Do you believe in fate and destiny?
Have you ever had any regrets?
Decisions that you wish you could undo?
Words that you wish you could take back?
Life is made up of the little decisions we took and influenced by those people we met along the way. They are all leading up to the path we’re in right NOW. It is OUR own responsibility to make the most of our life. We decide what’s the best for ourselves and for people we care the most. So when a friend asked me if I had any regrets in my life, I struggled for a while. I can’t think of anything!
A few years ago, when I was still in my crazy unrealistic planning-for-my-next-10-years mode, I used to think of a lot of plan B and what-if scenarios in my head. Lots of pessimism and uncertainties. Nowadays, I don’t like to think about regrets and ‘what if’ scenarios anymore, I’ll just do it. Whenever I feel nostalgic and start reminiscing the past events, I tend to think of my life as connecting those random dots and finding the reason why one thing has led to another in a totally random sequence of events. Most of the time, I could always find the connection and start seeing them in different light. Life will always remain filled with uncertainties. Now, I’d rather choose to see the bright side of every bad ugly things I experienced. Hence, no regrets.
There are many examples of connected dots in my life. I’ll share some of them in chronological order.
In 1996, I had a car accident. 18 year later, what’s left is my vague memory of that incident and a hardly-recognizable scar on my forehead (because I always cover it with my fringe). I still don’t know the purpose of that incident other than wasting a considerable amount of $ for laser treatments and having a split eyebrow (that can easily be fixed with some eyebrow embroidery). But then again, hey, I’m still alive, right? After that incident, I learn to be more relaxed and whenever a long-distance traveling by car or bus is inevitable, I won’t rush the driver to drive faster to get to my destination. I’ll always be alert throughout the journey. Maybe that’s why I could never sleep in moving land vehicles when I travel. I can have a quick nap in a ship or plane, but not in a car or tour bus.
In 2004, I almost lost hope of ever be admitted to my alma mater for my undergraduate study. After the entrance test, I was so convinced that I couldn’t get in, so I started looking for another university. I was considering a major in tourism and hospitality in one of the private universities back in Indonesia. It’s an expensive school and I don’t think they offer any scholarship or study loan. I was interested in languages (and I still am, until today) and I thought hospitality industry could help me make full use of my language ability. It turned out that there’s another plan in store for me. I was given the opportunity to attend an interview for admission, on the merit of my outstanding results at school. While my other bright friends were interviewing for scholarship, there I was, sitting nervously in my first important interview that will determine the course of my life for the next 4 years and in fact, for the next 10 years. I’ve been studying and making a living here ever since. Who knows what would happen if I wasn’t enrolled for that Engineering degree? I might become a hotelier or tour guide? I might be married with 2 kids by now? I might be…..yadda yadda yadda… That wasn’t my path before and I’m not sure if I still want to go down that path now. I’m right here, RIGHT WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO BE. Anyway, I still have a dream to open my own language center some day. So for now, I’m keeping the dream at the back of my mind while I’m doing my best threading my own unique path. I’m not in a rush. I’ll enjoy the journey towards my destination.
In 2008, I had to be in the wrong job for two months before I could fully appreciate my current job. Time flies and it’s been 5 years and 5 months since I started working in company X. I wrote about my first 30 days here. I’ve learned a lot more since then. More about myself, my priorities, my personalities and preferences, my interests. All of them led me to this post here, “Do what you love….and then what?”. Making a living is important, but actually living your life is even more important. We just need to find the balance.
In 2013, I had to finally take a small leap of faith and just do what I’ve always wanted to do. I went solo to study in a foreign country for a month and was living one of the best moments in my life. I could’ve chosen to do it in December 2013, but I went for November course instead. If I hadn’t changed my mind, I wouldn’t have met all my wonderful classmates. We’re all living our separate lives now, but I believe that the memories I had will last forever.
No matter how small the dots are, they are always connected. One more case, just this morning, I had to choose which slippers I should wear. At first, I was going for my brown slipper that I bought in Sydney. But then I changed my mind at the last second and chose the blue slippers that I bought in Bali instead. On the way to my Sunday duty at office, I missed a step and it just snapped. I had to carry it all the way up, half barefooted. If I’m a pessimistic person, I’d say: “Dammit, I regretted my choice. I should’ve just chosen the brown one.” But if I want to look at the bright side and connect the dots, I’d say that, “It’s OKAY, the slipper is quite old anyway and I just bought 3 pairs of new sandals last week in Batam.” So all is well. I managed to glue the slipper together for emergency but as soon as I reach home later, I’ll just throw it away.
As for my love life, I haven’t found the way to connect the dots yet. I wish I could. Anyway, life must go on and it’s up to me, whether I choose to live it to the fullest or regret all those distant events and wrong people in the past.
Based on the above assessments, I have to conclude that so far, all my random dots have been connected. I’m grateful for all the good and bad things that have ever happened to me.
How about you?
Are you connecting the dots?
Are you currently living a life with no regrets?
A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty; to provide you with guidance and support; to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant”.