The Table Fable

I love the study table in my room. I was barely eleven when we decided to replace the old one. Knowing that I'd be the one spending the most time with it, I took up the entire project, from design to color to feature. My attachment to it though, stems from the fact that it is tangible proof of every transition at every stage of my life.


I'm all about visualization. It has never been enough to only feel my sentiments, I need to see them outside of my head, whatever the medium may be. Back then, my table became my canvas. The adornments that I added over the years tell my story better than any amount of journaling ever could.


It started with stickers. Remember all those charts and scrapbooks and projects we submitted in school over the years? One day prior to each deadline, I got these packets of assorted stickers. Hearts, smileys, sequins, animals, cartoons, what have you. I always saved some of the best ones for my table. To this day, from the glass pane that guides my book collection, a shoal, Tom and Jerry, and a smiley wink back at me.


It all went from sweet to shit soon after. When I stopped being the big fish in a small pond, to be precise. The mammoth undertaking of competing with some of the brightest young minds of my time bore down on me. Stickers gave way to science. Endless sheets of paper, taped one over the other. My childhood never stood a chance.


I had this strange habit of writing on the surface of the table. Studying, doodling, or carving. That's why I knew nobody would pay attention to a few scribbles here and there. But, if one looks closely enough, they'd see that the inward wooden panels all over the table, ceiling, and otherwise, are covered in sloppy longhand. Motivation, manifestation, madness, call it whatever you please. But, I'd scrawled everything I wanted to remind myself everyday.


Something that I found immensely profound back then said, "When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place." Now that I think about it, it's really funny, for I have been a quitter all my life. I quit guitar when my fingers started to blister. I quit sports when I was required to level up my game. I quit human relationships when they demanded more effort than I thought worthwhile.


As far as I can remember, I have run away at the first sight of failure. Often, I have never started. And that, now I realize, has made all the difference. Whenever I have had an epiphany that has been too hard to face, like this one, I've found myself crouched in the leg space under the table - writing, introspecting, spiraling. It's located in the epicenter of my life, and yet, it's the only place that takes me away from it all.


Today, the table has pinned to it, my most precious treasures. Notes from my mother, wishes from my father, sketches from my sister. Photographs of everybody I love, a piece of everybody who loves me. On dark days, I look at it all, and I'm reminded of the bliss that life currently is.


In plain sight, written are the words: "We don't get to choose what life plays for us, but we do get to decide how we dance to it." Well, to this music, I say, play on, I sure am dancing.

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