“Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.”
As a teen, I have always thought that life would be but a dream if I keep on rowing gently and merrily. I have grown to an extreme extent with the idea in mind that if I keep on going, I will be able to reach the path where I am supposed to be, achieve my goals and live an American dream.
Young, brave, and bold in whatever hindrances she may encounter, that is the exact identity of my teenage self. My younger version is a brave lass that keeps on going no matter what, only with the vision in mind.
With such an attitude and free spirit, I am steadfast on my clear goal so I keep on rowing and rowing merrily even without an exact path to the trail.
Nevertheless, I reached the point where I questioned everything. Asking questions like, where am I supposed to be? Am I really on the right path? Is this the life that I had been vying for? Is this really what I wanted?
These questions led me on losing my sense of direction in life. I got fixated on the damages on my boat not in my rowing and destination. And as I reached adulthood, I even ended up piling more questions which I can’t come up with any answers. From that point, depression started creeping up inside me.
With all my let downs eating me up, I stopped rowing merrily. I lost all the mustered strength I have and nearly succumbed to giving up. I tried reaching out to others but none of it worked. They have given me advice and I truly appreciate that yet those are not enough.
You can’t just rely on others. There are really battles that you have to fight alone. Battles only you have to face, answers you have to seek on your own. And you’re shaved off to the corner on making meaning out of everything to keep going.
But to keep on going, to make meaning out of everything and to seek answers ain’t an easy job. So I decided to stop rowing not just merrily but the rowing process per se.
I paused at all the problems and challenges in my life. I had myself get drowned and lost in the deep and vast ocean of reality. That is when I realized that in life, you have things you must remember.
You can’t just live life without directions. You can’t just run for nothing. You have to face reality. And that you have to be content and satisfied in your life removing all your expectations, as life is real and not ideal.
And from what I have learned from what I was going through, you can always lose yourself in the process of blooming and regaining a better version of yourself.
You cannot always expect things to always happen the way you’ve always wanted. Reality is entirely different from dreams. You only disappoint yourself if you expect too much. You have to face your expectations with acceptance and contentment so you don’t get lost in the stream of your kind of ideals and idiosyncrasies.
“It is okay to be lost” is one of my favorite band quotes. It is okay to feel broken. It is okay to be mad. It is okay to get hurt. It is okay to get lost. It is okay not to be okay. For getting hurt, being vulnerable, and losing yourself is a way to find yourself.
Everyone is a lost oarsman rowing in whatever manner and way they wanted. We may have failures, downsides as we go along the river of life. And in the process of rowing, we may lose ourselves, get hurt, and all.
We may not regain what we have lost and the emotions and dedication we invested but we will be able to get back and continue the journey we initially started.
For even after all the detours and mishaps, life is still but a dream. And despite everything, we will continue to row gently and merrily and soon arrive at each of our own destinations.
I am a local freelance Filipina writer, teacher, and novice digital artist who wants to spread the value of loving oneself. I aim to be an extension of help for those who are suffering from depression and anxiety. I believe that even I’m also suffering, I can offer help and assistance as we heal together. Connect with Kiah Librea through her social media: