A year Pt 2

So, you may understand that I didn’t think much of my life at that time, and I wasn’t planning on furthering the suffering for much longer. I had given up everything at that time, notably my studies, I stopped going to class, it wasn’t worth it anymore, I didn’t study on my own, I just spent the days in my room, not doing anything, watching my life go down in flames, I failed more tests than I could count, and I wasn’t the least bothered by it.

Liberated from my religious restraints, I was, at last, free to experiment. First, came the smoking, I didn’t  think much of my life, let alone be bothered if I was breathing cancer into my lungs, I wanted to die, who cares if I smoked. Then, came the alcohol, all the beer I drank trying to escape for a few hours the terrible reality that I called life.

Then, on a lovely Saturday morning, as I came out of a physics test that bored me out of my mind, I learned that my grandmother had passed away. It’s strange that I spent the majority of my life at my granny’s house, I was even raised by her and I loved her as my mother, it’s strange that you spend most of your life with someone, but you’re not with them when they die, instead you’re rotting away in some miserable university away from them. I don’t know how my grandmother died, I don’t understand how she got sick while I was away, all I know is that I wasn’t by her side when she passed away, and that is a regret I will hold all my life.

Her death was absurd, just like everything else, but it made me realize that the existence of some people can have a great impact on your life, my grandmother didn’t revolutionize science, nor did she end world hunger, all she did was do right by me and I loved her for that. That was the purpose of life, to leave a positive mark on someone’s life. Life is hard, and you can choose to give up on it if you wish, but if you choose to live on, know that there are some beautiful people like my grandmother who will make the journey bearable.

At that moment, I hated how my life had turned out to be, I hated my university, I hated the field I chose, I drifted away from my parents and I felt that I had made a mistake, and I wasn’t going to be able to recover, I wanted to give up on engineering, I wanted a second chance at something else. And, so I had a talk with my father, told him I hated myself for being stuck there. He told me, nothing in life was easy, you can’t get whatever you want,  if I didn’t like engineering, I just have to succeed in it, get a degree then do whatever I wanted. I had to force myself through something I disliked and force myself to appreciate it, because that’s the reality of life.

I forced myself to get out of my rut, during the last couple of months of this year, I can’t say I’ve achieved phenomenal results, but I can say it was during the last months that I actually sat down on a desk and studied, even if it may be too late and I may be expelled from the university, I’m glad I got to work and tried, that I conquered whatever feeling of fear or fright that came whenever I faced something that I didn’t understand and felt like an idiot.

Life is a constant effort, you give it meaning by that constant effort, whether you succeed or fail, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you tried.

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A year Pt1

A year has gone by and it’s the first time I feel that something actually changed. This year has had its fair share of “firsts”, it’s the first year I tasted independence, it’s the first year outside a community I belonged to for years, it’s the first year I spend without seeing your face and it’s the first year I lost someone close.

A year ago, I received my high school diploma and had no idea what I was going to do with it. I had so many choices on what career to pursue, and I finally chose engineering. Frankly, I wasn’t too eager but I thought no matter how it turns out to be I was going to stick with it and succeed.

And, so a summer went by, full of anticipation of what was to come. Came September, I left home to the dorm room n°303, in the capital. The first two days were days of exploration, we had the school to ourselves, a whole city to ourselves and it was time we learned to be independent, and did whatever we wanted. Freedom at last!

Lessons started on a Thursday and it didn’t quite meet my expectations, the teachers were a disappointment and the courses intimidating. Then, came the homework, and I realized I didn’t understand a single word, I felt like an idiot. It was then that I started feeling the fear and the general malaise that will intensify over the course of the year.

The first two weeks were normal, I hadn’t felt any changes. It was the same life, the same thoughts, the same feelings, the same me. But, as the weeks went by, a general depression overtook me, and it seemed all the bad moments I had witnessed over the years started coming back to me, and I started evaluating everything that had ever happened to me.

You see, during high school, I had met many teachers who influenced the way I thought about life. I was a man of deep faith back then, but I had a deep inclination towards the old Greek tragedies where the heroes defied the gods, and breathed life into their creations as if they were gods… and I was introduced by one of my teachers to a thought movement led by Camus, Sartre and many philosophers that argued for the absurdity of our existence. As a religious man, I never gave the question of our existence or its purpose much thought. So, as I read “L’étranger”, “Le mythe de Sysiphe”,”L’été”…  And, attended the philosophy courses, where one openly studied the gods of the ancient and how they were created by the conscience due to a natural human fear of the unknown… I started looking, beyond my naïve religious arguments, for a purpose.

My religious beliefs started evolving from taking the literal meaning of the religious scripture to a more open belief that the text was open for interpretation. But, during the first months of this year, I found myself tearing apart the foundations of my belief, and gradually accepting it as an illusion. A God can not actually exist, he is, as is religion, a product of the fertile imagination of mankind. I had to face then, the absurdity of my existence, what is stopping me from putting an end to a life that was meaningless and unpleasant.

I had suffered all of my life of loneliness. A trend that started from when I was a child and I used to stay hours on end, on the roof of my grandmother’s house staring at the city. Later on, at school, I felt unable to connect with anyone, which resulted in a general feeling that I couldn’t be loved, that I was unworthy of it. But, you see, the only pleasure in life comes from loving and being loved in return, I loved over the course of my life but, it wasn’t reciprocated.