Thursday, April 4, 2013

Living To Die, Dying To Live.

Originally published at, a site featuring insights on different facets of life by 5 brilliant ladies, I managed to squeeze out this piece after relentlessly scouting my mind for a meaningful subject to ponder on. It's my very first guest post and I'm mighty proud of it. Most importantly, I enjoyed every second I spent working on it.

Beginning of one or two weeks ago, the stork was working rather hard. 3 healthy baby boys were born to 3 different happy couples that I know. Bliss and joy tickled the heart as I pored over pictures of the little ones, thankful that all were fine.

The angel of death, however, was not to be left behind. He took away a 14-year-old boy of a Facebook friend's friend not long after. A sore aftertaste ensued, as I clicked to view the pictures he posted of his son. A fine-looking, fun-loving young man.

Thus is the intriguing cycle of life.

To live is to die, to die is to live.

Some of us long to live, even though the time to go has come.
Some of us long to die, even though there are still reasons to stay.. as seemingly non-existent as they can be.

Happy and lucky are the ones who know how to let go when it's time to let go.
Joyful and fortunate are the ones who persist and are adamant to make the best out of their lives, even when everything seems to go wrong.

I've been contemplating (when am I not?).

For years I've been bogged down by several questions on life. One, in particular, stands out rather strikingly as it surfaces the sea of orphan thoughts in my largely disconnected mind every now and then - what do I want?

Looking everywhere for something meaningful to be called a purpose, I unforgivably overlooked one very crucial element - I conveniently ignored the fact that I had hardly ever lived. I remained mostly in my shell, breaking the darn thing once in a while for a few dashes of thrills, then mending it back, hid in it, over and over again.

A classic introvert.

One consolation, nevertheless, would be that that darn shell - either broken a few times too many or I do a really bad job at mending it back everytime - is finally, thankfully, crumbling.

Living to die, to live our lives as if we're going to die anytime soon. The pessimist in me used to think that this would give one the wrong idea that one would have the license to do anything one's heart wishes, usually with implications of greed. Rather, having read an article on this quite a long time ago, it actually reflects more on our latent yet ironically most inexplicably fervent desires to have a kind of everlasting connection with at least one other being, be it family, friends, or even strangers. Perhaps even other living beings such as animals, trees or flowers, you name it.

To leave a legacy perhaps, tiny or insignificant as it may be.
Then again, more often than not, we underestimate the effect that we actually have on each other's lives.

Dying to live, to let parts of us die off in order to allow our true better selves to eventually emerge. We are creatures of habit and environment which are, more often than not, quite limiting and discouraging. Most of us go through life not knowing that we are actually capable of things that are bigger and mightier than we ourselves can ever imagine. This refers not to the materialistic accumulation of wealth, fame and power, but rather the stark realization and maximization of the intrinsic values, talents and skills so deeply ingrained yet ironically considerably latent inside most of us that would mean so much more to us and even to the rest of the world, if only we came into the world with these included as instructions.

But for unknown reasons, that was not to be.
As such, in order to continuously discover new elements about ourselves, change is truly inevitable. As the saying goes, we can't expect different results when we are still doing the same thing over and over again.

Old habits must die in order to make way for new ones.

I've been experiencing quite a bit of the dying-to-live part for quite some time now, both willingly and reluctantly. And I must say it's been liberating so far, realizing that I'm able to do things that I previously thought were impossible for me. Although these changes are considerably small by most human standards, I give myself good pats on the back nonetheless as encouragements to do better. There are still a lot of work to be done but instead of looking at myself as a failure like how I used to in the past, I see them as healthy challenges to overcome and ultimately allowing me to be the person that I was meant to be in the first place while continuously challenging myself with possibilities that I know I can and am meant to achieve.

The cycle continues.. =)