Sarah-ious discussions: Continue


Photo by Sarah Firdaus

I took this photo outside last week when I was supposed to be in class.

Somedays, I don’t feel like doing anything. It’s not because of emotional stress or fatigue; rather, life just seems worthless for a few moments. Negativity overpowers the willingness to keep moving; hopelessness impales ambition, I’m incapable of motive, will.

In the past two weeks, it was difficult to persist. I turned in assignments late, skipped class, laid in bed for hours, argued with my parents, glared at myself in the mirror, barely ate. Looking back, the two weeks I spent doing nothing felt strange. It was as if someone somewhere accidentally sat on the television remote and clicked pause. On-screen, I stilled.

In retrospect, it seems I’ve wasted two weeks of my life. I’m angry that I stopped moving, annoyed at the overdue work I have left, still exhausted. But days later, I realize that even when I thought I stopped, I continued moving. I thought about the future, cringed as I imagined what my face would look like after I hadn’t washed it for days, planned the next week. Truth is, the point of stopping is to start again. And when we pause, we don’t stop breathing or living; we only take a moment to inhale, to live in our own frozen moments of time.

There isn’t a single person on Earth who doesn’t take breaks, and each of our pauses is unique. To certain people, discontinuing means healing and prayer; for others, it’s enjoyment, and for some, it means gathering the strength to face life once again. We need to keep moving without worrying about where we end up. What will matter most at the end of our journey is how far we’ve walked, moreover, the times we continued despite wishing to give up.

Days after my hiatus, I realize that there was one thing I didn’t do during the last two weeks: marvel at how far I’ve come. In the past 18 years of my life, I’ve walked and walked. And even though there have been instances when I’ve spent long moments of time inhaling, I always knew to continue breathing.

I’m proud of myself for overcoming the pain I’ve been a witness to. What I’ve learned is that every absence is always filled.

And so days later, I leave you with this offering: the romance in life stays as long as you keep going.