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stop talking to yourself

it's a new year and i guess it also means it's a brand new start. 18 days of solitary confinement in morocco did indeed change alot of things. it started out as an adventure sought after to quell the wandering lust of my heart, but it ended up as an expedition to the deepest and farthest recesses of my soul. it was an awakening and a stirring. it was 18 days of pondering and reflection, by transplanting myself into a foreign land and challenging myself to live by myself, for myself, and to survive.

the silence was screaming to be heard and i heard it. it grabbed you by the neck and forced you along, not knowing that you were no helpless victim, but a voluntary sacrifice. so i did not trudge along, i ambled, and i came to peace with this silence. and in it, i found myself and the answers to the questions that drove me to the state of being i had been stuck in for so long. i found a glimmer of hope, and a shot of life. and more importantly, i found humanity in the people i met along the way. they showed me that we're all pretty much the same. we're all people looking for something and that life is not very much dissimilar from where we all come from. because if silence and solitude was the natural human condition, it must also mean that there exists people fighting to break the mould. i saw the good in people and i learnt to trust again. travel guides and people warn you to be careful of the hustlers and touts in morocco, and that more often than not, people approach you with some hidden motive. yet, your gut and heart is a much better judge than you think, especially when you're all alone. it becomes a much better judge and now i'm reassured that i am still human - still capable of discerning between the good and the bad. i've learnt sincerity and what it truly means to be unpretentious. it's all about taking the risk to let your guard down for just that one moment, and then to reap the happiness of what is to come. it's always taking the first step and i've come to believe that should the time come, i know that i'm fully in control of not only my emotions, but the courage to take that first step again.

i left my house for morocco with no plans in sight, no itinerary and no hopes. i made my plans on the go, and changed it whenever i liked, simply because there were no restrictions. the only end state i had in mind was to get to malaga in spain by the 29th to catch my flight back home. so yes, i was driven by this unknown. i think halfway along the way in 2008, i lost sight of where i was going, of where i wanted to end up at. and in the in-betweens i got lost, i got confused and more importantly, i got wrapped up in myself. i got so involved in the uncertainty and the unknown i lost myself. i found myself again in morocco.

the effect of the natural beauty of the landscape cannot be put down in words. no words can describe the sense of insignificance and awe while standing in the sahara desert at night, amidst the dark silhouettes of the sand dunes, and upon looking up, encounter a vastness so immense you tremble at its greatness. the infinite amount stars that were scattered across this vastness somehow seemed to reassure you, telling you not to quiver under its shroud simply because life is looking after you. you're nestled in comfort under this astounding beauty. and then you travel southwards, through the green mountains, and then snow covered ones, before reaching the coastline, and you marvel at what one country has to offer. it then reaffirms the fact that there is so much in the world left to see and it stirs in you further that sense of inner turmoil of not knowing of where you're from, and where you're going. all you know is that you want to see as much of the world as you can, as best as you can.

i came back a changed man, i hope. i choose to believe that i came back stronger and more decided. i came back having moved on. and all i can hope is that this feeling's not a transient one, because i like how i am now and i'm not ready to go back to the way things were before. i'm awakened now from a slumber i've been stuck in for too long.

i have a shisha corner in my room now where my two-piped shisha pipe sits atop my moroccan silk carpet. heh. and i'm way too tanned for my own good. skin cancer beckons. lol

“stop talking to yourself”