It defies constitution. You may have had many long and arduous journeys, but nothing like this one. The one that you’re taking right now, it defies analogies and it evades description. A poor writer can only but hope that his honest attempt to capture the underlying patterns in the interweaved fabric of life.
Born on a certain day, so everyone else claims. One has memories of that particular day sometimes, memories of other days follows. They are few and far apart. Almost always the sneaking suspicion enters your mind that these memories are just faked, built by your mind to explain the stories those elder and close to you will tell. But happily you will hold them close to your heart. Looking at other children, you can tell one thing, they were blissful and happy.
Awareness begins to grow, innocence remains. Hard memories begin to form and inspirations take hold. This is the age where experiences tend to overawe and yet pleasures are still simple, a very desirable combination. When looking down into a flowing river, you watch your reflection wondering about things and not noticing the tremendous youth that creates the image. Time may fly, but your heart does not care… in fact when you look back it almost always seems as if time did fly! The growing awareness of oneself also results in the formation of envy and greed.
It is around this time that the simplest things matter the most, that bird you saw hurt in your backyard, or losing a friend early and to bizarre circumstances. Things might start making sense, but you couldn’t care less… there is a growing realization of bonds that can be built with others. Maybe a slight weakening of existing bonds, especially with parents, who teach discipline and spell out the straight and narrow.
School enters life, bringing with it an infestation of complexities. If the truth lies in education, its also education that encourages the neverending search for truth. It’s here that many learn about choices, the choice to work hard, work earnestly, the choice of building a character with the blocks provided or the choice of starting from scratch and visibly rebelling! All this must happen naturally and with the flow of things. You learn routines and schedules. You learn others’ interests and acheivements trying to understand what it is that you’re here on earth for.
Your much more deviant now… the questioning begins, why do it this way, is it because I see everyone else do it this way…? Unconsciously we assimilate certain habits, others we don’t. Trudging through the whole mess of things, you must lead two lives, one where time is yours to kill and spend. The other where you must devote yourself to the formation of that whose end you cannot see. While genius must blend or pretend as the situation might demand, most find a pretty tough fight and must see themselves through.
The memories that are left behind are some of the sweetest or some of the bitterest, but it almost seems as if it were a train ride. A controlled environment to look out from, it is beautiful outside, you can see… but you must stay inside. The speed at which you travel is tremendous, in the end leaving behind just those frames that had something important to offer, maybe a very deep red gorge with craggy peaks and a scary drop ,or an awe-inspiring, proud mountain with a snow capped peak dominating from the distance.
Things start to grow confusing as awareness is almost complete. Morals must receive a deep shock, the terrain begins to change. The peaks and valleys are exciting, now that you are able to descend and climb them. But you don’t know what to make of the excitement. You are in control now, you tell yourself. But the frames of others in your mind prick when you think you might have done something wrong. Get rid of it and life is beautiful, ready to let go of all of it’s secrets. All reach for them, some times you get hurt, some times it’s worth it.
It’s around now that bonds grow the strongest, others grow on you. Reliability, trustworthiness and compatibility, you can pin them down and describe them… often a friend is enough, for others many is fine! You think you’re seeing straight but smirkingly realize you’re intoxicated with life. A job, maybe a car, material pleasures create space for themselves in you mind. Your heart has very little to say! Letting go is as easy as visiting the next watering hole with the stranger you met last Friday.
Achievements for you are now quantitative and not qualitative, the zen you might have brought to balance your two lives disappears You are working harder/longer or just the opposite. For those in the city, destruction approaches faster.
You’re seeing personality types now, the mentor, who tries to show you where he has been and where you’re headed. The laggard, who failed to keep up on the oft trodden path, some still happy some aren’t so much, some having defined their own lives with the diligence and guile of their own efforts. Others having messed up again due to their own actions. The conman, the fellow who assumes you’re still to naive and tries to cloud your vision. Then there is the wannabe mentor. Often you are right, sometimes you are wrong. The followers, those who struggle with earlier phases and are desperately looking for a way out. Your peers, some in a struggle with you, others whose personal struggles you acknowledge. Finally, friends and family for whom you allocate a strong static block. Inspirations remain and you yearn to bridge the gap.
Life’s speed upto here has to be appreciated, You’ve hit 25 and I don’t know the what or how yet of why things are the way they are… maybe you’re looking for ways to slow it down, maybe you’re still burning out. Maybe you realize there are so many questions that it makes you comfortably numb* not to have that fever anymore to uncover the truth. Instead you settle for regularity and prepare for the rest. Or build mental challenges that define your place in the race. The child is gone*, maybe to return. Who can tell? I certainly can’t.