The sun rises and the stars vanish. The sky changes hues faster than I can observe them all. For me, the prospect of any form of change is daunting: a new semester; losing something I’ve treasured for long; the end of a story; saying goodbye to someone close to me. The sand continues falling through the hourglass.
Change is not easy to deal with when I can’t see it coming. I can’t brace myself for that moment when I feel as if my (seemingly) unchanging world has tumbled around me; I realize I can never take things or people for granted.
I reluctantly close the finished book. I even turn it over on its back, faintly hoping that some pages just might magically appear. Another birthday is coming around and spring is making way for summer. People, having played their role in my lives, slowly metamorphose into strangers; some are gone forever, leaving me only with regret for unspoken thoughts.
In the midst of grappling my way through this ever-evolving maze, I struggle to find the tiniest foothold that would be my firm ground. Something that would never change. Something I could hold on to for eternity for reassurance, something that would be my North Star when the world around me didn’t make sense. It is self-belief. That no matter how many times my world tumbled around me, I could make it right one more time. And perhaps even allow myself a chuckle or two at its tumbled resplendence.
My world isn’t going to remain the way it is for long either. It will change, and then, just as I get settled into the present, my world will change again. So, what do I do? Constantly brace myself and wait for life to hand me the next surprise? But, what if I choose to take up this challenge? To adapt to the change as best as I can, knowing fully well that I will have to change again, yet revel in each experience and each moment I have and learn from each person I meet.
One story ends, only for me to eagerly discover many new ones. With every 942 million kilometers that I traverse around the sun, I gain wisdom from my experiences and make my mark on the world. Misty winter mornings make way for warm afternoons where I can see motes of dust suspended in sunbeams, reminding me that changing seasons moderate the climate on our planet, enabling our survival. I meet new people and make new friends. The uncertainty of life teaches me to live each moment to the fullest and to never hesitate in voicing my appreciation or gratitude for someone.
Stepping back, I look at the entire sky. I catch sight of a shooting star. It’s gone in a second, but in that second, it made me smile, and that’s all that matters. I turn the hourglass over.