Monday, January 19, 2015


It began with fireworks, first in little spurts of colour, then gradually getting louder and higher and subsequently bursting into a shower of light. The crowd cheers in excitement. People are laughing and hugging and hooking their pinky fingers in a show of affirmation. I’m standing silently by the bridge, overlooking the river lit by the parade of glow sticks, letting the laughing groups of people go past behind me.

It’s not quite new, neither is it nearly the end. I’m on the carriage of the train and it’s only the middle of the journey. Dresses, nappies, new home keys dangle from the doors and people start getting off in anticipation. The number on board dwindles, and I fight the urge to get off with them, clutching staunchly onto my pen and notebook. The train stops again, and the young lady sitting opposite me gets up to join the alighting passengers. She briefly turns to me and gestures for me to follow her, but I shake my head and point to my ticket – “This isn’t my stop yet.” She gives me a sympathetic, pitiful look as she wishes me well. I smile back at her and the train starts up again, doors shutting out the noise of the party on the platform.

It certainly is tough being the one sitting there. It’s like being in a state of limbo, not knowing what awaits and not knowing how much longer and harder it will be. Sometimes it feels too easy to just throw in the towel and crawl out of the ring, battered and crying in defeat. Other times we want to push on just a little bit harder, just a little bit more and maybe, we’ll come out succeeding. But why are some battles harder than others? Why are some journeys fraught with less obstacles or none at all, yet lead the person to the same destination? How did we end up with the shorter end of the stick, and them with the liquid gold?

Life certainly isn’t fair like that. Life doesn’t care how much effort we put in, how kind we are, or the amount of sacrifices we make. So if we remember this, we’ll realise that we are not being punished with difficult obstacles. We’ll realise that those who sail through to the top are not being rewarded for some sort of purported invisible kindness or goodness that they possess. Life does not have a methodical reward or punishment system, as much as we’d like to think there is one.

So wherever you are now, remember to keep pushing on to the end. You are here not because it is your fault but because life just is. The battle is not done. Let go of the bitterness and put aside the fatigue, and let life keep taking you places.

Sending love to everyone, and especially to those who feel like they're still struggling midway