The truth is I am rather a simple man with simple needs and wants. Although my need for acceptance bleeds profusely – in words, actions; in subtle hints my body makes – it is evident now that I am in love (and in an unconventional relationship of sorts) that my desires have always relied on the kindness of a person. It is easy to complicate matters when the ulterior motive embedded in ourselves compels us to chase experience. In reality, we should let experience chase us.
I used to believe that I was being left out of the world’s offerings – her sensualities, her darkness, her stolen brevities, and her coloured imaginations. It made me restless. It filled me with discontent. It made me lonely, and angry that I could not get what I thought I deserved. In hindsight, who knew what I deserved. My friends didn’t. My family would not waste time speculating about it. There was so much distance to cover between where I was, and where I wanted to be. All that space turned out to be imagined.
When you find love, or at the very least indulge in a semblance of it, the snarling pessimism and paralyzing anxiety of a restless existence is replaced by something much simpler: joy. There is quietude to love, a calming peace unbeknownst to people who are too busy complicating their lives for the sake of story, for a stake at infamy. It is the sort of peace many of us mistake us dullness. It is a steadiness we mistake as the opposite of excitement. But it is joy – a joy which gracefully resists faddishness and makes its own mark on a person. It is a joy which deepens the furrows of our heart, and alters the mood disposition of our spirit.
As I turned my twenties, I was told by countless people, and bombarded by endless college-cafeteria Thought Catalog pieces, that I should be consumed by wanderlust, inundated by mistakes, plagued by self-generated contradictions, and afflicted by the need to know what I deserved. It turned out I am far more practical than I would like to admit. Instead, love has tempered my emotions, and strengthened my reasons. Life is so much more than a bucket list. Our existence – especially whatever fancy things we do with it – is negligible to a vast expanse of the universe; as Carl Sagan best put it, but a tiny dot against the darkness of space. Who cares if you don’t get to skydive? Surely, the world will not grieve for the things you miss out!
Do I really need to put my life in turmoil for excitement? Should I really chase the violence of restlessness? Must I be worried that at twenty years plus I have yet to set foot on foreign soil? Or is it enough to know that a modest, decent person loves me with such certainty that I never feel possessed; with such patience that I never need to be in hurry; with such decency that I am never compelled to sin; with such kindness that I need not know what I deserve.
Our lives are brief. Simplicity would suffice.
Note: This was written four months ago, and posted in my older blog. I’m re-posting it here for purposes of contrast, as a way of tempering the bitterness of some of my posts the last few months.