of Duties

Expired Scientist
3 min readMay 28, 2023
Photo by La-Rel Easter on Unsplash

I was told, that life is a series of duties strung together — with a loose tie at the end. Just because you do not see it, does not mean it is not coming.

I was told, as the eldest son, as a son, as a student, as a follower, as a leader… that they all demand duties to be fulfilled. And I create this idea in my head that my worth is determined by how well I am being in duty of others.

I remembered when I hold dear to that sense of duties, I was whole with a sense of purpose, always looking up and forward to something. But I do remember… it was exhausting.

Now I am thirty-two, an age where I thought I could have a whole part of myself is figured out, but I am not. My life is entangled bit by bit — some for the better, but mostly it creates many loose ends of which I have no idea where it should connect to. Or even if it is worth to be connected.

I am grappling. I know I am worthy, but of what? There are thoughts to retire myself completely and to enjoy a simple life, but can I? I do not know what I want, but I know what I don’t want.

I was told, life is a struggle. With the struggle, come pain and suffering. But it also come with beauty and glory. Yet, the elation from the ups seem to be insufficient to cover the disappointment of downs these days. The higher I soar, the greater the fall.

I was told, it may be all hormones. Modern humans depend, or exposed to, intentionally or unintentionally, to chemicals and alterations that give them quick fixes. Just like a bridge with many broken parts, quick fixes sustain it but with not much longer, and with nothing but higher risks.

If chemicals — the applauded modern creation — cannot help in the longer run, what can?

I was told, that there is competing view of the modern world — while resources are scare and limited hence there is the need to either maximize or optimize, rizq or bounty is not. I might haven take a different spin from my experience growing up, but I am still learning to trust and to rely for what the future holds for me. That my future self would have it figured out or blessed with something that my current self would not even capable to comprehend.

Alas, for many obvious reasons, I cannot trust myself with the future, because for many times life makes the choices for me. And the choices I made to react to those choices made for me may implicate others whom I dearly care and love. Hence, life with little risks, less out-of-comfort zone seems to be the default mode for me.

Because I cannot shake this feeling of sense of duties lingering around me. Even if I cannot fulfill them to the best of my ability, I dare not to knowingly add burden to others.