Tired of Sunsets


On my way to work today, an old, familiar song played on the radio. It was not the original but an even slower interpretation, as if at 5AM I needed to hear lullaby. Nevertheless, the recognition pulled me back to when I used to hum it. I was so much younger then, in high school, seemingly with an entire life ahead of me. I could see myself in the attic of our house watching the sun set over the horizon, an incomprehensible melancholy washing over me.




I remember, not just the many twilights I watched from my window, but the summer days when I played in vast fields of green or climbed mango trees to see the smattering of houses below me. I remember jogging to the nearest shore to catch a salmon-colored sky. I would sit on the sand and soak in the beauty of the world.

There was a time in my life when I loved sunsets, the beach, and an entire forest of trees I could gaze at. But life, as they say, happened. Something changed, maybe not irrevocably, but fundamentally. I'm still figuring it out, how I used to loved the sunsets and now I'm tired of them. Somewhere in my life, my perspective changed. I changed. Not a wild swing, but a gradual progression that's almost imperceptible.

When someone mentions going to the beach or going somewhere to commune with nature, observe sunrises and sunsets, I think to myself, what am I going to do there? Think about my life? Feel emotional... about what exactly? Party and get drunk? The last time I had been to the beach was in 2012 when my friend and I drove to Florida, because she had been living in the desert and had forgotten what a sea looked like. Even then, we only spent two nights and I did not walk along the sands to reflect about life in general. I took her to a bar and ordered as many drinks as I could for her. I was driving, so I stayed sober.

This is what I'm wrestling at. The distance between who I am and who I used to be. Somehow I want to bring myself back to when I used to love the sunsets. I have been meaning to go to a beach and rediscover the beauty in it. But it no longer excites me the way a city does. It's easier for me to hop on a plane and get lost in a foreign metropolis than trek stretches of sand and dirt, swim, walk just to catch the rising and the setting of the sun.

I'd rather walk all day getting lost in the city, eating food I don't know, and watching how people live in other places, how they cope with the ordinariness of life. Two weekends ago, I flew to Hong Kong right after work on a Friday night. I spent the next 30+ hours walking around the area where I stayed at. The only physical remembrance that I was there was the Apple watch that my officemate asked me to buy for her.

I had the view of Victoria Harbour from my room and that was enough for me. Briefly in the morning and late in the afternoon, I would glance at my window and see the sun rise and set. It was beautiful, but there was no sentiment attached to it. If anything, the only thing I felt was a sense of gratitude of being there, of being able to travel on a whim, which is something I have longed to do.

I realized that part of the reason why I'm tired of sunsets is not mere cynicism. When I was young, I had my whole life ahead of me. I was so much of a dreamer, feeling sentimental, not only about the trivialities of adolescent life (which seemed so huge at that time), but also about life itself and waiting for it to happen. Now that I'm older, I find that life is short and getting shorter. Time is finite and there's only so much you can do with it. Life is happening now.

I reckon, if I get to old age, I might once again be awed by the setting sun and the solitude of the sea. My mind filled not with dreams, but with memories of a life lived well beyond anything I have ever dreamed of.

Comments

  1. Life too happened to me. But you know what, i think i will never get tired of sunset, of its bursting colors of layered palette of what-salmon you said, vermillion, marsala, tangerine, sweet red wine, old brick domes and rusted gates. I would never get tired of sunset but rather, add more colors to it as days pass. We have to start using instrospection as a powerful passage to nurturing what remains beautiful rather than being cynical, lonely or exhausted. Being reflective is not always negative. Beauty such as sunset should inspire. Beauty inspires. And that is how i will never get tired of sunset.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your point of view. I prefer the sunrise nowadays. :)

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