Σοφία

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Wisdom.

My name has always been and will ever be associated with its Greek meaning. Carrying this name around has its burden; the burden of being wise. Now, the question stands am I wise? But one thing is for sure, I’ve accumulated the wisdom I need throughout my stay in the university. Each year a new one, an encompassing one:

1st Year College: Culture-shock – not. This is it; take a risk!
Most of us step into college differently. There was no debriefing about how we should behave. I find college difficult. I am compelled to study every night just to fail every time. That’s one step to toughening up the courage for the dreams – the first thing I learned. But one day, I feel restless: “Is it still worth fighting for? Is this the life I want to live?” always lurk around me.

This was the major turning point, the divergent road – no room for mistake, just the wise choice – to have balls and spine. I guess to be comfortable with yourself, have 1) the courage to 2) make choices and 3) take responsibility no matter the outcome because 4) you own them; they are yours to live for. My choice brings me to where I am; the beautiful and the disgusting, the honorable and the shameful, the successful and the failures, the perfection and the flaws, the wise and the stupid – makes Sophia at the present, “but hey, I am proud of me – for taking risks, nobody chose for me.”

2nd Year College: Explore, basically just leap!
Culture shock kicks in – everything looks different, liberated. These what welcomes me, but no I wasn’t scared, I was thrilled. It was like I was kicked outside of my comfort zone. I carry this to heart. Nothing worthy comes easy, for me to do so I have to be a brave soul by experiencing and existing as much – not by doing vices, but basically by living outside the confines of our usual four-corner room, because true learning is when you apply and live out what you’ve been learning.

And of course, sometimes you fail in doing so – there are mistakes, and most of the times learning from mistakes is what stays because it stings. Take this to heart and be bold, you have nothing to fear for. Everything, everything sums up to who you are going to be, because along the way it dawned that: there was more to life than just blending in; being different is living.

3rd Year College: Living in chaos
And so differences ensue; misunderstanding comes in and fights broke out.

Though we know nothing is fully controllable, we still try to – stubborn to be resilient. Everyone has their own beliefs and battles to die for; a clash of titans. We fight, we get wounded, we bleed; the thing is not the hearts that we lay bare when we’re weak. Rather it is the strength, we had in our very veins, that we can heal for the world to see; that these are battle scars – proofs that we are warriors in our own right. But this sound righteous, self-centered. It is not enough to be strong, to only fight.

What makes our battles meaningful is to know when to step back, to retreat (because we understand that some just can’t). It will always be honorable fighting a battle without raising armor and shooting bullets: it is essential to learn when weapons are wasted, when to leave; not because we are defeated but the battlefield isn’t ready yet and needs time to be one. Usually, these are the stubborn battlefields you should not be intruding because sometimes, it is meant for others to fight – one of the reasons, is maybe you are not at par with each other and you should be conquering a battle more worthy of fighting and bloodshed. Living virtuously is a valor, a fake warrior who only knows how to fight cannot afford, only a true warrior can.

4th Year College: Being human(e)?
A warrior may need a comrade. At times, we find these comrades in the most unexpected places.

I was able partake in a cultural student exchange in Malaysia for a week. What really puts me in awe is these people I’ve learned to call home in a supposed cold-homeless-country I am never part of, was something I did not see coming nor expected by supposed-strangers in a foreign land.

Going back to my own land, I thought that laying my heart bare doesn’t seem so bad at all. That if we could care less being a warrior and being kind, sometimes, makes life (already hard on its own) lighter and easier; that it’s not about fighting, retreating and surviving (and hiding our flesh in the armors we wear), it’s about getting out of our shells and connecting with people.

The way we live our lives depends on how we want to live it – though some people make it hard for us. But it shouldn’t get in the way of what make things work for us – on what makes us happy, on what keeps us going. Because if we disregard all of these together, we forget who we are in the first place – that we are humans breathing, living a life above all else created, and most of all, we are more than human – we are humane. And disregarding the call of humanity makes our living less of an existence – the profound disgrace to the beauty of our living.

I guess, when I gave in to the call of humanity is the starting point where I truly appreciated the life I am leading and the world I am living in (both the good and the bad) – that I am just more than a breathing creature for I’ve found a home in a foreign land, in my own land; I guess it doesn’t matter where you are, as long as there’s humanity, there’s home, that makes me a human one with humanity.

5th Year College: Finding homeostasis

Sometimes, journeys take longer than it should be. We brought experiences with ourselves along the way, and we meet people from different walks of life– some passed by, some left a mark, some stayed for as long as the sun eats them alive – and these are the people we never expected to grow within us, who helped us shaped the person who we are – yet. And sometimes, we find ourselves at home, not just with them, but with ourselves.

That leads me to realization, that my life in this year, is summed up together that everything combined is that it’s humanity right there in the picturesque brilliance in the imperfection of perfection of my brokenness and how I mended it. And same goes to you (probably). That we were able to understand that that something we’ve gone through made us today – an exquisite identity, with all the clarity and ambiguity, suffering and pleasure, laughter and cries, love and hate, friendship and enemies, strangers and families – we are made of all of these and that comes in-betweens: the marvel of how we are sculpted is always better than the glory after our construction.

But it does not end here – because we keep on growing, on telling stories and on leaving footprints – and we don’t finish brilliance, we continue living with it for we are an unfolding art.

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