It was just a day like any other. Roads are paved and re-paved. Buildings climb without rest. Yet it also marks a step into a new year, ushering in a new beginning of renewed expectations and rekindled resolutions. Parents studiously pack their children’s schoolbags and iron their uniforms, once more pinning their hopes for the future in the generation they have brought forth to nurture.
It’s the time of the year again, journalists, bloggers, and just about everyone else become strangely obsessed with making lists. I have found it perplexing how we readily accept and find comfort in such lists.
“5 things you’ll learn being a waiter,”
“10 ways to change your life for the better,”
“100 best places to find The One.”
I can’t say I’m the least interested to glance through such articles, but it intrigues me how rarely do we question their provenance, and by association, their credibility. Perhaps it isn’t necessary, especially when we find ourselves in satisfying agreement with some, if not all, of the points expressed. I’m not pointing to particular websites like Thought Catalog; besides, if responsibility was to be sought, readers shouldn’t be taking any less blame than writers, for it’s simply an issue of supply and demand.
This market of encouragement, borderline self-delusion, and eager persuasion is a testament of our taste for injecting meaning into the most mundane things, not excluding ‘special’ days like yesterday. While I can’t bring myself to enjoy such comfort with full conviction, I am no less guilty of following the fad by associating life as a pursuit of dreams.
Dreams, they can be such powerful symbols of our persistence, yet they can feel so hollow at the same time. After all, they are mere figments of thought, perhaps wishful-thinking. Embracing them is an implicit recognition that the future is ‘less’ pre-determined than the past (because our present actions are capable of driving us to our intended destinations), or that there is meaning in any form of pursuit, regardless of the actual destination. The former reason calls for pure faith, believing that what we do now will get us there some day. The latter demands more, because it means for us to accept that hollow as the very nature of dreams and strive endlessly into the future.
Whatever the reason is, we will continue our tireless march towards our ideals; it’s the only way forward. And along this grand arrow of time, there is little harm in finding sanctuary, ascribing meanings to the tiniest details in those brief yet special moments. The turqoise cups atop the Spirit Duette, the aptly imperfect tulip on my latte, and the expressive sour tinges of the blood-orange yoghurt cake. The setting of Necessary Provisions inspires the idea of a transient
breathe in a dying gasp peace in the relentless chaos, with its lengthy glass windows overlooking the quiet neighbourhood and a vintage fixie-bike surviving the passing of time. Hospitable service, nutty bread, and untamed mustard made my beef pastrami sandwich ever more delicious. Add a chance encounter with a formal colleague, and you have the recipe to concoct a work-free day without complains. What a great way to start a new year!
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