As a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of a Lunar New Year; by the simple, striking truth that not everyone subscribes to the Gregorian version of time and that there are people out there in the world whose time are patterned after the movement of the moon. For my young wandering mind, the moon (and the entire outer space) became a source of sheer curiosity and interest, and every time I looked up to the night sky, I grew more and more amazed by the invisible force of that pale white sphere named Luna.
But having been raised in a strict conservative Christian home, I was discouraged to entertain the idea of a Lunar New Year, together with the myths and traditions that are associated with it, and was commanded to abandon my acceptance and faith in an alternate discourse of time.
But now, as an adult, I find myself free to subscribe to any system of belief. And where else am I gonna run to, other than to that sweet forbidden district of a myth where I was barred from entry as a child.
I welcomed the Year of the Fire Monkey with all the flaming enthusiasm I could muster, and waited for grand things to happen to my life, because I thought that when it was my year, it really meant my year, and that no harm could ever fall upon me and my ideals.
When 2016 came, I threw my head on a pillow and watched as the circumstances in my life drove themselves against the wall. Maybe I was careless, foolish, selfish, when I switched the autopilot on and allowed Time to take the steering wheel. All I ever knew was I needed to accomplish just a few more things, and then forever lay to rest this goddamn gift of a human, that is the will to live.
I made a deal with this invisible force in my head and asked for it to help me crawl my way out of college. I thought to myself, “I’ll take charge of the rest of my life, afterwards.” When I made it to my graduation day, I imagined myself leaving a prison, only to transfer to larger, more terrible prison called the Working World. There were days when I love my job, the books I am surrounded with, the people I get to connect with. But most of the time, I found myself screaming. Before I even knew it, all the people around me seemed to transform themselves into sticks and statues, and I was only left with a profound longing to abandon the building and to fly to the moon where Luna is, was and ever will be.
The simple truth is, 2016 was not an easy year. Out of the bursting exhaustion in my soul and the shackling pain of mistrust, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my life and chose to sever my ties with a lot of people. But you see, I wasn’t even mad at them. And even in the midst of my excruciating pain, I chose not to hate anyone but myself.
Now I’m standing in the center of a void, free from the presence of people, faces, names, but still heavy and drowning with their memories. As the Fire Monkey climbs its way out of my life once again, I only wish for one more thing: that is, for my spirit animal to extract whatever gravity there is left in my heart and to take the burden along as its monkey feet travels safely back to the moon.
See you in another life, my Monkey friend.