Friday, April 07, 2006

Growing Up

At twenty-five i was dumbfounded afresh
By my ignorance of the simplest things.

- Ted Hughes, Fulbright Scholars

There was a time when I was sure of myself, when every decision I made was calculated, and borne out of careful and rational thought. It was a time when I was simple, life was simple, and the world itself was a largely uncomplicated place. That time now seems like a long time ago. Someone once told me: how simple it is to be Happy, but how hard to be simple. I think now, after all these years, that is quite true.

Age has brought with her a large group of friends. Doubt, Regret, Cynicism, all of them have made my head their home. They are constant companions now, and are a part of every decision I make. They each have something to say. They color my perception, lacing my thoughts with their various hues, diluting facts and obscuring reason, till I no longer know what is the truth. I wish it weren't so, I wish I could be rid of them, but it seems hard now. So Hard to be Simple.

I miss my old friends, those happy, one-dimensional friends of my youth. Somewhere along the way we lost touch, and now they don't return my calls.

And so every once in a while I find myself looking back, with Regret sitting by my side, wishing that Hope was still around. I think sometimes about how different Life might have been if I had never grown up, if I was still a Boy, with dreams in his eyes. But just then, Cynicism reminds me that the Boy is long gone, I was now a Man, with new friends, a new Life, and perhaps, a new World. It might be hard to be simple again, but it was still simple to be Happy. And maybe that was enough.

Experience, who's been sitting quietly in the corner, nods his head in agreement. Doubt, on the other hand, merely smiles...