By MEI-FERN CHONG
A dear friend said the other day, “I wish life would just sprint ahead, instead of jogging”. Facing her final year in university, she was feeling the pressure of needing to know and decide on what she was going to do the rest of her life once the year was up. I had told her that things will come in time, which prompted the sprinting versus jogging reply.
Reflecting on her answer though, I knew just how many times I myself had felt (and still do) the same – too many times. I also wasn’t lying when I told her that things will come in time, because I firmly believe that. If there is anything I’ve learnt in my 23 years, it is that most things in life we have to grow into – which means time and time and more time is needed. The fruit does not ripen, the apple does not become an apple overnight.
Still, thinking that way does not make the present any easier to bear sometimes. How difficult it sometimes feels live in an uncertain present, to not know, to need to know.
I wonder sometimes if we are not too focused on end goals in life; that we are taught to put too much emphasis on the getting instead of the journey, the actual act of walking a path towards the prize. Through my own experiences, in the things I am seeing, in the books I am reading, in the people I am listening to, I am beginning to think we do not encourage and acknowledge enough the virtue of the journey. Do we realize then, that the journey is vital in getting to anywhere?
How do we expect to get to a certain end if we do not take the time to walk the path that leads to that end in the first place?
Why do we see only the end and disregard the journey when they are both parts of the same bigger picture?
Why do we pressure our young to achieve but never allow them the time they need, the time it takes to achieve?
Why do we not teach people to enjoy the walk, when really, we spend most of our life walking. We walk one path and reach one finish line, but there will always be another walk ahead of us. It’s an imbalance I think, to expect achievement and knowing to materialize without respecting the natural occurrence and need for the exploring and learning.
These days, I’m trying harder to breathe in the journey to getting somewhere. Maybe because deep down, I know the ‘getting’ will never end. There will always be something bigger, something further out to reach to. The chasing never ends. In that rationale, I figure the journey is something we are meant to immerse ourselves in, to enjoy, to take time to breathe in and be with.
You know the cliché, ‘it’s the journey that matters’? Yeah, that one. I’m beginning to think I should take that cliché to heart.
Click here for more articles.