Cobbler Musing

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I took a pair of shoes to the cobbler today. Only one was actually being fixed. The other was more or less a point of reference. A point of understanding how I wanted the tattered one to look.

Soon after the cobbler began fixing mine, a young boy came in with his own shoe. With exactly the same problem I had. At this point I began looking around the cobbler’s stall, looking to find other similarities. And I soon realized that it was surrounded by a myriad of other shoes, each differing in their purpose and construction but most times only one of a pair.

Even though the pairs took the same path, one was often the one that was spoiled, deconstructed.

But in its own way, this represents our own path.

It represents how facets of our lives can be congruently held together whilst being torn apart.

It represents the parallelism of experiences across same paths.

It represents how irrespective of its construction, everything has a capacity to fall apart.

But it also represents the value of experience, the importance of taking the journey to begin with. Of walking all possible paths and taking everything that comes with it.

It also represents the capacity to construct from the deconstructed. To build from what has been torn apart. To stitch and sew experiences to create something whole.

Something that makes the path truly worthwhile.

© Hudson Biko

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My Future is Uncertain and That’s Okay

 

clem-onojeghuo

A multitude of questions that have resonated across the realm of my early existence, each differing in their frequency and complexity. Many of which I really didn’t mind answering.

But there was always one, in a concoction of perceived simplicity and retrospective conviction that I never really knew how to respond to: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

No matter how much I tried, I was always lost in its obscurity. I never really understood how I was expected to know what I planned to do with my expected existence, especially when my footprint had barely scratched the continuum of time. I never really understood how we could speculate on the future when the present was so prevalent.

I still don’t. But I couldn’t say that. They were there, waiting for a response. A world beaming with expectation. Each profession brimming with its own association. So, I gave them exactly what they wanted. Manufactured a response. Sometimes, I would be fortunate enough that their attention would be diverted towards something entirely different. Sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes it would wander further into convoluted debate.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Do this. Do that. This is better.” Repeat.

I think we’re always trying to understand our lives. Either that or someone tries to understand it for us. And at its epitome is the undefinable, that which we can’t see. We’ve surpassed the past; we perceive the present. But the future, the future is unchartered territory. And we’re motivated by the eradication of its uncertainty.

I think that’s what scares us most. That’s why we try to eradicate all semblances of its mystery. That’s why we plan every part that we possibly can. That’s why we’re always aiming for something. And that’s okay. By societal standards, it would be senseless not to.

But we can’t actually plan for the future; we tell ourselves we can but all we actually do is plan pathways and hope we end up where we think we should be.

And when we don’t. We dissolve in the absence of achievement. We falter underneath the fallacy that is predictability. We resign to regret and reservation.

We say that we’ve failed.

I think everything happens for a reason and a purpose. Sometimes, we’re so distracted by how everything else doesn’t happen that we don’t see what that reason is. Sometimes, we’re so busy wallowing behind pre-conceived notions of the future that we don’t pay attention to the present.

This is not about being misguided or unambitious. This is about recognising redefined trajectories. This is about realising the boundless opportunities that are right before us when we care to look past failure. This is about challenging the notions of certainty. This is about enjoying the journey even in anticipation of the destination.

This year, I’m going to begin to a new chapter in my life. I don’t know if the major I’ve chosen is going to lead me somewhere. I don’t know if I’ll end up where I think I should be. But I’m fine with that. Because I realise that somewhere is somewhere after all.

The future in all its complexities is composed of a collation of thens, nows and afters.

And amongst it all, all we can truly control is the current. So control it. Go into unchartered territory. Embrace the uncertain. Be senseless. Maximize it in its entirety. Repeat.

© Hudson Biko

Photograph: Clem Onojeghuo

Choose To See The Good

maria-victoria-heredia-reyes-20883.jpgPhotograph: María Victoria Heredia Reyes

Life is a broken pendulum. Irregularly oscillating. Stuck between moments of happiness and moments of sadness. Stuck between memories we choose to hold onto and memories we wish would let go of us. Stuck between consistencies and inconsistencies.

But even in its broad irregularity, we face one constant: Choice. Sometimes of temporary consequence. Sometimes of enduring definition.

We’re always caught up in the process. Always oscillating in a cycle of indecision. And maybe that’s why we only pay attention to what we choose to see.

Perspective becomes subsequent. Accrued from the absence or presence of experience. We don’t really think about it, it just happens. And for the most part, that’s okay. But sometimes it’s so incredibly instantaneous that we don’t really get to see everything for all that it could be.

Sometimes, the magnitude of memory outweighs the magnitude of belief.

Sometimes, we’re so hurt by people that we rather hurt them before they have a chance to hurt us.

Sometimes, we’re so broken that putting things together is harder than letting everything else fall apart.

Sometimes, darkness is more comforting than light.

But if we only looked at the darkness, we would never see the beauty in the stars.

We have a tendency to look at what we don’t have rather than what we do. To look at what we haven’t done rather than what we have. To look at everything for what it isn’t rather than what it is.

And I think that’s part of who we are. Or rather, who we’re made out to be.

So much so, that we don’t realize that sometimes things fall apart so we can build something better.
That we need to fall so we can learn how to pick ourselves up.
That pain pre-empts healing.

That’s why we stop ourselves from doing something that holds the capacity for the failure we once experienced. But if we never failed, we would repeatedly rotate in the confines of comfortability. We would never grow.

We are the summation of our experiences, but we are not the finished article. And if we were always chained to memory, we would never free ourselves to create better ones.

If we never struggled, we would never realize how much we wanted what we wanted. We would never test every facet our being to its point of understanding.

If we always saw people for the pain others caused us, we would never see the potential for good in others. And if we were always saturated in a state of distrust we would condemn our own conviction.

Just as negativity breeds nullification, positive energy breeds positive repercussion.

And at our very core, we are what we think we are. We resonate with our own frequencies. We define what defines us. That is the constant regularity, the oscillation that is unbroken.

So, choose to see the good even when its hardest. Even when every fibre of your being wants to give in. Even when the light is flickering in obscurity. Even when you’re at the precipice of the oscillation’s extremities. Those are the moments that compose realization. Those are the moments of growth. Those are the moments that the stars burn brightest.

 

© Hudson Biko

Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.