Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Markers of (Our) Limits

Wednesday, 24 May 2007
Koningsstraat, Amsterdam

The past few weeks of mine have been filled with writing, re-writing, editing, re-structurising arguments & chapters, and, well, practically blowing my brains out. I had to think so much my head, literally, hurt. Interestingly, during my re-reading of what I had written a few months ago, the thought: "What the hell do I mean here and what language is this written in?" made me realise how 'this' (my thesis) is just a small part of my life-long journey of learning (in its broadest sense).

Anything we are going through at the moment - the hardest things we have to go through in this moment - will seem like small pricks of our lives in the next few years. Be it the biggest project in your life, your wedding day, your dissertation; they are, I argue, not the monuments of your life, but the markers of how much you've learned.

Try remembering how it felt like when your heart was broken in high school. How 'real' it seemed and how much you want to laugh out loud now when you think of it now? "Ya elah, gitu doang diurusin" would perhaps be your thought (or if you still think it's horrendous, you can stop reading here because we're not on the same page - and that's ok).

The thought of 'this', whatever hard thing we have to go through, being something 'surmountable' is a real consolation. It means we can go through EVERYTHING life shoves in our faces. It might be a big deal now but not when you look back to it in a few moments' worth.

So hold your head up high and keep on 'learning'. Because the hardships you go through are the aspects that help you push yourself to your limits - and maybe exceed it, if you fight hard enough. We are defined by how hard we fall and how much we've learned in the process of 'standing up'. And in that sense, the worse you have to go through, the stronger a person you may be. Afterall, as said by Woody Allen: "Tragedy + time = comedy".

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