how to fall in love with life

in 5 steps (results may vary)

Fayth Ong
4 min readMar 11, 2024
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

a recent spoken word event.

Step number one: Fall out of it

lose all your love
for the brilliance,
of this so-called life

weird first step,
right?

but you learn to appreciate the things you have
when you lose it in your already-loose grasp.

you’ll wish for happiness,
when all you have felt recently is sadness;

you’ll long for company,
when all you have been lately is lonely.

you won’t appreciate the act of breathing,
without gasping in the midst of drowning.

and the most unfortunate thing is,
you’ll realize it when it’s too late.

and you’ll know.
and you’ll try to care.

but you know
you wouldn’t mind
if nothingness weighs you down despite
“trying” to stay afloat.

you wouldn’t make a sound
when everything around you
is screaming at you.

Step number two: Have a quarter-life crisis.

well wait, you are sixth graders, so let me rephrase that.
have “an existential crisis”

question everything you know about life.
for example:

what am I here for?
why am I studying so much?

why is everyone expecting so much from me?
why am I putting so much pressure on myself?

why do I try so hard only to find out I am never enough?
why does it feel like everyone is just going to leave me?

why do I feel like I am such a disappointment?
what is life even?

question everything and anything!
get mad!

and then…
do you hear that?
silence.

Step three: Allow yourself to grieve.

why did we fall out of love life in the first place?

our love turns to disappointment.
constant disappointment turns to mistrust,

consistent mistrust to disgust,
expected disgust to discontentment,

repeated discontentment to hatred
and when hatred becomes too powerful for us to handle,
too much for us to process?

apathy.
indifference.
falling out of love.

so,
let yourself grieve.
let the tears fall.

because, life
is unfair.

the fates that decide our fate
won’t look at you
or your constellations,
or the cards you hold.

destiny is not a wishing well
where every wish will be granted
with the wave of their wand.

life only cares for herself.

so what can we do
when we cannot control our past,
and we don’t have a hand in our future?

we grieve.
we cry.
we scream.
we pray, even.

grieve for the life you wanted.
mourn for the days you lost.

and when you’re ready,
breathe in.
hold your breath,
steadily.

don’t let it falter.

Step Four: Remember to Celebrate Life.

look for how life came
and comforted you
at the times you didn’t even know she was there.

like
the first time you saw her
at the top of the mountain,

from the nothingness of the night,
with only your headlights lighting up the sky,

you’ll see her,
faint at first,
barely noticeable.

but then,
you’ll soon turn off your flashlights,
and realize you won’t need them anymore
to guide you to the path.

you see her,
shy at first,
you’ll notice the hues of her gown,

transform from black,
to purple,
to orange,
to yellow
hinting the sun rising along with her.

the animals flock toward her,
the others celebrate her existence
with sounds breaking the silence,

you
however
stare at her arrival,

while you stay,
in silent awe,
fearful if you make a sound,
she’ll turn away and hide.

but she doesn’t.

and suddenly,
the sun rising will remind you
why you continue to rise too.

Step five: Look forward to the next thing

it doesn’t have to be the same
jaw-dropping,
life-changing
awe-wondering
sunrise like earlier.

but,

look forward
to the next small thing.

look forward
to the ice cream outing
with your friends.

look forward
to the next music
your favorite artist is dropping.

look forward
to hearing your heart beat
and your cheeks turning red
every time your crush walks by.

look forward
to the annoying hugs
your siblings make at the end of the day.

look forward
to the notes you pass
with your classmates
with a gossip that just can’t wait,
(at the risk of you getting caught)

look forward
to the weekend
where you can sleep late,
wake up late,
with the moon staying up with you,

look forward
to high school,

heck, look forward
to your graduation,

cling
to anything
and everything

that will give you a reason
to live life a little longer,
even if it’s for the smallest of moments.

So,

if you cannot find anyone to live life for,
if you cannot find a reason to live for God,
for your family,
for your friends,
at least,
live life for you.

find anything that reminds you,
that life is indeed worth falling for.

because,
life is good.
life is worth living.

and you,
my friend,

or rather,
my kids,
my students,

have a life worth living for.

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Fayth Ong

Teacher || Writer || Traveller || Athlete || Immortalizing moments through writing