Tuesday, 24 November 2009

L4D Is Horrible Next To Benassi, But This'll Have To Do

Saturday was Benny Benassi @Zouk and I was psyched up to go down with some SMU pals, but (perhaps as should really have been expected) the plan didn't go through because Saturday is like two days before the exam week and most people can't put mugging off for some fun. It really sucks but that's just that, and while I love great music, I'm not hardcore enough to club on my own.

But I was too restless to stay home by then anyway, so I headed out nonetheless and was prepared to just hang around doing nothing much and maybe even gravitate towards Zouk subconsciously when Nathaniel gave me a buzz and asked if I was up for doing something that night. It seemed like a miracle so I asked him if he was keen on Zouk but he was totally off the idea, so we ended up playing Left 4 Dead until 4.30am instead. In the words (and tone) of Bear Grylls in my very own Man Vs Reality, "L4D is horrible next to Benassi, but this'll have to do."

We caught up quite a bit and updated each other on our lives, and I learnt that he had found himself recently when he had his 'purpose' figured out. I don't mean this in a religious sense and I often use the term purpose loosely. But when one is genuinely aligned with a sense of purpose, it is a truly profound feeling. It makes one wake up to each new day knowing that there's always something new to be done and somewhere to be headed. It makes the trials and tribulations of GPA-chasing miniscule. Everything is done with a renewed sense of vigour and meaning. Nathaniel found it when he rethought his plan in life and realized that sometimes, what people and society expect of you can make you lost and where you're headed unclear.

When I look at the friends I'm closer to (I suppose a good definition of this is if I would invite them to my wedding since I don't exactly have that many haha), most of them have attained some degree of actualization, and quite a few have already embarked on chasing their ideals. One is a yoyo performer and has broken into the emcee and stage scene. Another is pursuing a mass communications degree to venture into media and journalism. Yet another intends to set up a business. Those are all friends I made when I was much younger and in a very fascinating way, it could be that there was something about these people I was drawn to in the first place, whether I knew it or not. There were ideals and philosophies we shared that were bigger than the superficial details of whether we enjoyed doing the same activities or had the same social circles. All of them have a signficant degree of idealism they were prepared to give up a mediocre, average life for. This made them individualists, because to trade the norm for the purpose you passionately desire to achieve entails not drifting with the mainstream.

I'm really glad this is it for me and for all my buddies. This feeling sometimes seems to run parallel with the sensations of liberty in the way that those who appreciate it talk about it. "Like bones to the human body, the axle to the wheel, the wing to the bird, and the air to the wing, so is liberty the essence of life. Whatever is done without it is imperfect." How can living by the day being constantly pressured by social comparisons in school, via grades and the mere fact that everyone else seems to be studying, be a goal worth chasing? Study because you want to. This subjectivity isn't even a real one sometimes - it is a somewhat mindless fear of not keeping up with others one has perceived to be benchmarks of self-worth. It can sometimes be, to quote someone respectable, quite a diminished way to live.

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