Out of all the questions ever asked, one sticks out: how must one keep going? It’s a question that has glazed my life with its presence ever since I was a child. Over the years, I’ve found answers and then realised they were all wrong. Friends have come up to me and asked me a version of the same, dreaded question.
I don’t have an answer to the inquiry at hand. If I were even to try, I would barely be able to string one together. But there is one thing I’ve learned about myself which may or may not serve as an answer.
While I often stop walking, I’ve learned that I always manage to begin again. While there are days I want to give up, I often find an umpteen sense of hope in me on the most uneventful afternoons. I do not know where it comes from; I do not know which ancestor to thank for it, but I know it’s there. Maybe, you and I have someone in common—someone who came before—who never gave up. Perhaps that is why we are here today—talking.
I often notice how you refuse to give up too. I see you when I’m walking on the street. I see you sitting by the fire on a wintry evening. I see you laughing a little too loud at an unfunny joke at a party you didn’t want to attend. I do not know how long you’ve been fighting for, but I know how hard it is to keep going. I have no excuse to compare our maladies and troubles; yet, I believe something unites us.
Winters often remind me of how cold it can be. Even then, I can barely grasp how cold it must be as you lay down on your couch, all alone, wherever, whoever you are, and yet, I see you make tea for yourself. I believe the search for warmth made us human, and when there was little of it in the world around, we somehow managed to create it ourselves.
I do not know how we must keep going. I barely understand what pulls me out of bed on the worst mornings I’ve faced. To be honest, I shouldn’t even be here, writing these words.
And here I am—typing in the blistering cold on the patio of a café I visit too frequently, and there you are, reading them in some place and time far away from my own.
Here we are, together. Here we are, continuing.