Growing Up #9: ‘Tis The Season of Goodbyes

August – the eighth month of the calendar, the month when Summer isn’t gone yet, but the winds begin to feel chilly, a telling sign of how we have lived past over half of the year; a sign of the coming cold in the horizons.

August – a month of goodbyes when the suitcases are neatly packed, weighed, and wrapped. They hold not just belongings but memories and scents of yesterday, and now have pasted tags over their bodies keeping them from getting lost. It is how much can fit inside the weighing limit that one can carry of ones past – crunched, crumbled, convoluted.

I bid goodbye to friends, their eyes yearning for a better tomorrow and their hearts swelling with hope. I wish them the best that there can be. Together we’ve bid our goodbyes to many it seems. Maybe we have lost count now. Some goodbyes are left for electronic wires to convey, some other even unsaid.

There’s something strange about this season, a signal of transition. A fleeting season that could define many tomorrows, or may be it could just be a passing season. An ephemeral season that holds a memory or two for most, of when they left, and when they let go.

August – when the leaves turn yellow in some places, it’s still green here.


Growing Up, a series on Growing Up, every Saturday – because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking. 

Growing Up #8: Some infinities are bigger than other infinities

It’s John Green for you, from The Fault in Our Stars:

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.

I recently rediscovered a math concept that between two numbers, lets say 2 and 3, there are infinite numbers between them (which becomes a headache when solving tricky standardized test problems!). But there are even more infinite numbers between 1 and 3. So maybe that’s what John Green meant, because literally how big are infinities?

We’re just like the numbers on the numbers scale. Some of us closer, some farther away. And yet no matter how close we are, there’s an infinite distant between us. Family. Friends. Colleagues.

We can never truly come to a full understand of someone else, no matter how close they may be. It can be frightening, but also liberating. We cannot control anybody else’s actions, we cannot think for anybody else – given the infinite distance between us.

Perhaps it’s easier to go on with adult life with this in mind that our understanding of people in our lives is limited. Sometimes there are no whys that can be answered. And this could make it easier to not take everything personally.

We can only act for ourselves and we might as well do it wisely.


Into week 8 of writing a column on growing up every Saturday (it’s cheat week as I wrote this on a Sunday). 

Growing Up #7: The Merry-Go-Round of Life

I’ve listened to people talk about their lives as the words innocently sprung out of their mouths and crystallized into lines. A line or two at most, not an elaborate conversation, and yet I know I’ve been hit by circles of perspectives. I’ve listened not through ears, but through my heart. It is as though we are all in a merry-go-round of our lives as we come across others on the ride.
 
I’ve listened to an experienced elder doubt his life actions of living without concrete plans. I’ve listened to a professional admit how he thought this was it after he landed the job, but a change came along. I’ve listened to a senior share his career plans going sour. I’ve listened to another senior be brave about their catastrophic loss. 
 
As I listened, I realized it must all be a part of life. I saw them become more human. Perhaps the moments where I do not seem to find a way ahead is making me more human as well.

Jeff Goins writes in his book Real Artists Don’t Starve:

You’re never done becoming yourself.

The ride continues.

And here’s a wonderful piece by Joe Hisaishi, Merry Go Round of Life. 


I cannot believe I’ve made it to the 7th week and I have been writing this column every week on my blog. I’ve not had a hot chocolate for a while, but Saturday continues to be a reflective day.

Growing Up, a series on well, growing up, every Saturday. 

The Encounters

Who on earth gave
the idea that we
must steal hearts,
and that it was the
ultimate goal there is?

Why not steal the mind,
the eye, the soul?
How can life be understood
through just one
unexplained being
all consuming?

Mustn’t we have friends
with whom we can converse
under the rainbow about
how the color we see is
anything but what we see?

Mustn’t we have companions
who love the Knight and Rook
as much as we do, even more, perhaps,
whose moves make us wiser?

Mustn’t we have pals
whose silly laughs are an
antidote to aging?

How can life be contained
in one single being
all consuming?

So we live
through every being we cross;
a part of us in them,
a part of them in us.

Never the same
after the encounter –
no matter how
brisk or muffled.