[When I started writing this post, it will have been] less than two weeks before the third anniversary of my father’s death. It’s been an interesting ride, for those who have been following, especially those who saw posts of that time disappear upon eventual realization that there are some things better unsaid for others to judge and misconstrue. But with or without them, I have had the time to really see my own growth, and that’s the beauty of self-honest and blogging: I see it, and those who follow me do too.
People ask me why I’m happy, because there is a lot of doubt as to how someone can be positive in an age where gritty, imperfect, angst-ridden, and cynical is considered “real” and “more human” when they are only a small corner of the map of human emotions. Of course I live in that world, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t experience moments of anger and sadness, but I do not let those feelings control me, because if you look closely, happiness is everywhere on that map. Even Jesus and Mohammed experienced anger and despair, but they lived in love and happiness as their core being, which I do with mine.
That happiness begins with awareness and gratitude: I am alive, have two arms, legs, and eyes, I can see and hear clearly, I have ten fingers and ten toes, I have my education, I have a few people who love me as much as I love them, and I’ve got a good camera and computer to help me do the work I set out to do.
I do not strive do be a messiah nor do I profess to be better than anyone, and though I may take examples from Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishnamurti, Laozi, and all the other sages, my goal is self-mastery. Jesus and Mohammed knew this as well, and part of that is knowing who they are and who would follow them, because they certainly didn’t force their ideas on their enemies even if they lived with that inner rebellion in the face of adversity, never compromising themselves. Likewise, I do not compromise myself, and I certainly don’t need to be around the wrong people, which is why I will continue to be me and be grateful for whomever joins me in walking our golden paths.
“But you don’t even know where you’ll be after May! You don’t even have work lined up then and you don’t earn much!”
I don’t know what will happen after then, but I know what I have now, and now is all I have, not later. Who says that even if you weren’t working with a short timeline that you’ll still have it? Life can happen and still take it all away from you. So I live in the now and know anything can be given and taken away no matter what is written on paper.
I have more too: I wake up, and the sun is shining, the same one that shines all over the planet giving us light and life. I walk out at night, and I see that same starlit sky and moon, the same one everyone can see and realize this universe is bigger than our egos. And we are all made of stardust. Every atom of existence and matter on this planet is made of the same stuff that made the stars, transcending race, social class, nationality sex, and religion. When you know you’re not even a speck of dust in the universe, and this world, this reality is not perfect, how can you not be happy, knowing that society, material possessions, and everything else is all still small on the cosmic scale?
I come from the stars and will return to the stars. I will bring love from this cosmic awareness because I have the gift of life and am grateful for that honor. This body, which is merely a spacesuit of flesh and blood on this earthly plane, will expire one day, and I will return to the stars with the love I take from this world.
The first of December came and went just like any day, week, month, year, or chapter in my life. It was a day I woke up the same way I intend to start my day and end it, with meditation, exercise, writing, and creating art. In between, however, like any story, is what people care about, and the morning and evening bookends of my day are ways to prepare for what comes, and to learn from what has passed. Every birthday thus is a bookend to life chapters, and though not much happened on the day, I had plenty of opportunities to reflect on life for all of my years of living, and what is to come. As of the 21st, the world continues.
It’s refreshing to talk to a certain kind of person who is well-traveled, one who understands that their assumptions about people on a group and individual level go right out the door whenever they meet someone new. So far, I’ve gone through Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok in the past few months, and next week I will be in Colombo. There’s a lot I do have to say that only reinforces my last post on the lie that is multiculturalism now: it’s better to be an outsider and recognized as one by both others and by yourself than it is to be an outsider trying to fit into cities and societies that pride themselves on the falsehood that is diversity.
Recently, I posted several thoughts on my feed that brought a lot of approval, so here they are with a little side commentary as a preface to them.
The depth of experiences and the diversity of stories that those who travel and undergo great changes in life are sure to make for great conversation starters at a cocktail party. Unfortunately, there is a point where that bragging and exceptional uniqueness becomes a distasteful hubris that alienates people from one another, leaving them to sulk in the corner and meet like-minded folks who were similarly rejected. It is upon this moment they realize they are both not just travelers, but fellow Third Culture Kids, and they decide to talk about how everyone else is closed-minded or doesn’t get them, and generally caught in a bog of stagnant muck unable to see what’s out there. The two of them enjoy a moment at the party, and everyone else lives their lives mingling: the two of them stand in their corner, martinis in hand, laughing at the bubble in front of them. That is openness and sense of adventure becomes lost in “civilian” settings and results in the so-called “worldly” people to merely replace one bubble for another instead of “venturing outside their comfort zone” and “exploring the world” or being “more open-minded” than “others”.