The luckiest boy in the world. Is who I am.
Catch yourself before inaccurately assuming it’s for trivialities such as being born into privilege. Neither is it for surviving a fall five hundred meters from the sky. Nor for surviving having cycled into the rear wheel of a speeding truck at a busy intersection. It’s also not for surviving a trek at an altitude of fifty-six hundred meters oblivious to the ravages of altitude sickness. Or for that matter overcoming a deep-seated thalassophobia to learn kiteboarding in jelly-fish and shark-inhabited waters.
True, I shouldn’t have survived any of it. Yet, here I am.
While you might be enticed to think such experiences bear testament to an adventurous spirit or indomitable character, don’t succumb to the temptation. All of it was preordained.
If men are from Mars and women from Venus, it might be an understatement to say my dad’s probably from Neptune and mom from Mercury. While their marriage might have been “arranged” I stutter to use that as a qualifier to whatever followed.
A believer that there’s duality in everything, I’d be remiss not to acknowledge that if the convergence of warm and cold currents yields fertility, it also tends to get foggy. Where there’s intelligence, there’s likely to be some derangement. In bravery, you’ll often find a wee bit of stupidity. What’s “out-of-the-box” to some could very well be “you are out of your mind” to others. You get the point.
I’m also beginning to think.
(About time, some might say.)
If there is indeed duality in everything including ourselves and if the grail of becoming the best version of ourselves is in finding an optimal balance, then perhaps the only way to attain such balance is by embracing our yin and understanding our yang and hence, controlling these very dualities. Wouldn’t that make life as simple as ABCD?
Attain Balance by Controlling Dualities
See what I did there? You’re welcome ;)
Anyway, going back to currents, where we’d be much warmer as to the reason for my good fortune. For one half of it is my parents’ opposing yet complementary traits and approaches to upbringing. As to the other half – that would require a bit of a summary of the coincidences and choices that make up my own life story thus far.
If a cat has nine lives, this Leo has definitely already had two lives and is more than halfway through the third. I’ve written two and half books, have two and a half business and computer science degrees, worked two and half jobs, started as many businesses, lived in two and half continents including moving to one of them two and half times, been married two and half times, had a taste of parenting two and a half kids, and now “work” two and half days a week in a bid to ornament myself with societal norms of employment. And before you bucket me as noncommittal or perhaps even flighty, let me clarify that all of this has been a dedicated effort to “vet” a philosophy –
It takes two-and-a-half failures to find happiness
Well, “stumble upon” if not “vet”; for the latter makes it sound like it was all contrived. I only went with it as it provided a potentially less self-effacing and more uplifting response to Albert Camus’s most pertinent question, “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”
And it is the slowly percolating realisation – that these life experiences have left my body battered but revving for more, my heart broken but mended and grown, my mind nourished yet sponging for more, my fortune reducing to fill up my soul – which is the other half that explains my outlandish fortune.
So, to summarise – what my parents make possible and how I keep chasing and the surviving the impossible – is what makes me the luckiest boy in the world.
P.S. A bit out of left field but, in obedience with a purpose-driven mindfulness, relevant to mention is my reason for expressing any of this, more so in a public way. Of all the things I’ve had the fortune of experiencing, writing is one of the most gratifying, the reasons for which I will cover at another time. The gratification from the process (or journey) of writing has however been dulled by the outcome (or destination) of having it published. But writing, still being about communication, demands an audience. Unattached to whether or not I find such an audience or who such an audience might be still meant I needed to introspect what I wanted to write about next. That is what has taken me, if you didn’t already guess it, two-and-a-half years to figure out. The conclusion is to write about the most meaningful lessons and observations that make me who I am and the stories that got me there. The audience first and foremost is myself but should anyone else chance upon the content, I’d consider myself privileged to receive feedback. Knowing how another might think differently will undoubtedly pave the way to evolving my thoughts and hence furthering my understanding of the topics. I call these stories “Vignettes of Life”.