Wednesday, 16 July 2014

What ifs

Everyone begins his or her marathon at the same starting line. There are those who sprint and never grow weary. (They are the kind that you know are forever out of your league.) There are those who attempt to sprint and end up dragging their feet for the rest of the way. There are those who pace themselves in a way that's comfortable for them. And there are those who simply do not know why they are there. They end up strolling for the entire journey. I am categorised with those who do not know why they are there.

Here I am lying on my bed, in the confines of my room (my mother calls it a pigsty) when the sun is shining at it's brightest, indicating that I've been in bed for way too long. I run through the itinerary for the day in my head: wash up, have breakfast, (okay, no, brunch. Or maybe it's just lunch.) wait for dinner, go to bed. 

My usual daily routine. No wait, I forgot to add: scroll through Facebook and Instagram throughout the day, hoping that by observing other people's interesting lives, it would add some colour to my dull and mundane life. 

So yes, in summary, what I am currently preoccupied with is waiting for bedtime. I draw up my blanket over my head to avoid the glare of the sun, and unlock my iPhone. I scroll through the endless Facebook Newsfeeds. Oh, my elementary school classmate who probably wasn't as bright as I was - now a valedictorian of his college. The quiet little girl in my neighbourhood who was never willing to make new friends - now the prom queen of her high school. The chairman of my middle school's library club - now the captain of his football team. The nerd whom everyone ostracized even till high school - now a president's scholar. And me? A bum. 

I wasn't originally in the category of those who don't know why they are there. I was a sprinter; but along the way, I tripped over an obstacle and got bruised so badly that by the time I got up, everyone else was far ahead. That was when I stopped trying, that was when I no longer knew why I was even in the race. I joined the group that eventually caught up with me, those who strolled through the entire journey.

As I look through the lenses of those ahead, many "what ifs" start bubbling in my head. What if I averted the obstacle, what I picked myself up immediately, what if... What if... What if... 

And it suddenly dawns upon me that there exists a fifth group of people. The late bloomers. Those who start off directionless. They stroll and stroll, but one fine day - no one knows why, maybe they get hit by a meteorite that awakens their senses - they start sprinting. And while you, and everyone else, thinks that it's impossible for them to catch up given how far behind they are, they prove you wrong with their zeal. They catch up. They do catch up eventually. 

Suddenly, I have hope. I am not good at anything in particular, nothing that can make me sprint right away but at least I can start by jogging. I force myself out of bed and pick up the pen and paper that is hidden among the pile of I-don't-know-what. I start by doing what I think I do best. It honestly isn't great, but it is a start. I start scribbling the words that would hopefully inspire my fellow "strollers" and myself:

"Everyone begins their marathon at the same starting line. There are those who sprint and..."

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