty of this one word. Such is the power of it upon the lives of people all around us. Such is its significance for us. Ingenuity is a lost attribute now— or as far as I can perceive (and my perception is just that; perception). It is gone, buried and done away with. No one wants anything to do with it anymore. Why bother listening to the heart when I can follow the herd. Why bother being who I am when I can be someone else. Why be myself when I can be a third rate replica of someone more prosperous/beautiful/thinner/popular out there.

This world has traditionally been easier on the normal (read: ordinary) than the different. Because being different is often tantamount to being a failure; and failure is looked down upon. Failure is a thing to be avoided at all costs. It tends to have the worst of all meanings and it doesn’t matter if you think contrarily. Your opinion simply doesn’t matter. Period. Failures shouldn’t have opinions, because how can they? If the world doesn’t recognize me, how sacrilegious it is of me to acknowledge myself! How dare I think more of myself than what ‘they’ think of me!

I find myself surrounded by pretense. Those who effortlessly adapt to this philosophy, find that they’re better off in this world. Though whether or not it’s happiness that they experience or merely the satisfaction of conformity, I can’t say.

Eventually I will succumb to the pressures of conformity as well.
It is inevitable.
The pressures are too forceful. It is very persuasive. It has survived for centuries.
Or maybe I won’t and hence will just get old… very cranky and very unhappy.
It is all just a matter of time.
But time has never really been on my side.
And I walk alone.

Bitter

Past is called the past for a reason. It signifies something that we have experienced but notice the emphasis on “experienced”. Meaning, it is never going to be repeated again; under any circumstances. Now man is a curious animal. For the first twenty-five odd years of his life, he spends his life anticipating “the future” and when that future is reached (not necessarily achieved) he feels lost. We don’t know what to do when we reach that crucial point in life, called the middle age, arguably the most controversial of all stage of life. Where our past is gone, finished, done with; and our future, the one that glares brightly in our face, is the future we never anticipated! Let’s face it. We never thought we’d get old, dependent or grey; it was not what we signed up for. We thought we’d stay forever young, forever capable, and forever beautiful. And then suddenly life meets us at this unimaginably ugly little place, called the middle age. It’s the point where our past is still so fresh in our minds that we want to run towards it, hoping to catch it somehow, to bring it back. We don’t want to our youth to abandon us. We struggle to say goodbye to our beauty. But the more we try to resist the more we move away from the remnants of what we once were. We become jealous, fiercely so; even bitter. We feel wronged by Mother Nature herself, when she always showed us all the signs. We saw our parents growing old in front of us and our grandparents die. One by one. But we never thought we’d get old as well.

But it is our choice. It is our choice to remain bitter or to make something out of the inevitable self that WILL meet us sometime in future, to meet it in grace. And no, it is not as easy as those self-help books sometimes suggest. It is a constant struggle everyday, every minute, every second. It is keeping the guards up against all the negativity that will confront us. It is to turn it away, it is to rise and shine. It is to embrace who I am, and embrace the fact that I am growing older. To stop reminiscing about what’s gone and to start anticipating the future.

Always. Anticipating the future.

Path

I read an article today in the morning. Crux of it was that there is a “predetermined” path for everyone and all we have to accomplish in life is to follow the thing. Either it dawns upon us one fine morning or we have to take up a quest to find it. Now, I do not think, and never have that it is as simple as the author would like us to believe. First of all, he wrote this whole finding-your-path thing assuming there are no other factors involved. We cannot as a society function alone, and there are many other dynamics that influence our lives outside of our own selves. Sometimes, we just don’t know what we want from our lives. Other times, we unfortunately find our destiny (if we want to call it that) too late down the road. What do we do if we have already built a life by the time we supposedly find “our calling”? Do we just leave everything and set out on a soulful journey just because our “inner” being called out to us? Do we just abandon our family just because we think our “dream” is more important than they ever were and they were probably just something we were keeping ourselves busy with in the time being? Why do these so-called self-help authors make everything sound as easy as eating an apple?

Let me tell you what I feel about this issue, we all have a dream while we’re growing up. When a child is little, he/she sees the future in a way we, as grown ups, have forgotten to see. As we grow up, some of these dreams realise, whereas some don’t but depending upon their significance to us, the unfulfilled ones go into hiding in some deep dark corner of our heart. We don’t ever forget how we felt whenever we daydreamt about that specific thing no matter how far along we are in life. However, many a time that dream has got more to do with our childhood than reality, as unfortunate as it may seem. More often than not, we weren’t meant to do what we always wanted to do and we were meant to be exactly wherever we find ourselves in our life. Many a time, we keep pushing our present away for some mythical future, so much so that we don’t realize that we’re actually ruining whatever we have right now. So basically this whole finding your path mantra is just as good as bull shit to me. You’re either living it or you’re not.

Now I am not one for such ‘motivational’ lectures, trust me on that. Whatever I write here comes straight from my heart and since I am not a renowned person, I can afford to be as obnoxious as I want to and get away with it as well. Hah! Although I can’t say much about the renowned ones as well, but let’s leave this discussion for some other day.

But jokes apart, these soulful writers shouldn’t really do this to people. More often than not people will find themselves in situations that will forbid them to just leave and set off on a journey to some far off land. I am thinking of taking up a Masters course and I have been thinking about it since I don’t even remember when. Why? Mainly because I am an Accountant and even if my major interest in life has always been English Literature, it will make me feel a bit strange to just bid adieu to Accountancy as blatantly as that. All I want to do is to follow my passion but it is just not as easy as it may sound on paper since there are constraints involved both physical and mental. Now, I am not stating here that I will not go ahead and do it. For all you know, I might just find enough courage to begin next year! The fact that I am trying to state here is that we can just not leave everything one fine morning and decide that we want a different life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

So my friends, coming across the so-called path is not always pleasant. On the contrary, sometimes, stumbling upon your ‘path’ especially after you’ve come a long way in life might be frustrating — perhaps even worse than not finding it ever.