As the world ushers in a brand new decade, sirens are blaring at the back of my mind. I am now stepping into the half-way mark of my third decade. It has been a whirlwind learning process.
Am I scared, in shock, worried, puzzled, regretful, apologetic, re-energized, uplifted, thankful, honoured, content, confused, bemused or amused, confounded or dumbfounded?
Yes. I have all these and many more conflicting feelings about where I am now in my life, where I am coming from and where I am headed.
But I have loved and I have been loved back. I have triumphed and I have failed miserably. I have hurt people but I have also consoled many others.
I've been right and I have been left with serious consequences after making wrong decisions. I have aspired and perspired, and I have also inspired.
I have lied and confessed and I have cheated and gotten well treated. I have paid in kindness and I have been repaid in madness.
So given a second chance, what would I wish to be different in my life?
Nothing much I guess. But........maybe..........if it's not too much to ask............the learning cycle, could it play out backwards?
Learning school subjects afresh
Now that I have witnessed the long summer days and the long winter nights, seen snow falling from the sky and experienced temperatures in the negative zones, can I have that high school geography lesson on climatic regions?
Having knocked on what used to be the house of Tippu Tip or marvelled at Seyyid Said's spleandour in Zanzibar and seen the centuries-old mango trees that a besotted Sultan imported from India to please his wives, where is that primary school history teacher?
I'm also ready to learn more about the Boston Tea Party, dear high school history teacher, having been to Boston U.S.A's New England and now London in good old England itself.
And because I have a clearer impression of the devastation of the atomic bomb, having visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, can I rewrite my undergraduate Literature seminar paper on Daisaku Ikeda's personal accounts of the atomic bombing victims?
Or better still, having seen the preserved horrors of the Apartheid demolition squads in District 6, in Cape Town, South Africa, can I resubmit my book report on Alex la Guma's, 'A Walk in the Night?'
While still at it, can I now write some primary and secondary school English language compositions about the most exciting place I have been to, now that I have seen the sky-scrapers of Chicago in the U.S., visited the the Bob Marley museum in Kingston Jamaica, laid eyes on the Great Wall of China, waded in the waters of the mighty River Nile in Jinja, Uganda and taken a peek at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany?
And having so toured several countries already, can my high school Aviation Technology teacher now intimidatingly ask the class, 'Who has ever travelled by air?'
Indeed, if horses were wishes, genies would be out of business.