“Independence of path,” said my Complex Analysis (Math) professor, as I snapped out of my daydream, “is equivalent to…” I fell asleep once again. My body is in a state of perennial lethargy, and my mind, in utter weariness.
It must be the long, boring commute.
Getting to school usually takes me two hours: I start with a 15-minute walk to the jeep stop; then, a 30-minute jeep ride to the MRT station; lining up to get into the station usually takes 10 minutes; waiting for the train, 10 minutes, as well; the train ride—given there are no technical difficulties—takes 15 minutes; my second jeep ride, including the lining up, takes 30 minutes; lastly, I end with a 10-minute walk to class. Two hours. On a fair-weathered day.
There must be something I can do to get me out of this routine.
Deep within the entrails of our attic lay an old bike. I remember buying this a few years back. It was a mountain bike with a matte-red finish. It was sturdy, and the suspensions were amazing; forest trail rides were as smooth as slicing butter. That was until it started falling apart—and, as a high school student who had no means of sustaining himself financially, I was not able to finance its upkeep. And so it was kept in the attic, left in stagnation.
Without a moment’s hesitation, I started repairing my old bike, and before long I was able to ride it. I decided I would take it to school, try out some new routes and see which would get me there faster.
Since then, I’ve ridden my bike to go to school.
In this bike-riding affair, I have learned two things: 1) going to school on a bike takes me just as long and renders me just as tired as had I commuted; but 2) the things I find, the places I discover, the people I meet along the way pave a more captivating, more amusing path than before.
Indeed, getting to my destination—considering the time it takes and the effort I exert—is independent of path. And so I might as well take the more rewarding path—the path less travelled.