I will not stop this quest of mine.
I will see this thing through to the end.
He remembers the first time he came here - a little over three years ago. Bright, young, eager. Anxious to please. Eager to prove. Ready (he thought) to show up and show out. The question was never whether he was ready for them, but whether they were ready for him.
Then it happened. All at once. The next thing he knew, he lost his bearings, lost his ground and ooof! A huge, brawling, sprawling fall. He lost his illusions right there - in that minute. He slowly became this other person. Speaking only when spoken to. Answering only when called. Barely looking up from his computer's monitor, absorbed daily by a million and one insecurities - the infinite list of little things that offend, change character ... he lost his propensity for magnanimous dreams and larger-than-life hopes. He became tamed. Subdued. Broken.
Bruised and belittled by the savage machinery that overrides good sense in the corporate world, he has become a slave to what was once his desire. He has begun to think less wistful, more somber thoughts: of years chained to a desk, of savings accounts slowly depleted. His hope seeps away. He is unconsolably unhappy. His life is being drained. But this is what he must do to pay the bills.
I passed him yesterday. There he sits, swallowed and drowning in the routine of a life he never bargained for and never fully understood until it was too late ...
He's not alone.
Across Jamaica, around the world, there are people -old and young- who resent the faces they now see in the mirror. They hate and abhor what they have become. They, too, have forgotten, what it means to dream. On the altar of 'getting by', they have sacrificed their heart's fire; trading the gleam in their eyes for a monthly pay cheque, the spontaneity that once defined them for accursed routine.
I grieve for a people who must live not as they want, but as they are compelled to by 'circumstances beyond their control'. This new year, may we all find the time to rewrite our missions, recharge our ignitions, and go get those dreams before it is truly too late.
Happy 2011, and thanks for making it a wonderful 2010.