He travelled to all four corners of the earth in search of the light. And he got nothing but scars to show for it. And one fateful day he found something strange. It was neither dark nor bright, some called it twilight, others called it nebula. So the poet accepted his fate and made his peace with it. He made his peace with darkness.
A letter to Aurora
I missed the coming of the sun
On the morning you ran across the sky.
I really wish I hadn’t, for now my destiny seems hazy
And these walls! They drive me crazy
Maybe you can talk to Sol, or Lunar!
Because on those nights I lie awake in the dark
It’s the moon and stars that give me hope
And just before dawn, I always hear your footsteps
Then you whisper a new day, and new light!
Oh! Believe me, I do hear your footsteps every morning
Not because they wake me, but because my eyelids can’t shut out the darkness
I watch you make your voyage across the heavens
To announce the coming of a new sun
I miss those days, when we all had faith in the light
When a new sun came with a new hope
And there are days I want to roam the earth with you Aurora
In the hope that one day I’ll find the northern lights
Will you hold my hand? Will you hold me close?
So that I may not shatter when the bolts finally strike
Hold me whilst the lights do their magic
Maybe I’ll heal. Or maybe it’ll be tragic
So if it all goes south, promise to let me go
Leave my soul behind at the mercy of God
On a large rock in a tiny stream
Then the waters will wash away this agony
But if I should make it out alive
Teach me the ways of the mirthful
Show me, Aurora! Show me ‘Normal’
Because there are days I get so lost within myself I forget how ‘to be’
And on other days I wish I lived out of my head
Like a bird high up in the clouds, or a penguin at the poles
Teach me the difference between warm and cold
For cold I know, but warm I’m clueless
And just as slowly as I got to this point
Lead me away, far north, to see the northern lights
I always tell people that nothing good ever came out of the comfort zone. In fact, if anything, it’s the comfort zone that always holds us back. It keeps us from attaining our real potentials. As the title clearly states, I would love to discuss pain and how it is a catapult to achieve greater things!
First and foremost, lets define pain! In this article, I am not referring to physical pain much as in many ways it, too, can fit into this article. The pain I’m talking about is all those moments where life seems unbearable, that emotional turmoil that we, every now and then, have to go through. Pain is a universal feeling. By that, I mean, as long as you are human, you are going to have to deal with emotional turmoil whether you want it or not. Pain defines us, it puts a mark on who we really are on the inside. We build our characters more upon our painful experiences than upon our happiest moments. Pain is powerful because it changes us. Happiness on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily hold that power. I mean, its nice to be happy and all, it feels good. You want to be happy. But the fact is, being happy has that effect on you only in the moment but pain has effects that can stretch out into your whole life. Its effects are in the long term. And that’s why it actually matters. That’s why I think it matters more than happiness.
Now that we fully understand what pain is and the power it can have on us, how can we use that to our advantage really? Maybe to illustrate that, I’ll tell you a story from my childhood. So I lost my real father in 2001 (I was born in December 1999) so I never got to know him. But for most of my childhood, the concept of having two parents was unknown to me. I didn’t know that children had two parents because for me, having only one mother was the normal. And to be honest, it was enough because I don’t remember wanting anything more. When I turned 6 however, everything changed. I had to go to boarding school. Now for those of you who may not know what boarding school is, its simply normal school only that you actually stay at the school for the whole semester. There are always visiting days where parents can come and see their kids. So it was through these vising days that I came to understand that kids actually have two parents. A male and a female parent. I remember seeing all the other kids being held in both hands by both parents and it broke me.(Of course, I didn’t know that that was only the first of many, hahahaha). I remember being angry, enraged! At the time, my mother had moved and was working abroad so I couldn’t really discuss this with anyone. So I was stuck. I wanted to be like everyone else but the fact was I couldn’t. But this pain I felt for having only one parent changed me. I promised myself that I would do everything so that every other kid would instead want to be like me. Going through this turmoil at only six years changed me. It made me want to stand out. To be better than I was. I was angry and hungry. Angry at the situation and hungry to change it. From then on, I remember just becoming a model student in school. I had some of the best grades. And that didn’t change for a long time. (Of course until I met quantum Physics hahahahhaha)
I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I hadn’t felt that way at six years old. And every time I look back, I think that changed me, It made me the person I am today. In life, we all have our moments such as these. For me, that was the first of many. It could be death of loved one, loss of a job, being homeless, unrequited love, a bad heartbreak to mention but a few. Emotional pain is the same, no matter the cause. It only differs in magnitude but that’s purely subjective. So at the end of the day, its important to understand that, if something has happened, it actually has happened and that we cant alter the past.( I understand Physics says otherwise but lets limit ourselves to reality) But we indeed can change the future. We can do things that can have effect on what’s yet to happen.
And that’s how we should deal with pain. Pain should change us for the better. Pain should make you hungry. Hungry to move onto better things so that you don’t have to feel the same way. It should be a catapult to launch us to greater heights. That’s why pain actually matters. Because it changes us. Every time you go through some form of emotional pain, some kind of emotional turmoil, remember the power you possess. The power of pain. Know that you posses one of the greatest weapons that mankind has ever known. And be smart about it. Because it can also be used in the opposite way. And we don’t want that. An analogy is how humanity discovered nuclear energy. It could have been used for so much good, but because we only human, we used it to destroy each other. And as humans we are good at that. Our survival instinct sometimes misleads us. So be smart about it.
Pain shouldn’t be the end of it all. It should be the start of it all. And since I was six, that’s what its been for me. My painful experiences have simply been new starts. And trust me, you don’t want to know how many times I’ve had to start over! When I look back at how much I’ve changed over the years simply because I’ve been through bad experiences, I don’t regret it. Because its made me a better person. Its made me stronger, not just emotionally stronger but also physically stronger.(I mean, at one point I was benching 100kgs in the gym, and I’m barely 75kgs!)
You see, in life, I can’t guarantee you that everything is going to be okay. The fact is, it may be okay but it also may not! But I can guarantee you that you can become better, you can become the best version of yourself. And at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing. And being a better version of yourself doesn’t guarantee anything. Funny fact, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain correlation between how good you will be and how bad people will treat you. Its kind of like being nice is directly proportional to reject. Like I said last week, nice guys finish last! It’s like we don’t like nice people anymore, but this is a discussion for one my next blog post.(Its important to remember I’m only speaking my truth and my truth isn’t necessarily your truth)
So in conclusion, Pain is a powerful tool. Pain matters! Pain can change us, it can push us to achieve things we never would have if we didn’t have pain. We live in a difficult generation. A generation where everything has turned around. There is so much hate, so much suffering, so much heartbreak. Its like we’re on a mission to break each other. And in this world, we can learn to live with that pain in a positive way. The truth is, it does hurt. It really does. But when the hurt is all gone, and you see how far that pain launched you, you look back and realize there nothing to regret. You realize that you look forward to the next moment of weakness, so that you can even go further ahead. And if you need someone to talk to, I would love to listen to your stories. Thanks for reading this far. Have a good day and until next time, I remain your average guy, SOLOMON
As a young male, I’ve come to realise that the transition into adulthood from whatever stage comes before that, is one of the hardest things a man will go through. From the moment society stops considering one a child, the real world suddenly hits. You probably realise I haven’t written a thing for a while. I took some time off to reflect about my life and the world in general. In this time, I’ve tried to understand emotional intelligence, improve my emotional intelligence, come up with and improve time management strategies and basically taught myself to be more efficient and more organized. I’ve also battled insomnia for the last couple of months but that’s a discussion for another day.( I wrote this at around 3:45am)
Today, I wanted to talk about life! Life from the male perspective, from the nice guy perspective really. As a child, I remember growing up in a world that had so much love. I remember laughing, playing, screaming, crying, I remember feeling all these things and just being in a place where I felt safe emotionally. Then I grew up, and the contrast was overwhelming. So today I want to tell you guys about certain sad truths I’ve had to learn about life as an adult.
Disclaimer: By Truths, I refer to my Truths, I speak from my life’s perspective. And fact is, my truth may not necessarily be your truth. And that is totally fine
The concept of Happiness
It is no doubt that at the end of the day, happiness is our ultimate goal. Everything we do, is in one way or the other supposed to make us happy. Now, I’m sure we’ve all heard this statement somewhere, “Money can’t buy happiness”. But what is happiness really? Truth is, I cannot answer that question. Maybe happiness is simply being a child, childhood! But right now I honestly cant put a definition on the word happiness as I myself don’t understand it fully. What I can tell you is this: MONEY CAN IN FACT, TO A GOOD EXTENT, BUY HAPPINESS! One strong argument against this would be, ‘Solomon, as a child, you said you were happy and yet you didn’t have or even understand the concept of money’ to which I would reply: Well, the thing is, I have now learnt about money. And that’s something that’s hard to unlearn. We live in a very materialistic society. Society has in a way defined happiness by what we own. People will judge you on your financial situation. People will want to get closer to you if you have money ( Or should I say, society distances itself from you if you’re poor). And I wish I had known that earlier. I won’t go very deep into this but I just want you to think about it!
2). The Concept of Love
For this one, I am not even going to lie. I do not understand love or how it works, let alone how it feels. But what I really want to talk about is this:
a) Nice guys finish last; I grew up knowing that if you treated each and everyone with love and respect, they in return will love you back and respect you. I understood that that was the basic principle upon which society operated. Well, I’ve come to understand that that isn’t always true. This concept is even more pronounced when it comes to romantic love. Its kind of like, the nicer you are to a girl, the more like she is to reject you. I recently read Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, a political Science book. He talks about how a prince should rule his country and the various methods he should employ to achieve his ultimate goal. In summary, here is one quote from the book that really stood out for me:
“Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.”
It is very possible to treat someone with all the love and respect in the world, to be there for them, to treasure them and simply love them honestly, and still have them hate you and reject you. I honestly can’t get into the why, I guess that’s for you to think about and tell me.
But all in all, read this book! I found a number of interesting paragraphs all in relation to this concept.
b) “Only children, women and dogs are loved unconditionally.” – Chris Rock
Chris Rock is undoubtedly one of the most iconic comedians of our time. He said this on one of his Netflix specials and I understand it was joke. But I for one this know this, everything one says has a place in their minds or hearts from where it originates. There is a certain base, however far-fetched, from where everything we do, say and think comes from. I took time to think about these words and came to realise one thing, As a man, you will only be loved on the condition that you provide. And that’s a Fact! So if love makes us happy, And as a man, the amount of love you get is, to some extent, directly proportional to how much you can provide, then I think its safe to say that Money can in fact buy happiness.
3. People that do you wrong will not always regret it.
As a young boy, my mother raised me on this statement, “Do good and good will come back to you, do wrong and wrong too will come back to you”
So basing on that statement, one would expect that if someone hurt me, the same would happen to then in the future. I always knew that I didn’t have to take revenge on anyone because naturally, nature would ensure that the bad they did, came back to them. But here is the fact, That isn’t at all true.
In fact, it is very possible that someone will do you dirty and still go on to enjoy life, love and success without any form of payback or regret.
So in conclusion, I want to quote Niccolo Machiavelli once again:
“How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.”
I have come to learn that we do not live in an ideal world. We, in fact, live in a very ugly world. The decision to adapt to the standards of the world is a personal one. I am in no position to give advice on love or finances as I do not fully understand these concepts.(To be more specific, I don’t understand love but actually do understand a great deal of finance, I’m just not a rich guy) However, I have dedicated my life to understanding the world around me, to learning more and more about facts rather that the ideal world. I have dedicated each and every passing day to be the best version of myself, to learning from my mistakes and simply learn to live in a world that says “Hey, you don’t deserve it”
I hope you enjoyed this and until next time, I remain your average guy, Solomon