Me in Pokhara, Nepal (January 2013)
I don’t understand people who complain about something without doing anything about it – not that I am an exemption, of course.
There was this person who kept ranting about how miserable his life is and that his life would have been this or that had the situation been this or that. Clearly, he has an idea of what “better life” looks like yet remains reluctant to take significant steps because his thoughts were fixated on the barriers rather than on creating opportunities.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know the value of TIME. A Japanese colleague once said, “the only thing that is fair in this world is TIME; we all get the same amount.” This statement struck me because I myself struggle with making the most of my time. You know, like right now at 1:30AM, I am still wide awake instead of hitting the sack.
These days, the world seems to have fallen short of optimistic people. There is always something to complain about. And most often, nothing changes because we are scared to stretch our boundaries a little bit or step out of our comfort zones. The moment we set foot out of that comfort line, fear of uncertainties would penetrate every corner of our heart forcing us to sprint back. The sad thing is that, we don’t realize how often we do this and how much time we have wasted.
As the cliché says, we take one step forward and two steps backward. And we still wonder why we aren’t going anywhere.
It hurts when our expectations go in vain. But when the table is turned around and we are the ones being subjected to a certain degree of expectation we cannot meet, it hurts just the same.
Indeed, every individual is unique and different. Some things may just be okay for us and yet others may see them as wrong. We can never fully put ourselves into another person’s shoes. We can never fully feel what the other person is feeling nor see things exactly as they see them.
It is futile to suffer because we cannot wholly understand someone the same way as it is futile to agonize over not being completely understood.
In the end, it is really just a matter of letting go… letting go of expectations including the expectation to be understood.
One of my favorite moments is having a cup of coffee or tea with a good book or over a good conversation.
This afternoon the sun was blazing like fire so I had a cold banana milk instead in a cute vintage-style café with my Irish friend. We talked about random things as well as how uncertainty could cripple some of our dreams.
A lot of people got stuck in their comfort zones because going to another country or getting a different job creates a jumbled image of the future. While she savored the adventure and lessons that came with living for a year in Thailand, her friend remained in Ireland doing the same partime job which will lead her to who knows where.
Staying in the same place or doing the same thing doesn’t give us certainty of the future. If one is happy with where s/he is and what s/he does, surely it is more than right to stay but being unhappy is a different case; something needs to change.
Stories about people losing their job or business in one blink isn’t something new. And while those people felt their future was secured, circumstances led them to a quandary. If we haven’t figured it out yet, at some point we should open our minds to the universal fact that nothing is certain in the future.
Life is fleeting to spend it doing the things that aren’t making us happy or not enabling us reach our full potential just because we are scared of change. As I looked back on my past decisions, I was happy to share with her that back then I just did what I wanted to do – came to Thailand without knowing what is in store for me – and that leap of faith brought me experiences I could have only dreamt of had I chosen to stay. This saying that came with our green tea cake motivated me once again to take risks and face life’s uncertainties head on.