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Dear Self,

Step 1: Don’t be so self-centred

You experience the world from your own standpoint. Every interpretation you make is in relation to yourself. Peeking out at the world with your own pair of eyes, it’s exceedingly easy to fall for the illusion — the world revolves around you.

(Spoiler alert) It doesn’t.

Well before you were born, empires rose to reach the skies and then crumpled into the dust of their own ruins.

People have plotted, schemed and killed. People have also loved, sacrificed and dreamed. The soil of this planet is rich with the blood of those who differed from you in every imaginable way. Yet they were similar to you in your need to be accepted, in your need to belong and matter.

Look up at the stars, when the sky is clear and the night is quiet. So many of them scattered on the expanse of your favourite colour. The play of space and time has reduced them to mere specks of glimmering light and had you not been told that they were, in fact exploding balls of gas, you’d have happily believed they were the moon’s best friends, sent by God to lighten a solitary, dark sky.

And on some days, it doesn’t hurt to believe in these stories.

Because really, who are you beyond these intricate stories that you have woven for yourself? In that chaotic head of yours, you are the captain. The protagonist. Step out of that storm someday, and you’ll see, that everybody is living a story.

In some of those stories, you play a supporting character. In others, you make special appearances. But in most of them? You never feature.

Not even for a millionth of a millisecond.

You’ll direct your drama till your lungs stop breathing and your heart stops beating and the curtain falls down with a force that is at once, rude and calming. Your story will come to an abrupt end, it will fade away into the ether. Perhaps those you leave behind will catch wisps of your story, now broken and fragmented, and integrate them into their storylines.

But they will too, as all things do, collapse.

So really, what is it that you are fussing over?

Self-obsession will eat you before eternity does. It wrings the joy out of your life, and you let it? ‘

Instead, submit to the gentle passing of life. It is the more merciful of the two.

And don’t leave feeling despondent, because despite all of this, despite the insignificance of your existence in the grand scheme of things, you are still here.

As far as there is air in your lungs and you can still hear the stubborn thumping of your heart, know that the music is playing. You can’t control the symphony. But you can sit down to listen.


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