Lim: Rebirth

I AM the same yet different each year. This is how I like to see myself every year—the same person but slightly different, somehow reborn after having seen some light the past year.

“I want a different job—you know, a job that actually gets done,” my sister tells me. It’s Good Friday and both of us are typing away on our computers. I look at her and say, “It’s not the job. It’s the person.”

You see, we are the kind of people whose jobs never get done because we always want to do more. Because after one task gets done, we look for another one. Or because after we have mastered a skill, we want to learn a new one. And because after so carefully crafting the words, seconds after submission, we realize we could have used better ones.

So the job never gets done—the job of always trying to be better and to do better.

I look at my desk and once more, it’s a mountain. The paperwork, somehow, never stops coming. Before leaving home for a trip, I always make a list of “what to do when I get back.” They say, don’t do everything so you have a reason to come back. That’s not exactly the reason for the list. The list exists because everything there didn’t get done.

When I was young, I was obsessed with the objective reality—I suppose because I was convinced rationality was the key to understanding the world. But I realized through time that the objective reality is probably an illusion as every person’s perception of the world is necessarily colored by her experiences and emotions.

How is it possible, after all, to see the world as it is, without interpreting it with our senses—senses that are constantly being filtered by ever-changing patterns of our brain? Perhaps, much of my pain was in knowing that my search for the objective reality would eventually end in futility.

But isn’t it possible that arriving at the objective reality is unnecessary just as arriving at the truth is when it serves no useful purpose?

I used to worship clarity, the absolute truth, the objective reality until the day I realized that perhaps, there are some things in life that must defy logic, that must be shrouded in mystery, that must be hedged on faith, that cannot be subject to deconstruction without complete destruction, hence, we must let them be.

Isn’t it possible that the job never gets done because God wants us to always strive for better? Isn’t it possible that my desk never gets cleared because my time is not up and God wants me to come back? Isn’t it possible that it is perfectly okay with God for us to be slightly mad, constantly overthinking and perpetually seeking enlightenment?

I am the same yet different each year. This is how I like to see myself—constantly evolving, perpetually reinventing, always being reborn after having seen some light in the past year.
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