The Marathon We Make of Life

Salzburg, Austria, 2011.

Salzburg, Austria, 2011.

Few mantras are as deeply inculcated or firmly entrenched in the geographies of our minds. We have grown accustomed to likening life to a timed marathon, one in which we are to reach each conventionally marked point as quickly and as efficiently as we possibly could – with minimal risks to boot – and ideally, come in at first place each time. Billions of people go through their lives as such, their lives akin to a relay race from which they had received the baton from their parents, as had their parents before, the parents of their parents.

Yet as we race on, fervently clocking our timings at each marker and progressively checking graduation, career, marriage off the list of predetermined life goals, should we not stop to question the reasons behind which we are running this marathon? Do we actually have to run? Is walking, or dancing, not an option? Could we not veer completely off the demarcated course to explore the boundaries of the track with our childhood dreams as guiding compasses? What if in doing so, we find that there are in fact no boundaries?

Imagine the infinite possibilities that awaited us the day we could collectively garner the courage to leave the jobs, people, and things that made us unhappy, and extricate ourselves from the seemingly futile, puerile rat race we make of life. Boundaries could be transcended where boundaries existed; and if they gloriously did not, happiness, then, would be the freedom and imagination with which you delineate your own geographies.

– Agnes Chew


2 thoughts on “The Marathon We Make of Life

  1. And not only that, everything we do seems to be resumed to ticking things off lists. I’ve seen people bragging about a wide range of countries they allegedly had seen (which in fact was merely passing through, but since they had been phisically present it means they saw it) or the same for museums, sights, movies, books and the list goes on for nearly everything. But for me it all comes to the question ‘And what did I learn from this?’ I think it also comes down to the fact that nowadays it’s so much easier to brag about things you’ve done that I’ve known people who only did certain things so as to show them on Facebook…I guess there’s nothing wrong with posting a picture or two provided that’s not the actual reason for which you do certain things… Now of course I’m not saying that in the past they wouldn’t do that, I’m merely saying that today we have even more reasons that led to us leading lives for the sake of it… Hope what I said actually makes sense, sometimes I digress a lot:) Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Cristina, thanks for reading and also for your comment!

    I completely agree with you – nowadays, we seem to become so caught up with this notion of a check-list, doing things because everyone else does so, wanting to prove and perhaps even seek validation from others that you have indeed sequentially ticked each item off this pre-determined list, be it in the form of living our lives, or the way in which we travel, or the books we read, ad infinitum.

    It is more important than ever, then, to question ourselves what the true reasons are behind that which we are doing. What makes you happy in life? Does checking off each item on your check list truly satiate you, or make you feel fulfilled? If not, what other paths could you actually take, and what is stopping you from embarking on this journey? Hopefully, we can all begin to uncover our true passions and paths, to make a difference, and most of all, to live a life that is unique to us, of which we can call our own.

    P.S. I have also checked out your lovely blog, and am now subscribed :)


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