“El tiempo nuestro es ya…”
– Te Quiero Pa’ Mi, Don Omar ft Zion y Lennox
Some things are best kept in the dark. This, I must stress, is not the same as putting everything into a box that one shoves under the bed, never to be opened again. To the contrary, what I propose instead is that some complications are best dealt with on one’s own terms, through deep contemplation and endless internal dialogues that will eventually lead one to the end of the tunnel. That is where one might emerge from the shadows, into a state or some sense of enlightenment.
I do not like things to be handed to me on a plate, however convenient this might be. My friends seem to know that I have an incredible amount of pride, bordering arrogance even, for I often decline help when it is offered to me. I do so not with the intention to snub anyone — in fact I am most grateful for any assistance presented. This rejection of aid at hand comes more out of my desire to put myself through whatever means to accomplish a task using my own resources first, before resorting to a helping hand. I feel this too with my own emotional baggage, which I like to privately unpack in the pages of my journals. The sense of satisfaction I feel upon having accomplished something entirely on my own effort is unrivaled — I would go through the same, or even worse difficulties, to feel this sense of accomplishment again.
I came upon this realization just yesterday, when some friends and I went cycling to a small village outside of Cambridge called Horningsea, from where we then hiked for nearly two hours to the village of Lode. The main attraction in this area is Anglesey Abbey, which was where I captured the photo above.
While cycling, we had to cross a bridge to get to the other side of the River Cam. My friends, all being six feet tall, had no problems simply carrying their bikes up the stairs of the bridge, while I struggled a little (which is perhaps a gross understatement). As this unfolded, my friend came running to my rescue as my bike almost slid down the stairs, saying, “Those guys are not particularly gentlemanly, are they!”
On our way back we had to cross the same bridge, but now I knew what to expect — another battle uphill, to be faced alone. I accomplished this with slightly more grace than before, and that feeling of having done this on my own kept me afloat all the way home. My friends did cheer me on as I progressed through the bridge. As I looked back, I noticed that they were also struggling with their own bikes — we were all fighting the same battle, after all.
This was my first time hiking in the English countryside. I must confess that this wouldn’t be my ideal activity when seeking inspiration. Though the weather wasn’t particularly inviting, and I’d had to battle the muddy terrain in my suede boots — I was clearly under-equipped — I would do it again for the enlightening conversations with my friends as we hiked, and the physical strenuousness of it all, especially as this would hardly be something I would want to do on my own. For me, anything I haven’t done before is worth doing simply for the novelty of it all.