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Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Summer to Remember - Overcome by Beauty

My favourite movie line comes from American Beauty, when the teenager is sharing his simple but captivating video of the plastic bag dancing in the wind: "sometimes there is so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."

I've had this feeling often during this summer, by far the best of my life.

I spent the vast majority of my summer outdoors, communing with nature, and with people who have the same passion. I attended four festivals, each unique in their own way, and each building upon the previous one, adding another layer of love. The fourth festival added the cherry on top, and since then I've been bursting with love and often spontaneously on the verge of tears.

While many would negatively associate tears with sadness and misfortune, my tears are associated with joy and happiness. And those tears have been incredibly healing.

I've experienced such epiphanies in the past but, somehow, this summer I've summited higher peaks of beauty and joy, and seem to be elevating to higher states of love and consciousness. Even in recent weeks, as I have lived small, my mind feels activated, my heart open and overflowing with positivity. My creative juices are flowing and I am writing a lot. There are new creative avenues that I am keen on exploring.

I only wish I was able to convey this feeling and spread it outward. This feeling is indescribable, incommunicable, can only be experienced; this state of being eliminates the need for any judgment or negativity that causes harm to our world.

Consequently, it confuses me why most people cannot witness and experience this beauty; that society traps us in suffocating boxes which only offer small, short glimpses of such beauty, before shuttering the blinds.

On the contrary, it seems most people would rather focus on negativity and fixate on extremist ideals, rushing to judge different people as if they were a lower species (though all living things deserve equal consideration). It's especially ironic, since today's world is the most peaceful in human history. Peace like love, flows and has its peaks and valleys. We must not confuse this current valley as a precipitous drop off a cliff into war, despair and destruction.

The third piece of the befuddling puzzle is a deepening sense of becoming more and more disconnected from this world which I so badly want to showcase this beauty to. I no longer wish to conceal this conflict, for it forgives ignorance, which causes the same problems plaguing our world, and prevents open dialogue, which is what we need to move forward on these issues.

My family and I are growing apart, due to my own extremism. My extremism is centred on ideals of love and freedom, and have given me a lot of happiness; yet, instead of being happy for me, they judge me. I am consequently befuddled. Though my life obstacles are universal, my Asian-Canadian peers fully understand the challenge of growing up in a Western culture, but raised on conservative ideals.

My future is vague, but I do see an eventual resolution to my conflict with my family. However, my projection towards meeting their expectations won't come for several years as I still have a lot of growing up and soul searching to do. Before I can focus on them, I need to focus on me.

For now, I can only continue to focus on the beauty around me - around all of us. If I follow my heart and seek out the beauty, my footsteps will take me on a path towards success. And I encourage everyone to do the same.

I live life with no regrets. It's what led to the most memorable summer of my life.

A photo collection of the best scenes of my summer:

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