Last week, I attended my friend’s birthday party. It was a cozy rooftop gathering with her close friends.
We tied down two silver balloons on the fence that spelled out “25”, against the skyline of Hong Kong and an orange, tranquil sunset. The balloons danced erratically in the wind. As I stared at them, I thought to myself,
“25, What a beautiful age.”
It’s funny, because it’s not like I am thatttt much older. Just one year and half to be exact.
A few years ago, if you asked me, how did I feel towards my future? I’d tell you, I don’t know, probably with an anxious and confused look.
Now, if you ask me, how do I feel towards my future? I will still answer you, I don’t know, with that same confused look, but with acceptance and more importantly, excitement.
Over the past few years, I’ve been through several emotional hardships.
Moving across the world, adjusting to new environment and friends, being alone, working a high intensity job and then quitting it, going through breakups, and experiencing family issues—
I’d be lying to say that I was the happiest person on earth during those tough times.
But thanks to these seemly negative experiences, I went through the lowest lows of my life. I was confronted with problems that I never had to deal with before. I felt despair and anxiety. I made tough decisions. I fought at my hardest to discover and be at ease with who I truly am, to be more disciplined and mindful from the inside out, and to take complete control over this ever-evolving life.
I am still uncertain about the future. I am still not sure when and how exactly I will achieve what I want. But I am proud to say that now I am simply doing my best everyday.
Each moment of right now is the time for me to fully start loving, appreciating and living in everything I have.
I no longer feel like I’m just on the way to something so grandiose or heavy. I no longer feel fixated on an unclear picture, to an extend that I cannot be fully present for the reality of what is here now.
There is a quote by my mindfulness teacher Tara Brach that perfectly describes this idea,
How you live today, is how you live your life.
Are you living today as if your life really matters?
Are you living today as a filler time, or a preparing time?
Brach elaborates on this beautiful concept as follows:
“Everything that happens is part of the path, like when we get sick or in the midst of the conflict with a partner or financial difficulties, the things that seem in the way are the way. That’s the place asking for attention.
What are some of the ways that we can pay attention when we’re in the thick of things that allow us to be most present, really give us access to our quality of steadiness and openheartedness and our natural intelligence?
We spend many moments of our life on our way to something else. It’s as if we’re racing to the finish line. And I’d say that sometimes the most deepest despair that someone will report to me is a feeling of skimming the surface and not really arriving in one’s life.”
Uncertainty is uncertain for a reason. If you can learn and be prepared for anything to come, then there are no more adventures left to life.
I still believe in fate, timing and all that. But I also firmly believe in the fact that my future is an open book. And I am the one holding this dazzling, feathered pen, writing down anything I want.
At the end of my story, I want to be able to flip back and say,
“Well, that was full of ups and downs, but I was fully there for all of it.
I regret nothing.”
Kornfield and Brach. (2020). Session06–aTranscript [PDF]. Retrieved from https://product.soundstrue.com/power-of-awareness/
Melody Zheng :)