Sunday, December 19, 2004


After more than twenty two years of living, I know that life is difficult. Not that I'm itching to kill myself and be done with it all (although it is tempting), but adversity is part and parcel of living a full life. Let's face it, even choosing to live is a difficult choice.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not being nihilistic nor pessimistic. Sure, we do have great moments in our lives. We actually have lots of memorable moments, experiences that we treasure. But if we carefully examine those memories, we'll remember that more often than not, those memories were memorable because of the problems we faced. Perhaps the most common would be our memories of school, for example. We were students once, and nearly every student hates exams. Who doesn't? I'm sure each and every one of us has a memory of a certain exam. Perhaps we failed it. Perhaps we overcame it. The latter would probably be a joyful moment tinged with pain as we remember the nights that we had to study for that exam (or perhaps how lucky we were and how fate has been kind to us). So difficulty is actually ever-present, and as long as we continue on living, we will face problems.

Choosing to live is a difficult choice. It means we're asking to continue with our responsibilities, continue with our burdens, and perhaps more importantly, continue with our hopes and dreams. And nothing breaks a person more than being unable to find the fulfillment they want in their life. I don't think I need to explain when this emotion comes around. It might be whenever we encounter failure or disappointment. Or perhaps it's what some people call a mid-life crisis. Or perhaps it's when we're disgruntled by our jobs, or have conflict with the people we live with. It's a common occurence. For some people, it doesn't stay that way. They overcome it. For others, they cope with it or else it might drive them mad. I'm one of the latter people. I'm taking steps to overcome it, but sometimes, it's simply not working. It seems as if the entire world is working against me. Why oh why must it happen to me?

It's really too much to bear for one person. Yet somehow, we survive. We make it to the next day, the day after that, and the day following that day. We all have coping strategies of our own. For me, one of them is having faith. It's faith in God, faith in my parents, faith in my friends, faith in humanity in general. Without faith, I'd probably end my life now, with this entry as my suicide note.

I look at myself and I'm a boy who has an undergraduate degree yet can't find a job. There are bills to pay. It's not just a problem of the now. It's also a problem of the future. I don't intend on being dependent on my parents until the day they die. They deserve better. I deserve better. I'm willing to work hard. I'm wiling to learn. Yet why is all this happening to me?

In the end, it doesn't matter what I'm disgruntled with. It might be school, it might be work, it might be relationships, whatever. As long as I choose to live, those kinds of emotions are inevitable. It's part of living life, it's part of how we grow. How else will I become a better person? How else will I be able to help myself? How else will I be able to help other people?

Marx would probably call me a fool. I have nothing to base my faith on. Even philosophers have waged the never-ending dispute whether a God exists or not. And humanity, for all the good that it's done in the past, has a long history of wars, betrayal, and self-destruction. Yet I still believe. Not because I have no choice to believe in anything else, but rather because I choose to believe. Just as I choose to live.

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