Life is unpredictable, is the one of the first life lessons I learned at an early age. I usually associate the Filipino phrase “Walang sigurado” (Nothing is certain) with sudden death of loved ones—my favorite aunt, my grandmother, my brother-in-heaven.
The uncertainty of life (how long or brief it is, and what happens in it) had been a stumbling block, for 23 years or for the better part of my existence. A motivation to be more careful, to keep things close to my heart, well, close to my heart, and to tread through this Universe as cautiously as I can. Surviving rather than living.
But when a close friend had a serious illness that was not in any way caused by her lifestyle, I started to doubt the way I
live survive this life. I realized for the first time that, Life is short. So in 2016, I entertained the idea of veering away
from my tried and tested Cautious Way™. I spent the last few days of 2016 taking
this (to me, then) Big Risk
that previous-me would not have taken, or even thought of. And even then, when
I took that Big Risk, I still tried to control its outcome. To avoid surprises
and uncertainty. Long story short, I gave up before I really tried.
After much introspection after that Big Risk and how unsuccessful my Cautious Way™ has been in bringing me closer to my ultimate life goal (i.e. To Be Happy), I had new words to live by:
Life is too short for us to do the things we don’t want to do.
This new mantra helped me see 2017 in a different light. Things I previously would not have done, tried, or said yes to, I did. Reading a self-help book for the first time, sending an application letter for a job I considered to be way out of my league, swimming (metaphorically hehe) despite not knowing how and having nearly drowned in the past, trying new things, sharing myself with more people, just to name a few.
But of all these risks, the most important and most potentially damaging or uplifting (depending on the outcome) is, sending paper planes.
|Oh Wonder said to build a paper plane to float to you; I built a few more just to be sure.|
I still don’t know whether it was a good idea to send those “planes” but I measure its importance by my willingness to take a leap of faith. To just go and say, Bahala na si Batman.
Yes, it is still true that nothing in life in certain (I’m still not sure whether the recipient of the planes genuinely appreciated them, or were they merely being polite, or they didn’t want the guilt of turning down someone), but at least now I have the courage to willingly take a real leap. To leave it all to fate and great timing.
I took that leap not knowing what the outcome will be. I took that leap hoping for a less heartbreaking result than what I got in 2016. I took that leap exactly 38 days ago and up to now I'm still confronted with whys and hows. Does it really take 21 days to develop a habit? Do I want you to do things by force of habit or by conscious effort? Am I doing the right thing? Or is it too much? I am not any closer to the answers to my questions.
But what I am sure of is this, I took that leap with the hope that it will bring me closer to happiness only to discover that taking the leap itself made me happy.