On the unknown aspect of time

Dear quarter lives,

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? – that question always made me anxious; I guess because I struggled to see myself anywhere with any certainty. And as much anxiety uncertainty can cause us, I believe certainty has that ability too. If you knew exactly how the next 10 years of your life will unfold, you would cry. You would cry at the triumphs, you would cry at the losses, but most of all you would cry because you can’t imagine how you’ll get through it all, but you will. You will survive all of it, and not because your survival is certain but because it is uncertain. It is the uncertainty that gives us hope, it is the uncertainty of how it will all turn out that makes us fight. It is that very uncertainty that nurtures within us our own special faiths — sometimes in god but mainly in ourselves. It is because we don’t exactly know how we’ll get there that we get there. It is all because we don’t know that we are still here, still surviving, still making it.

My whole life I’ve been trying to know as much as I can about myself, about life, about everything really. Why? Because I thought knowledge gave me a better chance at surviving. It is ironic that it is in fact because of all the things I don’t know that I keep on trying. It is the uncertainty of our futures that pushes us forward. It is precisely because we don’t know that we try. It is because we don’t know that we have hope for the future to be better. It is that very hope that pushes humanity forward. It is that very uncertainty that is behind all progress. And this for me was the most profound realisation I have had in a while — the very thing that I have feared my entire life is actually the very thing keeping me alive. And now instead of feeling powerless at all the unknowns in my life, I can feel empowered. Now, I can finally rest in the present without feeling so daunted and overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the future trusting these very uncertainties to get me exactly where I need to be. May you, may I, may we all find peace in the present moment.

With love and hope,

S.A.

December 8, 2020

10.34 a.m.

Sakkara, Egypt

It is always hardest on the first day.

Dear quarter lives,

It is always hardest on the first day. It is always easiest too. It is a matter of Expectation. And it is always on the first day that Expectation is most deceiving. It arrives prepared with a map to an outcome illuding us into trusting it, into trusting that Expectation knows the way; that it will take us to where it said it would. But little do we know, especially on the first day. We are scared, so we follow. We forget that we have our own map imprinted inside of us, so we trust another. We cannot seem to access our inner voice, so we deem it inexistent. And suddenly, and so effortlessly, we find ourselves trapped in a room of Expectation without a door in sight, trapped to stay, trapped to be disappointed. And we soon realise, that it is only the first day, and somehow that makes it a little easier because we still have Time on our side. So confronted with Expectation and aided by Time, it is always hardest and easiest on the first day. 

And it is on the first day, too, trapped in a room of Expectation and sheltered by a ceiling of Time, that we realise there is very little we can do. We realise that all we can do is be still and do nothing. And that, too, is always hardest and easiest on the first day. And it is then that we realise, too, that someone else is in the driving seat, and that we are in fact just observers to this journey narrating a story created by someone else. And like all observers and all narrators, we cannot control what happens. We can only watch it happen and tell the story from our perspective. All we can really control is how we observe. And then a day will come when the driver will arrive at a crossroads and ask, “Which road should we take?”, to remind you of the map you seem to have forgotten inside. And it is then that we must consult our innermost selves and listen carefully for the directions advised by our inner voice. And to be able to choose wisely, dear quarter lives, one must learn to listen well. We need not choose often. We need not act often, but we must listen always. And listening, too, is always hardest and easiest on the first day.

It is always the first day. 

S.A.