“My friends, remember this. All your failures stay with you, accumulating themselves time after time. They are designed & engineered to break you because what breaks you makes you.” 7 of January 2018.

The undertone of this statement echoes that of the nature of a Phoenix: it incinerates itself anew. Perhaps, this is the tone that I would like to cast upon my readers.

I seem to have a strange obsession with an abstract entity that we bank most of our effort: the future. Getting the future to travel on its intended trajectory (as we would hope, of a neverending endurance) is akin to wrestling with dragons while being scantily equipped with a pair of chopsticks and a blunt butter knife. There is a weapon, though really unwieldy for the most part, that could be of a service to us. This weapon is also an abstract entity, a Yang to the future’s Yin, which is our past.

Our past is our noble phantasm, if only the wielder can bear holding it. But how?

Most of us would look back into the events that molded our present with a rosy, romanticized view of how these events being kind to us, that our pasts nudged us into the right direction. We are accustomed to turning them into a memoir worth being bottled and sold at a flea market, labeled with “prescription-free self-help” vitamin.

“Here, take this advice. When I was young, like you are now, I happened to make this decision that profited me. Take this, and you will be happy.”

A cynical alchemist, as I have been trained to be, I have been primed to approach events that took place in my past a little differently. That we have to give a proper merit to all those events like they are bestiality equivalent to an aggressive malignant tumor that seeks nothing other than the destruction of its host.

Taking this approach as an example, I live in fear that nature is conspiring against me. What if things that I currently doing right now (pursuing an advanced education, among others) would eventually materialize as the servant of my desolation? Taking that sentiment a step further (or perhaps a step backward?), what if my decision 5 years ago was actually a meteorite betting its chance to enter my Earth?

Am I questioning my fate? Seems like it. Am I assigning blames to my lack of insight when I made some of those decisions? Proactively so. Is it necessary? I guess.

Why?

Instead of thinking all the decisions I made were the right ones, and by putting them in the (probable) bin of mistakes waiting to be realized, I am more aware of the future. I seek not to wait for my future to reveal itself before me (hey Aizan, it is me again!), or elusively hinting way forward (yeah, future is speaking here, you should do that).

The future best be sought by donning a pair of past glasses.

“Am I doing this right, for my future? Should I take this road? Is this the right decision? What would be the alternatives?”

That’s it.

“What would be the alternatives? If this went terribly wrong, what could we salvage from this shipwreck?”

This sets the stage for the resurrection of our Phoenix if things did go horribly wrong.