for the longest time ever, i have thought of the world ending. i suppose the world started ending for me since my childhood. now, more than a decade later, i see that the world is actually ending in a way and it is not pretty. it is terrifying.
i was not aware how much i believed that the world would end before i actually lived until some time in primary school. just before the national examinations, we were required to fill forms for our dream high schools and i found myself blank. completely blank. really because i had not anticipated that i would be alive or rather, the world would still be there by the time i was getting into high school. up until that moment, i had been living my life, day by day, no grand dreams and wishes of adulthood leave alone which high school i fancied to attend. i was taken aback i must say by my fellow classmates who knew where they preferred going, their dreams and wishes and whatnot. i, on the other hand, was more or less having a countdown until the world ended. which is to say that it would not matter whether i passed or not. whether i got what i wanted or not. the world ending was going to be this giant irreversible event that would bring all human desires to naught.
to my surprise i got into high school without the world ending. but the world-ending-crisis just got worse in my head. it morphed into a more dangerous belief. it was not just the world that was ending, i was also dying. and i could not control either events. of course this kind of thinking plunged me into the worst spiral of an existential crisis which i have never quite recovered from till date. nothing seemed to matter. mostly nothing which everyone around me deemed important. not the grades. not the careers we were supposed to think about. not what the teachers taught. i was obsessed with the knowledge that the world was ending and we were wasting our time bothering with appearances, societal pressures and trivial matters. all my wishes and dreams were the ideas of other people. all my fantasies borrowed. i never voiced these thoughts to anyone. instead, i turned to literature (mostly dystopian) and writing. a lot of what i wrote at that time was unbelievably dark, i doubt any of my friends actually understood what i was really saying. years later, here i am, now convinced more than ever that the end of our world is inevitable. and still we are chasing after mirages.
cue the religious folk who believe that this generation will be the planet’s last as we know it. for them, this knowledge fills them with joy at the possibility of going to heaven, finally uniting with God and having no more of the pain and suffering associated with earth. now i suppose if i were a saint, i too, would rejoice at the demise of this world if it meant meeting God. but here is the catch. i am not a saint. Oscar Wilde said, “The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future. ” i think i am still grappling with the sinner’s past. the point is, i am not looking forward to the world ending because i do not feel like i have started living yet. i have no problem with being happy about going to heaven. but i would like a chance to live here on earth too. i would like to experience earth as well. so for those who say we should have our minds set on things above only are missing out the point that there is life here too, and i would like to have a shot at it.
i do not know if i am the only one who has been paralyzed by the unforeseen end of the pandemic, the looming climate crisis and natural disasters. it appears to me that if you will not die by the pandemic, the climate crisis will kill you, if that does not work, some natural disaster will, if you are still alive by then, count on the economic depression to ensure you are buried. i know this whole post sounds morbid but…
i try to explain to my mother why i am terrified and even paralyzed by the thought of the world ending. the thought makes everything so damn meaningless that i would rather do nothing. after all, the world is ending right? some time back, i started dreaming. i started having my own simple dreams for this life. like having my own little place to call home. a place i intend to fill with love, grace and plants. to be able to be independent. small joys. small simple joys. i started having hopes but now they seem so far away. because of everything that is happening. it seems easier to just abandon all these wishes and rot away with hopelessness.
I clawed my way into the light but the light is just as scary. I’d rather quit. I’d rather be sad. – Richard Siken, self portrait against red wallpaper.
but i figure there is a way to live despite all this. the truth is, i cannot control the ending of the world. or death. and my doing nothing does not control these things either. which means i am left with the option of living. day by day. moment by moment. it is okay if you have dreams for years to come. it is a symbol of hope to actually dream and plan for these dreams. it is okay if you plan for days as they come. you are not less of a dreamer then. there is no need for us to hold back on living and daring new things because the world is ending. the way i see it, the fact that the world is ending is a huge motivator to just live. to soak in the sun’s rays. to laugh without inhibition. to feel loved and love. to create things we love because we love them not because they are perfect. to go after our grand dreams because really there is no time to waste. to live. i have to keep reminding myself these things especially when the numbing hopelessness stalks me (like it did yesterday. i can feel it. it is bidding its time). i hope you get to live too. despite the world ending (or not). i hope you get to see your dreams come true. especially the simple ones.
time is all we have and don’t – Atticus
this heavenly love is what i live for, this unwavering faith in my self. it comes as quickly as it goes, and i chase after it… – ideahlism on Instagram
the thing is,
“we were meant to live ” -Switchfoot