Tuesday, August 28, 2012

d e v i a t i o n s

Perhaps a little random, but this is something that has been on my mind for a little while. Have you ever had those reflections where you step back amidst the turmoil that you might be going through and thought to yourself, "wait, none of this makes sense"?

"Why am I going through this?"
"Why am I tormenting myself?"

Sometimes life isn't what you expect it to be. Some of us have very specific expectations of how we want our lives to be. You know those expectations like, "I want to be fastest runner in the school" or "I absolutely need to get an A on this paper" or "I want to score that winning goal". I think we all have our own goals in life and reaching for these goals helps to guide us towards a certain path.

On top of all those lofty goals are the expectations that others also have of us. If you're from a Chinese family, you've probably been told, "finish school", "get a good job (ie. lawyer, doctor, engineer)". Even now, people are probably telling you, "get a better job", "start a family", and "you should do this, you shouldn't do that". We have all heard it before. But it is important that we don't take the guidance of those we love for granted. In all likelihood, they have experienced a lot and don't want you to make a mistake that they see coming.

So, with all this guidance and our own expectations it seems that we should be all set right? But what if life isn't like that? What if life isn't that simple? What if life deviates from your own plans and those external expectations?

What if, instead of getting an A in programming you realize that you want a career in business? Instead of relaxing on a much needed vacation in Africa, you realize that you want to make a difference in this world? Instead of not looking, you find the one that makes you most happy? The reality is that in life, changes happen all the time. The journey isn't easy, it is a struggle at times. You will find some plans work out and most fail. You will experience overwhelming happiness and you will go through gut wrenching sadness. And perhaps most importantly, you will find that life isn't something you can sufficiently predict.

What people fail to understand is that it isn't life unless you experience these bumps along the road. That unless you expose yourself to the unknown, you will also miss out on the potentially amazing. Excuse the reference to Finding Nemo, but Marlin said this more than once, "You think you can do all these things, but you can't Nemo!" You can either let these warnings stop you or, in spite of the warnings, you can give it your all and see for yourself if it was worth it or not. This is a decision that is yours alone and not for others to make for you. Like Nemo, you may find yourself proving not only yourself but others wrong.

"We don't enter our future, we create it."

We create it through the actions we take and the choices we make at the junctures along the way. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the best thing about tomorrow is that we don't what is going to happen. We each have our own journeys and although we may cross paths with others once in a while, our decisions are our own and not for others to judge. Change will happen regardless, you can choose to reject it and let life pass you by or you can accept it and do your best to keep up. Live a life with no regrets and do what makes you happy - and then realize that beating yourself up is as funny as it sounds.

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