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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Pendulum Swings

"Her magic will not last forever. I think we can do it but we need to work together. We have to get this right, we have to make them see."
The Ballad of the Crystal Empire - Daniel Ingram

Dear Princess Celestia,

It took me a long weekend out with my father to bring to my mind a very, very important lesson about time.

No, it's not about schedules, deadlines and appointments. Those are silly things that rape us of our freedom and spirits. I've desensitized myself from rigid scheduling and I find myself with more time to be myself rather than to be what this world wants me to be.

I heard a terrible story from one of my father's friends whom we visited. He had just come back from burying someone else's father who passed away earlier this week.

What's so terrible about that, you may ask? Well, he collapsed and drew his last breath at his daughter's wedding reception. Tragedy struck the poor girl on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life.

It didn't get to me so fast, but as I lay in bed after coming home it hit me like a train. What have I been doing? November will soon pack up and the final stretch of what is thought to be the final year of our existence will be running full swing. There isn't much that I have achieved this year. I pretty much lost my job due to the price hike and inflation (no pun intended). I found my place in podcasting but in this sad capitalist world, it isn't going to take me far. Sure, I've learned a lot from it, and I will learn more as I go along. However, I can't be doing it all the time.

Other than that, studies have taken their toll on me. University life is a real dream killer, especially with our local (Malaysian) education ministry's stubborn insistence on the presence of traditional exams. Even the industry experts who provide us with our knowledge have requested for the removal of the written exam, but they rely too much on the paper qualification to make that change. The result? We suffer. Students like me are put under the gun. Pass and you survive, fail and you're material for the fabled Cloudsdale Rainbow Factory.

To put a cherry on the cake, everypony wants to be a Twilight Sparkle. Everypony wants to be the best and come hell or high water, they're going to make it or die trying. The saying that no one has ever died from hard work is no longer relevant. Ponies have died from overwork. Everyone wants to be at the top. those who don't want to try will either never make it or will find their way by dirty means while tho who are willing to try sacrifice their existence to make it even if it means trampling their own peers.

As much as we appreciate the magic of friendship, this world puts us on the spot. Everyone is your competitor. Everypony around you is a threat to you being able to reach for the top spot. Trust me, your highness. I've seen people deny friendships to reach the top. It's not about personal gain. It's about survival. When your existence is at stake, regardless for the short or the long term, you will deny everything that you ever cared for except for your family and the people whom you guard with your life.

The way we work and the way we have come to this has really made realize how much freedom and time university life has robbed from me. I have lost hours of quality family time to assignments and coping with deadlines. I've turned down calls and requests from friends who want nothing more than to catch up with me on what they have been missing out on. I'm severely sleep deprived and under high deadline pressure to produce the result of half baked assignments handed to us. The craziest part about this is that I'm writing to you at this late hour, when I should be asleep. However, this has reached too critical a stage to sleep over and wake up as if nothing has happened. I had to pen this down to you.

In the dead silence of the night all I can hear is my wall fan and a clock in the other room, ticking time away. It is at times like these I feel an uncomfortable vibe flow through me every few ticks. I believe that when you can hear a clock tick, it's because something is wrong with your timing, and it his case I haven't been spending enough time with the family. It is in my hands to do something before it is too late. Happiness can be ripped out of our lives at any time. A loving family is the only thing more magical than friendship. The power of love has proven to be more powerful than all of the elements of harmony combined, and it flows in all of our hearts.

Speaking of which, I sorta want to visit the Magic Mirror Pond. Copies of me would sound like a darn good idea to get things done faster with the same amount of passion I have for what I do, though it would be hard to cope with copies of me in the same house!


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