we grow older with every passing year
as the clock slowly ticks by
and the grains of sand become heavier and heavier
we look back with a gleam of hope
to see how far the tracks we have left stretch
so as not to get lost in our perpetual meanderings
to something better
Every year, I am pleasantly surprised when I get the notification that I am a year older (in Hive birthday years). A year passes so quickly and so many things happen in a year. Last year this time feels like a week ago, time does not slow down it accelerates. Last year this time I got the news that I would be teaching a module at the university, a first step so to speak in the direction of becoming a lecturer. Last year this time I was in a new relationship, beginning to build on something special. Last year this time I had no idea that I would be posting every single day for a whole year. Last year this time I also still had no answer to the concrete question "What am I doing with my life."
But since that year, so much has happened. So many new footsteps have been placed on the ever-expanding stretch of footsteps that I am accumulating. I have accumulated so many thousands of words, written here and in my PhD, articles, and in general. I have taken so many amazing photographs of my beautiful girlfriend, of our beautiful country, and of so much that nature has to offer. I have written countless poems, a novella, thousands of educational posts (focusing on my little niche world in philosophy), and hundreds of musings.
Along this journey, so many tears were cried, so many flights to a from my home, so many disruptions that have been put on our road, so many crazy things. I have drunk so many beers, eaten so many smash burgers, harvested tons of rocket (figuratively speaking), and read not nearly enough Stephen King novels. It feels like I am living my dream, I have loved ones around me, I am finishing my PhD, and I am hopefully getting my articles published. Yet, I am also in this liminal space from which I cannot escape. I am just waking up in the morning to begin to write, to begin to do research. Coffee, study, sleep, repeat. Something along those lines. I am on the path to something, yet I am not aware of the destination. But that is merely life.
How many of us really know where we are headed? Whilst we can bask in the knowledge that things are "okay-ish" for the moment, we also need to jump into the chaos, the disruptions, and the uncertainty. In those trying times, you get stronger. You go to the gym to stress your muscles so that they can grow. We need to stress ourselves to get stronger and to grow. Easier said than done really. But true nonetheless.
Along the journey, we realise how lucky we are to be alive. I am always reminded by the idea of philosopher Martin Heidegger, we are violently thrown into a world not of our making. We did not choose, we were merely "picked" and thrown into the world. And some of us did not get lucky with where we were born and all of those things. Some of us are not lucky in terms of what friends and family we have. I can continue with so many things. But what has been central in my life is to just be appreciative of what you have, what cards life dealt you, and what you make of it all. My dad always says, don't just do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do. And this is my life's philosophy if I live by one.
So, in some sense, this post is also just an appreciative nod and a thank you into the void (or for anyone who is reading this) that has come along on this journey. Community requires people, interaction, support, and so on. And one can merely say thank you for what you are offered, for what you get, for the friends you make, for what life deals you.
Cheers, to another six years (and more).
All of the musings in this post are my own. The photograph/image used in this post is an amalgamation of various photographs I used throughout the year. I link the posts below, photographs from left to right.