Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
Well, I want to make this blog as honest as possible with you guys. I won’t sugarcoat my life and try to pick the peakest moments in my life just to make you jealous.
Looking back, as Mr. Twain said, there were decisions I took that now, if time machine exists, I would go jump onto the younger me, grab her face, and yell “YOU ARE RIGHT!! KEEP DOING IT!!”
Most of such regrettable decisions revolve around insisting status quo to prevail, rather than trusting my gut and and keep moving on, regardless how crazy it sounds back then.
So here are my biggest regrets in life, that I want to make up now.
1. Abandoning my blogs.
I always know that I have a talent in writing. When I was in the third grade, we had these extra-curricular lessons that we can choose. While most of my friends back then chose dancing, drawing, scout – I, along with 3-4 kids, selected a not-so-popular choice: Creative Writing.
Yes. I remember vividly, spending afternoons after school in the computer lab, typing stories and fictions into Windows-98 PC.
It was only natural that when the world of blogosphere catches my attention back in middle school years (around 2006), I plunged right in. The first time was a blog under blog.com domain. It was replaced by saushine.wordpress.com which I took care during high school and freshmen years, along with kebumianzone.co.kr that now become the official site of Indonesia Earth Science Olympiad, toiki.or.id. Now, that one is also a huge regret, to transfer the Earth Science site that I consider my life and my child into another site, but yeah, I consider it as a “gift” to the Indonesian Earth Science world.
Then in the last years of uni and first year of professional world, I attempted to open sarahexplicitly.BlogSpot.com, which is now to be converted into this site.
In total, there were 4 blogs that I have created over the span of about 8 years (from middle school to now) that I left cold. Now, I realize that this is my life calling. I am positive that storytelling is my destiny, including – and most importantly – via written medium.
Because, you know, it could be me.
Why did I turn my back from the blogging world? What was I thinking?
The answer most likely lies in the biggest regret #2…
2. Took school and standardized tests too seriously.
I am talking about K-12 schools, especially the middle and high. If you test me now about whatever I learnt back then, my answer would be, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Because… to be honest, we use it very little, now that we become a professional!
I’ve never been a fan of schooling system and especially standardized test. When I was in high school, I was stressed out so much that I really consider homeschooling as the best system, albeit cannot experience one. However, due to my “straight-A”nature and the fact that elder people around me somehow see this as something really, really important, I put this into top priority. The cost was abandoning hobbies (such as blogging) to make time for studying.
Only today, I realize, how stupid this decision is.
Had I stood my ground to pursue my passions in writing, I might turned out happier and make a living out of my very hobby.
which brings us the last, and the greatest regret of my life, so far…
3. Not listening to my gut.
Tim from Wait but Why explain this concept really clearly. Caring too much about what other people think, a.k.a. letting our life getting trampled by fearful Mammoth results in our Authentic Voice (AV) being tuned out and neglected. While I consider myself always a quirky and original person, I have to admit that my Mammoth might have got the better of me.
Exhibits: unfinished blogs. unfinished novels. unfinished projects. Not taking gap year.
Reason: following the “normal” path.
Being original is vulnerable. You will be different. Maybe abnormal. However, that’s the very definition of original itself. I should have listened to the Authentic Voice inside and me and do the “nananana” ear-blocking index finger thing to all the deniers and doubters. I should believe in rocking on with my dreams and natural talents.
On the brighter side…
This should happen to many folks around us. It is the paradox to the general, void encouragement of follow your dreams but having society pressured you to take a certain path and be in a certain “safe” professions. And the worst part is, I gave in.
However, I am happy that I acknowledge these regrets in my early 20s. It means that I still have the time and energy to change the course of the ship. As I said before, I want to make up to these. I know what I want and I know where I am going.
Hopefully, if you endure something similar, maybe this post is the “slap” that you need. And hey, you are not alone. Whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s – it’s never too late. Because, what really matter is,
to be the man in the arena.
Well, what do you think? Let’s converse. Share your stories here.