The Cheat Sheet

A friendly reminder to all twentysomething’s starting out:

In the world, you’re given a “cheat sheet.” It’s applicable to you and me, until we turn 21 years old. It starts with graduating high school and going to college where you study a major selected at 18 years old. Four years later you substitute your diploma for a steady job. These are “certain’s” in life some people don’t question. But one day, you find yourself interested in Literature, Music, Architecture…Sewing. Topics that you had no clue of investigating when you were younger. But, you’ve graduated, you’re working. There’s no room to experiment. You’d begin to wonder, has time run out? Or is there a next logical step?

Time is a man-made concept from the 1500’s. It did not come with creation. Time shows the gradual effect of life’s “later.” It has a start, middle and end. You cannot skip, rewind or pause the parts you love the most. You have to tolerate the bad, appreciate the good. And as seconds melt into hours into days, life will become a blurry haze leaving behind the residue of where you were supposed to be.

Sure, we cannot deny time. It teaches us to correct failures. It encourages us to be patient with what we don’t know, if it’s meant for you it will happen. But, focusing too hardly on it makes dwelling on deadlines and pressure to accommodate to society’s “timings” – the right time to start working post-grad school, the right time to get married, the right time to have children – quite agonising to take.

However, what could life be like without time? In abstract, it would be similar to that of a painting. You can start from the part that takes your breath away. Its translation would be different to every person. Deep to one, shallow to another. The painting is ageless, you could stare at it for hours. The painting is beautiful, it tells you a new story each time it’s revisited. The painting has imperfections, it shows you scars thought were buried. This is where your life changes, because through your eyes, the painting is vibrant, alive, and its story is not yet over.

Those who don’t argue time usually like to live by routine, they accept sequential events – the expected & unexpected. They take steps forward and don’t diverge. Fear quietly stems within, that life is not being lived to its fullest potential.

Those who do argue time question everything. As well as their purpose as though it changes daily. They believe in endless possibility and how to reap the marrow out of life. They take five steps in one and often diverge.

Although we can argue both sides of the case, one thing’s for certain – we won’t be tossing our certain’s on a whim unless it was part of our plans. Right?

It took me a year and a half to realise that the borders placed on my life, were set by none other than me. It took me a year and a half to learn that nourishing my soul does not stop after graduation. It does not stop when I started working. It is a constant journey. Even for you, besides what you may think, there is nobody holding you back from chasing what you actually want.

All it takes is an initiative, one step to get you started, and the determination to continue. Yes, it’s difficult to juggle your pastime with a full-time job. But this is for you, and there are no deadlines. There’s just the part that takes your breath away. Measures taken don’t have to be extreme where you lose balance. Take it step by step, like a breeze you can hardly feel. Looking back, your progress will give a sense of accomplishment…that’s the proudest triumph.


-S. xx

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