The other day I met up for the first time with a person I have been following online for a while now. He was in town for some work-related stuff, so we went out and got some dinner and had a very enjoyable conversation about a multitude of things, ranging from Youtube-videos to the book about Islam I was reading at the moment and even rap. Lots of hip-hop and rap.
Throughout the conversation, I was struck by how much I admired what this friend had to say about everything. He was well-versed in a lot of things, exposing that he’d been reading a lot, and for a long time too, it seemed. He made sharp observations and asked questions that made my brain sweat more than it was used to, and he was funny too. You could see that he was passionate about the things that he talked about, and that demanded my attention without him having to do much but share his thoughts with me.
At the end of the night, when I had to send him back to his hotel, I asked him what his age was. He said he was born in 1989, which is a year before I was born. He added that he was born in December, which makes him closer to being a 1990-born person that most of his batch-mates. This dazed me a bit, because he came off as such a wise and knowledgeable person that it was hard to digest that he had only been in this world 8 months longer than I have.
It made me feel like I had wasted a lot of time, being on this Earth almost as long as he has, yet, only really knowing less than half of the things he knows and is well-versed about. It was a humbling experience, talking to a peer in age, but far more senior in the thinking department. It kinda sorta made me feel bad, not to the discredit of that friend, but on my own account, it made me realise that I have such a long long way to go and so many more things to learn and explore.
I think a lot of the time I spent during my younger days (amboi sembang macam orang tua sangat dah ni) was essentially wasted with excessive naps and doing, basically, nothing. I could spend two hours on 9gag like it was nothing at all, yet feel that time is creeping by SO slowly when I’m reading a book. Although today I find myself on 9gag almost never, I can never really re-do that time in the past when I could have spent researching the origins of rap music or actually getting my assignments done.
Having said all this, I realise that it is pointless to regret the past. One can never really change it, no matter how long one dwells on it. What one can do, however, is learn from it, and do better. Make improvements in how I use my time, now and in the future. Progress to become a better human being before the eternal afterward. That’s all one has to do, really.