Poise and Rationality

In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

Source: Reason to Believe

My initial reaction to the question was another question: reason to believe in what?

Then I realized I probably should check out the lyrics of the song, which I eventually did, only to be met with more questions in my head. Like everyone else, I suppose Springsteen was also trying to be discreet in his take on life as well, whether it’s a brighter one indicating hope, or it is the more-likely depressing one. Or maybe he was simply putting the question out there: looking at all the shit happening, what do you believe in?

When discussing the theme of death, birth, and–things that happen in between both–love, life, I reckon people’s take on the world would also vary depends on things they encounter in a daily basis, wouldn’t it? It will differ in the way they are raised, the environment they are raised, and even that does not guarantee a generalization of what people with a certain background will conclude as true and eventually act upon. Changes happen–natural disasters, lost of a loved one, more unfavorable or favorable financial conditions, promotions, better life conditions, acquiring friends after believing too long that one is destined for solitude–in different stages of life deemed critical, and in even that abrupt lapse of time, one may be able to internalize something that became their very outlook of life, which might be completely in contrast to how they perceive it before, or maybe reify the assumptions one has held for too long.

I am not sure if this is the correct way to call it, but I would say I am currently in the “early quarter life crisis” stage of my life. I am nearing age 25, and I have not been employed in a full-time job but is about to attain a graduate degree soon. Hopefully. I am scared with not being able to get this whole academic crap done before it’s due, because in my hearts of hearts, I know if I hate doing something (for example, thesis-writing, or anything related to writing academic nonsense I can only come up with), I will naturally procrastinate. Hard-core. Even if I can make it through, I am still terrified with whatever awaits me post-graduation. I can only hope it is not unemployment.

In this stage of life, I found myself picturing two schemes, the ideal and the less ideal. The ideal involves the thought that everything will be sorted and eventually things will get better. The less ideal is basically the worst case scenario, when things do not work out, and all that is left is the question, “What then?”. It’s true that even if the ideal situation is to push through, the question remains. But at least the mind is relatively clear enough to be able to slowly figure something out as previous responsibilities are off the hook.

So, looking at the mess I have imposed upon myself, I find some reason to believe that there is no point meddling with too much thoughts about how one is supposed to live life. It is brutally pointless to look back and regret some previous decisions you made, as much as it is to fantasize how someday it will treat you fairly with the aspirations or effort you have put in for years. It is too masochistic to beat oneself up to be distressed about the present that one has brought upon as a consequence of past choices, and also to be only prophesying how bleak the future will be because of current uncertainties. Life has never been certain anyway.

The only way to go on as one keeps some sanity in tact will be to balance out all the pandemonium surrounding it. When worrying too much about the future, it signals the need for the little pleasures that will elucidate how life can be worth living, without adding further responsibilities that could get out of hand. When ecstatic and in favorable conditions, reserve judgment to avoid meaningless pledges or sickly sweet nothings. Make sensible priorities, then follow through. Take a breather. Then go again.

It’s a struggle, but what else can you do other than make your way through it somehow, if death is not considered an option?


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