Imagine taking a handful of sand from the beach and watching it trickle quickly, escaping from your tight grasp. Then you open your hand and see only a few particles left in the center of your palm. And if you’re not too careful, they’d slip right out of your hold. Fast and unyielding – that’s how time is; yet the more you need it and try to grasp it, the faster it seems to run out.
Now I’m losing time – time ‘til the deadline of this column, time to study for the next quiz, time for sleep, and worst of all, time to spend with the people I love. No, I’m not yet dying but I would eventually; everyone’s heading that way, anyway. I’m just too paranoid about losing other people, scared that they’re going to walk away any minute or just disappear without warning.
This paranoia may be due to my early experience of loss. When I was just a kid, I already suffered the tragedy of being left behind and the agony of realizing that I could not turn back time to get back what I’ve lost. It was the worst feeling in the world.
So as I was growing up, I tried to hold on to a lot of things – I collected toys, clothes, knick-knacks, and a roomful of junk. There’s really no use in keeping these things; I just feel a sense of regret when I think of throwing them away. I also clung to people, especially those close to me. I badgered them about their whereabouts, like where they were or what they’re doing – that kind of obsessive stuff. And I always hated it when my dad went out and left me at home.
But as time passed and as I grew older, maybe a bit wiser, I realized that I can never control the things and people around me. I lost things a lot of times, and no matter how hard I tried, sometimes I could never find them. I lost people, too – people who walked away or simply faded from my memory. I was not able to hang on to all of them despite my strong desire to do so.
Losing the things and people you care about is an awful experience; and I still fear it until now. I’ve been dreading the time when June comes and a lot of friends will graduate and leave AJ, the time when I will be the one to graduate and lose more friends and AJ, the time when friends will have to go on to separate paths, and the time when my only family will have to leave me.
But I guess that’s just how life is – you get and you lose. You won’t be able to permanently keep anything or anyone because you do not own them in the first place. All you could do is to make the most out of everything and give the best you could to everyone. Do not hold on to them too tightly because you might force them away – just like the grains of sand that swiftly escape from a firmly clenched fist. It would be better to just let them rest carefully on your palm and appreciate that handful of sand that you have at the moment.