I had the most painful and sudden urge to write at an ungodly hour past midnight. Despite knowing that I needed to wake rather early today, I also knew that sleep would elude me unless I got the words off my chest. I'm pleasantly surprised (and frightened) at how painlessly each sentence came to me; probably the result of months of forced uninspired pieces which I've still yet to finish.
This topic is rather dear to me for it's been something I've been grappling with for as long as I can remember. Although I'm unable to reveal the full context and extent of some of my rambles, hopefully this piece is not in too much of a disarray and can still warrant at least simple understanding.
Yes, I do abuse the use of punctuation and run-on-lines. If you are familiar with my works, you should know that it's just another superficial cover for my lack of ability to fully grasp the simple punctuation laws of grammar.
I think it is safe for me to say that I have come to accept the realisation that I don’t need, or even want much to be happy. While recent disjointed dreams coupled with a barrage of uninvited emotions upon waking have hinted that to me, a part of me knows better than to simply dismiss the all too materialistic urbanite I now am.
Practically speaking, it is impossible to survive on just the capricious passion of young love. Even if you are indeed lucky enough to find your soul mate (as opposed to simply settling for a convenient but potentially lasting relationship), it wouldn’t be long before unforgiving finances start to take their toll on your once perfect life. Society will continue to test the strength of such a bond with coy advances of wealth, influence and power, potentially jeopardising not only your relationship, but also the foundations of your morals and values. With such vices present at every corner and unrelenting in their assault, how can one retain, lest hold on to the now fuzzy memory of what you had once thought was happiness?
Perhaps this is the years of half-hearted meditations and prayers speaking: if you are unable to let go of material wealth, you gradually lose sight of what once brought you true emotional fulfilment. You will soon find yourself trapped in a never-ending spiral of self deceit, pretending that if you continue your weekly splurges, you too can achieve the same level of happiness. We tend to forget that it is the smallest things in life that make us happy. Cliché as it may seem, I have grown more receptive to such a claim over the years.
I am lucky enough to be blessed with sufficient food and a comfortable home, sometimes even being able to enjoy the luxury of carelessness with my cards during shopping trips. Yet no matter how many bags I return with, no matter how my closet seems to be perpetually filled, no matter how often my growing mound of shoes has frustrated my parents; I am only rewarded with a fleeting glow of pride and impetuous exhilaration, usually vanishing as dawn breaks. When I wake, the dreaded cycle repeats itself again.
Age probably has a part to play in this confession of mine; either that or loneliness and longing have finally gotten the better of me. Now I can more sincerely say that human interaction is the missing piece in everyone’s soul. These relationships are neither of the superficial corporate sort nor the product of a gossip ring, but the few although significant and probably high maintenance ones, which when given sufficient attention and love, persist for a good portion of your life.
I admit that for the longest of times, I had always attributed such whimsical fancies to being the effects of confused emotions stemming from teenage hormones in constant flux. The rational side of me knows that it has the ability to eject a stream of logical arguments refuting the puerile notion that love is what most of us need. During the rare occasions in which I felt my resolve wavering, I could always piece together enough evidence to prevent myself from falling prey to the moment of weakness. Because of that, I find myself gradually and unconsciously shaping my life in preparation for a financially comfortable but potentially emotionally bland future.
So what changed me?
No, I still stay strong to my belief that chick flicks are created to deceive the impressionable minds of vulnerable teenage girls, creating an almost unattainable image of a knight in shining armour which a good portion might use as a predetermined standard for potential spouses in the future. No, I was not fortunate enough to find my own Prince Charming who had swept me off my feet, revitalising my faith in love and fulfilling my own fantasy. No, I have not stumbled upon a fairytale couple in reality whose picturesque life will drive onlookers green with envy. I think, instead of a monumental incident which had drastically altered my beliefs and uprooted the basic fabric of life I had been trying to achieve, it was more of an almost unnoticeable accumulation of personal experience along with occasional stimuli brought by thought provoking and inspirational literary pieces which coaxed me into my conclusion today.
It took me a while to notice, but the happiest moments of my life are centred around close interactions with those I hold dear; in which the duration is just another figure, but the conversations and even the simplest of motions bring about comforting sentimentality. I don’t consider myself a particularly clingy or possessive person who craves for attention and physical contact; in fact, I find myself quite the opposite, preferring to interact only if my path so happens to cross that of another. While the heavens have bestowed upon me a wonderful circle of friends and family who will always provide me with warmth and support even in the darkest of times, distance and awkward effort (mostly from my end) have started taking their toll. That I believe was what brought the pertinence of this issue to light.
I find myself unconsciously reminiscing about long casual conversations in various cafés; lying around in my room silently, listening to the almost therapeutic hum of the air conditioning unit; gazing at faceless strangers who hustled by while occasionally spinning absurdly hilarious tales for them; contemplating the mysteries of the universe before proceeding to a light-hearted banter on fashion, how the jump in subject was made eluding us once more. It has always been these seemingly insignificant events embedding themselves most firmly in your memories: the subtle whiff of coffee and gingerbread, the animated chatter of others in the vicinity, the playful sparkle in their eyes or even the nervous wrinkle of the nose which I have grown both accustomed to yet acutely aware of. It was never the compliments on the new dress I was wearing, or the slightly wistful congratulations I had received on my achievements which I remembered distinctly; it was usually the most uneventful and ordinary of events which lingered with astonishing clarity. The pride and elation of supposed milestones in one’s life long forgotten, yet the serenity and simple joy of casual company continue to persist.
As I mentioned earlier, perhaps this is merely the result of me tethering on the brink of adulthood, or maybe I had always believed it was such, but never had the courage to admit to something which I am (still) incapable of rationalising. Although I see the practical merits of striving for a financially abundant life with a compromising partner, I find it hard to believe that I will derive even emotional contentment from such an arrangement. Despite knowing that I will be able to survive in such an environment, a part of me immediately fills with dread and utmost reluctance when I am reminded of losing the more significant things which I could have called my own.
I want to be able to wake up in the morning and take comfort in the knowing that there will always be people who truly love and care for me; I want to be greeted with a tender kiss when I return home from another exhausting day at work; I want to wake up to the aroma of coffee brewing in the kitchen; I want to catch up with dear friends while strolling casually in the park; I want to curl up on the couch with those I love and let our wandering minds lead our aimless conversations. Perhaps this is the romantic in me speaking, but I feel, I know that the satisfaction I will gain from such a life, given sufficient financial stability, will infinitely surpass that of material abundance and tolerance.
I don’t need an extravagant lifestyle, I don’t need to head a multi-national corporation, I don’t need to revolutionise the world; I will be content with a perfectly ordinary existence. As long as I have the love and care of those I hold dear interspersed in my otherwise necessary banal routine, to me, that is equivalent to realising my own fairytale. All I really want is to be happy, is that too much to ask for?
On hindsight, maybe the rediscovery of my love for fandoms and ships helped reignite my love and need to write once more.