With every new year, people would often say that they want a clean slate. They crave new beginnings like the way they look for things that are no longer there—presence of people that depict familiarity, things that remind one of the people who left, memories that are inevitably kept in the dustiest corner of one’s mind and the deepest recesses of one’s heart.
I, too, crave a slate. But perhaps, instead of a clean one. I want an unclean slate—one that is rough around the edges, imminently forgotten, and eventually goes unnoticed. It’s like a piled up paperwork—you know it’s there, but you choose to ignore it. It’s a mess—for sure. There is no doubt about it that an unclean slate is one that is an abstract work of art. It takes time to understand. It takes long hours standing in front of an artwork, trying to figure out the artist’s why. But, you see it. Soon enough, you figure out details. You understand it; you just know.
I guess, the thing I like most about the idea of an unclean slate is that the past remains. I’ve always thought that the past is haunted—a ghost town of memories, of mistakes, and regrets. But when I look back, I think of the past as a movie montage with a colorful language, people that make up a four-letter word which is home, chances taken, mistakes made and lessons learned. When I look at the past, it no longer haunts me, but it builds me. It makes me stronger; it makes me better. It’s like finding something good in the in-betweens of a messy life, epitomizing hope within chaos. It no longer makes me want to forget things. It no longer makes me focus on the things I could have done, the things I could have said, the things I could be. When I look at the past, I feel contentment – a feeling that recognizes progress: “This is who I was. This is me now.”
People say that the only thing constant in life is change. Of course, there lies a heavy weight of truth in that statement alone. But let’s talk about impermanence. Let’s talk about the things that scares us the most. Let’s talk about the uncomfortable. Let’s talk about the unknown. Let’s talk about uncertainties. Let’s talk about headaches and heartaches and the messy knot that is entangled inside our brains.
Let’s remember to go through the ruins, the fallouts, the unfathomable sadness. Let’s remember the countless times we’ve heard goodbyes and false promises. Let’s remember the times we’ve been told about the truth that turned out to be an abyss of lies. Let’s remember the many lasts that the year before has brought us—the last conversation we’ve had before drifting apart, the last time we saw someone we truly loved, the last time we were called ‘beautiful’ and actually felt like it, the last time we did something for the first time, the last time we cried so hard that we thought our ribcage would break, the last time we laughed so hard we have tears rolling down our cheeks.
Let’s allow ourselves the possibilities of falling and failing and breaking. Perhaps, there will be many times when we feel like people set us up for failure. But life, as you know it, surprises you. Life would look at you with light in its eyes and say, “I am not setting you up for failure, but something greater than that—to learn.”
And this is what I know is true—an unclean slate is nothing more than a canvas of colorful abstract, a list of things to remember your old self by: the way you hoped fervently, the way you held on tightly, the way you risked bravely, the way you fell gracefully, the way you loved fiercely.
All these are worth bringing into a ramshackle slate—a magnificence that is beautifully shredded, details of someone’s light shining brightly, blinding like the sun—always like the sun.
Photo from: http://scar3crow-and-fungus.deviantart.com/art/Corruption-315485728