I signed up to Writing 101 with a vision that I would complete every assignment thrown my way. It worked out that way the first two weeks but life seem to catch on the last two weeks and I ended up completing 3/4 of the writing assignments. I want to go back and complete everything. But whether or not I do it remains to be seen.
I don’t feel too bad about it though. I tried. And though it wasn’t perfect, it was a decent reboot. I also think that these changes reflect the changes in me. A few years back, I never would’ve let things slide of as they did. I would’ve fought tooth and nail to finish everything. I do everything that I need to do. It’s just the way that I was.
But things do change eventually. And I am not the same person that I was. I am not as productive but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing anymore. I do as much as I can, but I want to carry with me an important lesson that I learned—my value is beyond my productivity. I am not just a clog in the machine. I am not a machine. I am not simply a capitalist product. My value is not equal to the products that I have produced in my lifetime.
It’s important to rest and take things slow sometimes. It’s important to breathe. It’s important to spend time with your loved ones. It’s important to be alone. It’s important to do nothing. It’s important to be unproductive.
Being busy has become a badge of honour in today’s society. Everyone seems to be so proud in being able to say that they are too busy. But it is not honourable to be too busy to live. Sometimes, it is just as important to stay out of the glaring sun. Or to watch the leaves fall, to smell the flower bloom. Or to watch the sky darken and see the splatter of rainfall.
There is also the notion of the fear of missing out. But keeping up with everything often results in missing out of the present moment. Catching up with the news 24/7 means you miss what is right in front of you. You don’t smell the richness of coffee and taste the melty, buttery, flakey pastry. You don’t feel the chocolate melt in your mouth. Or inhale the aroma of food you cooked yourself.
If there’s something we should be afraid of, we should be afraid of missing out on the laughter to be shared with friends. Or cuddling under the comforter while watching your favorite TV show. It’s more fearful to miss things like the sand between your toes and the salty wind in your hair, rather than pounding on your keyboard or phone screens.
There’s so much to miss. But it’s not on Facebook or social media. It’s not on the latest news or gadgets. It’s not in the wildest of parties.
It’s in the ephemeral moment that you cannot capture with Instagram. It’s the smell and feel of things. Things that you glimpse of when you slow down. It’s beyond productivity, beyond income, beyond the self as the capital.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you would’ve read my writings about social issues as well. That is close to my heart and it is something that I hope I will never leave out. There is an ongoing battle to fight. But I have to admit that I cannot fight 24/7. I sometimes stop.
I didn’t go to the Labor Day rally. I went to the beach with my friends and colleagues. I swam and ate and rested. I went snorkelling for the very first time. I saw colourful corals and fishes in the deep ocean. I burned my skin off doing this. It felt amazing.
I went back to face all the keyboard warriors. I engaged some, I ignored some. I do what I can and I call on to others to do the same. As much as I possibly can. But I also face the guilt that I cannot do it all and I cannot do it consistently. It seems that I cannot do enough, but I also cannot stop. Such is life. We cannot live it perfectly but we live it anyway.
It’s the same with writing, I guess. I would never be able to do it perfectly, but I will continue to do it anyway. Perhaps I will continue on developing this expression. The only way to know for sure is to keep on doing and keep on trying.
What I really appreciate about Writing 101 is how supportive everyone has been to each other. We critique but at the same time build each other up as a community. Everyone tries to be as encouraging as they can in each other’s writing. This has not been the case in social media. A lot of times, people would look for holes that they can attack and gravitate to. It’s a very demoralising practise. It also incites fear of saying something wrong and fear of writing in general. But with Writing 101, there are a number of people out there to support writing, at whatever level you are. There are differing opinions but offered in a very healthy manner. I am truly grateful.
I will publish my post for Day 20 several days late. And I have about 4 more posts to catch up on. And I really hope to do it before the Commons close. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But the more important lesson here is to continue writing, no matter what. And to keep on the positivity, whether in a past pace or slow. I hope to have more experiences to write about, the motivation to write it, and people to share it with.
It’s been a good run. And more to come.