Life in Shades of Gray

Several months of entirely devoting my time learning a language has, it seems, put the right side of my brain on a halt that it’s so difficult for me these days to squeeze out whatever little is left of my creative ideas. Before, it was quite easy to catch a moment, put it in my pocket, and encapsulate it in a single entry. Now, no matter how hard I try to get inspiration, whether this be from nature, animals, or movies, I just don’t have that creative edge anymore.

It’s quite disheartening but as in life, we have to give up some things to give way to others. It’s not as if we cannot go back to where we left– sometimes, we leave, and realize that we have to go back to put things in order again.

We get to appreciate more what we have when we don’t have them any longer. Image Credit: Lush Quotes.

But ‘going back’ doesn’t necessarily mean dwelling in the Past and leaving the Present and the Future to fix our wrongs. ‘Going back’ can also mean slowing down, looking back, and remembering how and why we managed to fix our wrongs, and who are the people who helped us get through it all.

Maybe this Uncreative Me is but an expression of my still-lingering attachment to my experiences and the wonderful people I’ve met in my East Asian Stopover, that I am not yet totally ready to open myself up and let go of how I managed my life in there for the past several months. Language learning is like learning math, and the way I studied there is totally different from how I did it back in college– where I read and analyzed books, researches and theories, composed essays, and tried to find inspiration wherever I go to sustain a creative energy. In my East Asian Stopover, however, it was like studying math and computer programming all over again, where I had to memorize, and fit in words and grammatical points to certain formula.

It has been more than a month, and I’ve been trying to get over my strong attachment to the Past, because it’s not going to help me move on. But if there is one thing that I’ve learned in this journey, it is that this life is not about visiting monuments, famous landmarks, or buying material things– it is all about making memories and making them last, like meeting and keeping good friends, having a laugh in the park, or showing kindness when someone needs it the most.

So these days I am making it work. I still keep my connections, but I have also started to dwell on things that I love doing. I still update my World Friends, but I am working harder too, because I never knew I’d miss research and writing so much. Honestly, for the past months, it has been so difficult to read fiction, that I just had to dwell on language and non-fiction books. Just yesterday, I have started picking up fiction again where  I usually find much inspiration from.

This Gray Area in the midst of binary oppositions is but a testament that we can always find meaning for every point in our lives because every single thing happens for a reason. We meet certain people, too, because our paths are meant to cross in this lifetime.

Indeed, this life is all about memories. Because at the end of the day, we cannot bring anything but ourselves.

Forever thankful for my world friends! Image Credit: My wonderful friends from Inha who compiled this beautiful letter collection. Art by Fernanda Cobayaxi.