I’m afraid of heights, snakes, sharks, deep waters, even smiling to a cute stranger. But you know what I am not afraid of? Change. I like it, I embrace it, I treat it as a friend. If I don’t change anything in my life, I know that I won’t be able to get what I want. I used to feel sad when I see people leave, but now I look at them, smile, and wish them the best of luck. I congratulate them for chasing after what they want. I admire them for not letting a goal or a dream to become a “what if”.
Because that’s how, in my opinion, people should live. We are only given one life (even if reincarnation is true, it’s not like we can remember our past life anyway right?) and we owe it to ourselves to do everything in our capacity to live with more of, I-shouldn’t-have-done-that than I-wish-I-have-done-that. For me, it’s always better that you did something and it didn’t work than to never have tried at all.
I made many decisions in which people called me reckless. They think that I based everything on emotions, that I do not ponder on things. They might be right, but I also know that I have never achieved much when I was being too careful. And so whenever there is a chance, I choose to take a leap of faith. As long as I know in my heart that it’s right, I go for it.
You may say that it’s easier said than done and you are right; it always comes with a struggle. But remember what I said in my previous post, “stop asking for easy.” Anything great is not supposed to be easy. When you choose to do more or be more, you should be ready to take on new challenges. To pull this off, you should always trust in your abilities. Determine what you can and cannot do then either improve yourself or work with what you’ve got. The key here is to always take courage even when you are not sure of the outcome. Will you be successful? Maybe. Will you fail? Maybe. Either way, you will learn, and that is the reward for bravery.
I didn’t gain this confidence overnight, it took many years of failures, heartbreaks, and depression. I was also that person who used to worry all the time, constantly obsessing on the littlest of things. But as I grew old, so did the learning and one of them is that worrying is unproductive and a waste of energy. 99% of the time, the things that we worry about doesn’t happen, or if they do, it was not as bad as we thought they’d be.
In life, everything happens because of a decision. You can listen to what people say; be smart and wait, or listen to what your heart says; be brave and take action. I’ve done both, but I find that in those times that I chose to take courage is when great things happen to me. And so I choose to be brave.
Recently, something occured that forced me to reassess my life. It’s probably great timing because it was just a week before my 35th birthday. I went home reeling from the events and I spent the next day trying to figure out what to do. I spoke to a few of my friends to seek counsel and they advised me to basically do nothing and just accept my fate. Besides, it’s not like the battle cannot be won, I got people who believe and support me after all. When I think on it, following my friends’ advice is the safest albeit a discomfiting choice, kinda like getting a tooth extracted; a little painful, but once the tooth is gone it’d be over.
Yet, I couldn’t do it. Call it pride, call it foolishness, but I was very distressed with the consequences of staying put. I know my friends mean well and they were just trying to look after me, but when I asked myself if I would be okay with it, the answer is no. I won’t be able to live with it, and I cannot be consoled.
(I know I may not be making much sense to you right now, sorry that I cannot be more explicit. Maybe in time I would be able to tell you the whole story.)
The other option is what my heart was telling me to do. Now this one is much more difficult; it would be uncomfortable, it would be uncertain, it would be unstable. Nevertheless, when I asked myself if I could live through it, the answer is yes. Guts told me that the pain will be worth it. Sure, the challenge is greater, but it will also be very liberating and exciting. The best part is that no matter the result, whether I succeed or not, I will come out an improved person. That to me, is enough a reason to take the risk.
I know when god or the universe is talking to me. The day before I left for Malaysia for a vacation, I received the memo. I will find comfort with the thought that should I fail, at least I tried. After all, I intend to collect more regrets than what ifs in this life.