What if. What if I made a different choice? What if I didn't quit my job? What if I pursued my passion?
What could have been. I could have been promoted if I stayed a little bit longer. I could have worked overseas if I worked hard to become a manager. I could have had better opportunities if only I studied harder. I could have succeeded if only I was more confident.
I'm still on a vacation with my wife in another country. One week in and I have a tiny glimpse of what it's like to live in another country. The air and surroundings are clean, people only work from exactly 9 to 5, parents take their kids to school, parents spend a lot of time with their kids, the kids can go outside without parents' worrying about their safety, and yes, the government is not corrupt and there is no traffic! Not to mention, people doesn't seem to care whether you are rich, part of the working class, a foreigner, or a local. So far, every one has treated us with courtesy and respect.
How wonderful it would be to really live here!
But, there were also moments when I was filled with regret. I know some former colleagues who have moved to this country. And I thought to myself, "What if I didn't leave the accounting firm four years ago? I could have had a better chance at moving to this country."
And so, my what-ifs and what-could-have-beens held me back from being grateful for what I have, from appreciating the things I learned for the past four years, from embracing the choices I made, and from enjoying the life I have right now.
Many times, we find ourselves dwelling on our past and getting lost in thoughts of regrets and the things that we do not have. And the time we spend doing so not only wastes our time, but also suck our energy, excitement, and enthusiasm about life.
Perhaps, all we can do to move forward is to let go of our what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. We have to be deliberate in focusing on where we are right now and striving to be where we want to be and who we want to become.
When we let go of those two things, we realize that we're just right where we are supposed to be.
P.S. When I quit my job four years ago, my dream was to become a full-time writer. I just realized that I already am with my day job as a writer. (Woohoo!) The journey hasn't been easy. It took a lot of heartaches and insecurities (and pay cuts and lost opportunities). But, I'm still right where I'm supposed to be. Next goal: to become a full-time blogger. The seeds have already been planted with this blog already in place. I'm far from my goal, but I guess I couldn't ask for more. And I'm sure you're also right where you're supposed to be.
P.P.S. Also, I'm still holding on to my dream of volunteering to teach Catechism to Filipino kids. And it requires that I stay in our beautiful country.