Monday mornings are never easy. After a rested weekend – both in body and mind – the routine of commuting to work can be rather unwelcoming. The Monday morning MRT is quite different from the weekend rides that are filled with squealing children, families and shoppers: rather, most of the commuters are office attire-clad, squashed in the crowded train in sheer (groggy, perhaps?) silence, which is even more deafening than the high-decibel train movement. The work calendar may more or less already be scheduled. The working hours are unlikely to be altered much compared to the weeks before. Unless something out of the ordinary happens, the routine will remain … well, routine.
Nothing cultivates a sense of being trapped more than routineness: the feeling of the same thing day after day, as if someone not you that is behind the steering wheel, that your life is on auto-pilot with little self-directed purpose. Are these the trappings of an increasingly comfortable urban life that is no longer satisfied with merely fulfilling the most basic needs? Perhaps that’s why some people say that is important to live with a sense of purpose, a greater objective in life, be it through religious truths, or family or a greater duty for society.
I prefer to think of it another way: perhaps I cannot control what happens this week (and maybe my urge to break the routine for my employers will be shot down again, like my other previous little thinking-out-of-the-box pursuits). Yes, it is actually almost a certainty that I lack control over certain aspects of my life. But if the maxim one can’t exercise control over one’s life is true, then the beauty of it is this: a new week – like a new day – represents another array of possibilities. For good or bad, it is a whole new experience from the weeks or days before that. If there is anything that I learned from being on my own for a few months, it is that being open-minded enriches one’s experience. In the words of Alice Walker:
I admit it is not easy to do, and boy does it take constant effort to remind myself of that. Hence this blog post as a reminder or post-it of sorts.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, to me this photo represents the endless possibilities in life and that perhaps this week is not just another “usual” work week. The thought that the sky is the limit may well be clichéd. But don’t the fundamentals of clichés originate from some truths?