Usually when you think about life, you think of all the things that you could be and could do when you’re older or when you get the chance. But I bet you never think of all the things you couldn’t do and be happy about the fact that you could never do or be those things. I have.
See this, I could never be a monk. In fact I will never be a monk. Shave my head in the middle and leave the other sides to grow? Forget about all the “never say never” nonsense. Sometimes never, is never. I could never fly. Never. Technology could advance in as many directions as it could, but a flying man (or woman in my case)…never.
Second. I could never be a rock star. I can’t play the piano, or the guitar, let alone sing. Plus I would have to wear weird clothing and scream at a screaming audience to see who screams loudest. Above all, I live in Ghana. Our music genres run a very short gamut: from highlife to hiplife. No classical, no bluegrass and no rock.
Three. I could never be a hairdresser. I have locks for crying out loud and if that’s not a huge sign that says “you can’t dress your own hair let alone that of others”, I’m not sure what that is.
Four. I could never be an astronaut. This would require me to do multiple complex mathematical computations that would take weeks and months and decades to complete. Yes, perhaps my engineering background may make it seem possible. But I promise you, an astronaut, I could never be. The most I could do is to take a trip to the moon or anywhere in outer space where humans can land. But be an astronaut and actually make sure the space shuttle functions as it should? Hardly.
Five. I could never be an alien with antennae for eyes and 3 fingers on one hand instead of the 5 fingers God in His boundless wisdom gave me. That is a definite NEVER!
Six. A size zero model in 9 inch nails. That I could never ever ever ever be. My DNA disallows it. I could starve for 300 days successively and perhaps shed 2 pounds tops. My bone structure disapproves of it and that makes it a positive and affirmative no. A size zero model ranks highest on the NEVER TO BE list.
But this is a good thing. There are so many things I could never be. Think of it this way. I could never be a goat, an automobile, a beaker, a television set, a box of tomatoes or a carton of milk. I don’t know about you, but this makes me glad and reminds me of who I am and what I can be in a sort of twisted way that makes sense to my warped imagination.
So whenever you are tempted to think about all the things you could do and be in this lifetime, think about all the other things you couldn’t and will never ever ever do or be in this lifetime of yours. Focusing on what you can’t do will simply make you realize all the wonderful things you are not. And maybe that’ll make you feel a lot better about yourself. Maybe.
Here’s where I start sounding wise.
Sometimes it’s not what you want out of life it is what life wants out of you. It is not what you expect out of life but what life expects you to do. It is not what you look out for in life, but what life sees in you. We may think we have a choice, for all one knows, we are the ones being chosen. And all the introspection, daydreaming and brooding that goes on in our heads is just a conspiracy of the universe and circumstances to get us to do what we really need to do in this lifetime. Cos no matter how we see it, there is a higher power that designs and lays out our patterns for us. If we didn’t choose how we came, from whom we came and how we look, what makes us so sure that we are in full control the whole time? It may seem that way, but we need to realize that occurrences and happenings around us twist our arms into making decisions and forming opinions that we wouldn’t have formed had we not been in those type of situations.
Some might consider this a travesty in comparison to all the feel good and do good speeches we are so used to hearing. Maybe all the challenges we face in life are as a result of us not listening to the winds of life and what message they carry in their whistling. If we were simply to conform and go along with what our inside man dictates, no matter how crazy it may sound, maybe life would sing a different tune. But we are so adamant about being our own person and making choices and defining our lives to the letter that we miss out on many good things in life.
Perhaps we should just focus on living. Letting Life choose for us. Let’s face it, Life has been here way longer than any of us right here at this moment. And It could teach us a thing or two. Although we try to go at it differently. Simply put, life was here before us and if the values of my culture are anything to go by, we need to give respect to those older than us.
Instead of carving our way through the mountain, how about we just hike around it and enjoy the view from whichever rock we step on. At the foot of the mountain where the grass grows green and life seems somewhat stable; or in the middle where we can experience a little bit of both worlds; and at the very peak where the breeze blows freedom and a sense of serenity and accomplishment. Whatever stage there is in life, wherever we find ourselves, whatever situation we’re in, let’s not think of what could have been or how we should have or could have, those are many. But what is, is one and that’s the present. That’s who we are and that’s where we’ve come. Nothing wrong, nothing wasted, nothing left behind. It’s nothing. It’s just us. Who we are.