Last week we did an exercise in class, planning for our ‘careers’ five or ten years in advance. We were asked to visualize where we would be five years down the road, and think about what actions we had done to get to that position.
If this activity were done retrospectively – meaning jumping back a year and thinking about whether you would have predicted where you are today – it would clearly be no.
If there’s anything I ever imagined, I would never have imagined the end of my time in NIE to be like this.
I’ve become strangely aquainted with a place I hardly knew before, used terms everyday that were never in my vocabulary prior to this and at the same time found myself at a loss of words more so than ever before. Silence and stoicness have become my regular demeanour when entering an environment where I should feel most comfortable to be myself.
Yet the journey is less than half done.
Tomorrow a new battle begins. I know the end is victory, because that’s what is promised, but what does the journey entail and what does victory mean? What does it mean that I am more than a conqueror? What does it mean that it will all work out for good? What does it mean to trust?
I have no answers. Are you not going to give me any answers too? Why have I been empty when I should be full? Why have I be silent when I should have had the words to say?
Memories bring hope and pain simultaneously. Hope of what could be, pain because of what is loss and the journey of recovery marked with uncertainty. Photographs of smiley faces, foreign lands represent vague impressions of what was and a strong yearning for a simple, certain, mundane life. Simple things you yearn for – a click, a shadow, a request, a favour – no longer seem so simple anymore.
There is no choice, but to press on. Because of the promise. Let me focus on tomorrow first.