Introspections & Retrospections

All It Takes Is A Second

People always talk about the first step. As if the second step would come naturally and automatically. They say that the first step is always the hardest, but it’s not always so. Sometimes the struggle is making the second step, especially when the first step didn’t go so well.

And here we are, on the second day of the year. Some still have leftover fireworks, for whatever pleasure they find in it outside the annual event. Some still have leftover food from the parties, but seriously— we have those in almost every celebration. Some still dig up old New Year’s Resolutions, a set of personal commitments which some [if not most] of us half-heartedly hold on to until February (or earlier).

What do you do when the excitement dies down, when that sense of euphoria fades away, when all the giddiness and hype just… goes away?

Just a month ago, people were all so-ecstatic about Star Wars: Episode7, and I can’t blame them. Stores had a field day as people clamored for toy lightsabers, Darth Vader or Storm Trooper masks, BB-8 replicas and other related merchandise. I myself almost felt drawn to splurging on such items after watching the film; good thing I was on a tight budget then.

In a few weeks, I wonder if anyone will still feel as enthusiastic about it?

We love being excited. We go through such lengths and effort to get that thrill, that rush, that overflowing jubilation. That’s why people spend a lot of cash on concert tickets for songs they already have on iTunes. That’s why people organize vacation trips, family outings, barkada gimiks, because having fun is not enough. And it’s not wrong, either.

But when we mistake excitement for happiness, I think we have a problem. Because let’s admit— we get excited about a lot of things without really being happy about or for it.

And that’s where the second step comes in.

Because it’s easy to like something when we’re in a good mood. Because it’s easy to enjoy something when you’re doing it with everyone, someone. Because it’s fun to start on something, work on something, when things are going well. But moods change. People lose interest, change preferences. Problems happen. And what we thought was exciting can quickly turn into a burden.

Until we take the second step.

I believe faith makes us take the first step. But when our expectations fail us— like when we prayed for something, and it doesn’t come true— it’s important to take the second step: a step of hope, believing in something greater than the pain of the first step. And a step in love, motivating us and giving us the strength to move onwards.

Do you resolve to lose weight? Do so, but don’t lose hope when you still weigh the same in a month or two.

Do you resolve to save money? Do so, but don’t lose hope when emergency expenses derail your savings.

Do you resolve to start a new hobby, learn a new skill? Do so, but don’t lose hope when you still suck at it after a few sessions.

Whatever you set your heart and mind to do, do it beyond the first step. The fireworks may be over, both on the skies and in your soul; but all you need is the remaining silence, this beautiful pause— life on tiptoes, ever breathing.

So take a second and relax: not everyone starts their year right— but that doesn’t mean the rest of the year will go wrong.

And maybe, just maybe— what you’re looking for is but just a few steps away.

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