If I Should Meet My Alter Ego

Photo by Oscar Keys

Photo by Oscar Keys

How long has it been? Five, maybe six years?

“Hello”, you say.

“It’s good to see you,” I lie.

We exchange pleasantries, and finally get past the small talk. I pay attention to your details – I watch your eyes, listen to your voice, and ask myself, what has changed? Just about nothing and everything at the same time, I think.

There’s something about your laughter. It used to be pure, but now it speaks of hidden things – things you dare not speak about. There are now lines just right beside your bright eyes, and they let me in on a kind of pain that you do not dare let other people know about. What used to be plain moments of silence each time you pause in between sentences are now replaced with heaved sighs, which tells me that you are unsure of many things – your mind is plagued with questions you dare not normally ask.

I can tell you’ve been secretly entertaining thoughts about life’s meaninglessness – if there’s anything that actually happens once we pull the plug. About purpose – if it really exists or if it’s just some defense mechanism people invented to make themselves feel a tad better about their lives. About destiny – if it is co-created, and if so, what part do we actually play in it. About the true impact of one life – if there is truly any at all.

Your questions convince you that there is much to doubt, but the truth is, your questions only mean that you know so little. The presence of a gap does not denote absence, but a void only waiting to be filled. And the fact that you dare to even ask is an indication of an unrelenting soul inside of you, adamantly protesting against the default setting of merely going through the motions.

Go on and ask questions, go on and seek answers, I tell you. Do not deliberately remain in the state of limbo for the mere fear of the absolutes. Oftentimes we are afraid to ask, “Do you love me?” for fear of a “No” as a response. We are afraid to ask, “Until when?” for fear of being given too short a time together or too long a time apart. So we refuse to ask. We refuse to put labels. We refuse ourselves of our right to know the answer. But questions are good. If anything, we must all dare to ask questions – even the difficult ones. The catch is, we have to be ready for the answers – we must expect them, and accept them.

There are some questions though that do not come in black and white. The answers to the most difficult, most important questions are a matter of conviction, a matter of decision. And even that, you must, by all means seek.

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