If you’ve been following my blog posts for a while now, you know that I am a staunch believer of Carpe Diem. Why am I bringing this up right now? Because today, it hit me that life is too little and too short, and it’s only human for anybody to try and hold on to what they can while they still can. These last two days, I’ve had a lot of time to think. I’ve had the kind of time that I needed to allow myself; it really had been a long time coming. And it hit me that I didn’t want to look back at my life someday and have any regrets about not going after something I wanted.
Grandma lived by that rule. She was scrappy and plucky and extremely unapologetic about what she wanted to do with her time and she always told me to go after my dreams. That’s the kind of hype only a grandma can give you, believe it or not. She always wanted me to go out and see the world more, travel more, take more photos from my travels, paint and sketch more and most importantly, write more. So today, as I drowned myself in some stress-cleaning, I pulled out the old guitar that I hadn’t really practiced with in a very long time. And I was so surprised by how much lighter it made me feel.
It was like throwing a big burden that I had been carrying around with me into the ocean and finally feeling free. And at that moment, I decided to pursue everything that I had dropped halfway through simply because the timing wasn’t right back then. There’s a bunch of things I want to do and as ambitious as it may seem, I want to get around to doing all of these things so that I don’t have any kind of regrets when I look back at life. I’m not saying that life treats us all fairly. But those of us who can do something about chasing their dreams have zero excuses for giving up on them.
I felt like a terrible person today because I tried to find a silver lining in all of this and to find a way to still find happiness in my darkest times. But then I realized that there was no moving past the pain or loss that my family has been through recently. The pain is always going to be right here every time we remember my grandma, from now. But it is not a crime to look for a little bit of sunshine in the worst of storms. Sadly, that is how loss works— we lose somebody who means a lot to us, then we punish ourselves for trying to look for a little bit of happiness during this difficult time.
But please understand that it isn’t wrong. In fact, it’s the most human thing to look for comfort or happiness when we are going through an extremely rough patch. I see a lot of people getting extremely scandalised over people showing the slightest hint of happiness during, what ought to be, a period of grieving. But that is not how emotions work. All we need, sometimes, is something that can momentarily provide us the kind of escape from the grief that we have plunged into.
And that is exactly why I feel the need to desperately try to find a piece of driftwood so I can stay afloat. The way I see it, I have two options in front of me: either I wallow in despair and waste away all the time that I could spend on my dreams, or I could actually get my act together and try to make the most of what I’ve got, to respect how much my grandma believed in them for me. I would much rather choose the latter and make sure that I have no regrets in life.
I’m probably not there yet because I’m still reeling from a loss that I didn’t see coming. But I am not going to apologize to anybody, and nobody should have to, for trying to find a sliver of happiness even in these difficult times.
My Dad told me that there are things that are out of our control. And it is to that lack of control that I surrender today. I don’t know where I’m going yet, but I know that no matter what happens, it won’t be somewhere I’ll regret.
Making it through a day at a time,
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