Mono No Aware
Transience can be a bitch, so suck it up.
Heidegger called it Angst: the apprehension of something which is not definite. We all face the possibility of an encounter with what we do not know on a daily basis. We are apprehensive of the incomprehensible. We can scarcely comprehend time before it passes, then we have a memory. The future is infinite and indefinite. We all approach what lies ahead with a bit of trepidation. We are intimidated with it.
Sometimes I wish I can just stay in one place, frozen in time, living off the here-and-now. There’s always the greener pasture ahead, but you can only understand how “green” it is based on what you perceive and believe it to be. Yet nothing is ever still. Things move on, and we move along with it. Time passes us by, and we live with it. There is only movement, and the feeling that we have to shed tears when we say goodbye. Even if it’s not necessary.
I guess that’s why you say your goodbyes way in advance, or why you brace yourself for a long journey even if you have yet to take a single step to wherever you’re going. You just don’t know how you’re going to react once that time comes. Or maybe it’s just extremely difficult to say goodbye at that precise moment when it happens. After all, goodbyes are never sure or certain. Like everything else, farewells move in time and space.
In a few days, I’ll be saying goodbye to officemates I have grown to admire and, given my bad people skills, consider my friends. I’ll be saying goodbye to a job that, for the longest time, I’ve grown to like. I know exactly what lies ahead… at least in my imagination. Yet I’ll never understand what that will be until that day comes. If the script in my head is something that I’ll follow, if spontaneity will take over, or if nothing will happen, much less a goodbye.
The Japanese call it mono no aware; the bittersweet sadness that comes with the passing of time, the coming of the seasons, and moving along destinations. It’s the more romantic equivalent of sucking it up, and the less convoluted explanation of Angst. That, I guess, is a feeling I don’t have to brace myself for.