I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams
Being on “post-surgery-rest-and-recuperate mode” has given me time to do a lot of things I normally would not have time for if I were working. Mostly it’s been limited to three things though: sleeping, taking care of my Farmville farm and reading.
One of the books on my reading list was Jennifer Weiner’s book titled The Next Best Thing. A line that stood out for me near the end of the book was when the character was asked (allow me to paraphrase) if it (her life/achievements) was everything that she wanted/imagined it to be.
That question made me stop and think. When I look back on what I hoped my life would be when I was in college, I never imagined that I would be where I am now. If you told me back then that I would be living in the province, working for the government and that I would not be married with kids by now I’d tell you that you were nuts.
There are a lot of things that I want to be: I want to be a successful writer, I want to be a wife, I want to be a mother and I want a family of my own. It all hasn’t happened for me yet but I still want them to happen. Is my life now everything I wanted it to be? No, it’s not. But I’m OK with that. There are still so many things in my life that I am grateful for.
Just recently I was thinking about how things are never what they are in movies/TV/fairy tales. There’s no such thing as a happily ever after or a perfect life. But there is always, to use the title of Jennifer Weiner’s book, the next best thing. Happily ever after doesn’t exist because life isn’t perfect. You can’t be happy all the time. Life is not perfect but, if we are open to it, we learn to make it work. We learn to make it the next best thing.
That’s the way I live my life these days. It isn’t exactly what I’ve dreamed of, but I make it work. I still have dreams I want to achieve and I still work to get there but the point here is not to let the fact that I am not there yet get me down. If I do that, nothing better will happen for me. Giving up is not the answer. The trick I guess is to make the best of what I have and see what can be done to move further and make things even better.
I have no regrets with where my life has gone. I think that if I chose differently, like if I didn’t move to the province, I would not be the kind of person I am today. I wouldn’t be blessed with the people in my life right now. Plus, as they say in Tagalog: “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.” Translated it means while there is life, there is hope. I’m still alive; I can still achieve my dreams. As long as I am alive, I can still hope and work to make them happen. I may not be living the dream, but at least I have the next best thing.