While strolling around KLCC, I got intrigued by an installation in one of KLCC’s parks. It had on it inscriptions of poetry about love. It was just a few days after Valentines and I was not especially thrilled to be reminded of it. But the message of the poem really touched me. I later found out that it was written by the great Rumi.
The poem, entitled “Two Wings to Fly,” starts with the line “Love endures hardships at the hands of the Beloved” and that pretty much sums up the theme of the prose. Reading the entire poem made me realize why even in all the years of sadness I chose to be alive.
My compulsion to travel started after I watched the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In fact, I only have one scheduled trip prior to it, but I decided to book five additional flights and exhaust all my vacation leaves thereafter. I even Walter Mitty-ed my office window to inspire and remind me everyday that I will get the chance to do what I love someday, or in this case, when I go on vacations.
Which brings me to the question, “What do I love to do?” For someone who had been brainwashed by her parents to think that she can be anything she wants to be, I was pretty conservative with my choices. But if there is anything I regret not doing, it is taking more risks.
I am the plan-and-checklist kind of person. I will not enter something without calculating the chances of success or failure. I feel a sense of achievement in ticking off one-by-one the items in my checklist. I dread spontaneity because in that respect, you don’t really know what you have accomplished. There is no way to measure success and thus, it only feels like a waste of time.
However, it is only through being spontaneous that I can increase the risk of my choices. I want to be able to talk to strangers before I realize that I am in bad or good company. I want to be able to eat food before I decide that it tastes awful or delicious. I want to be able to explore a place to find my way around or get lost. I want to be able to do the normal and ordinary things (e.g., jogging, watching movies, listening to classical music, eating froyo) and feel like as if I am doing them for the first time and giving them special meaning.
This is my mantra for this year: to take more risks. And like Walter Mitty, I shall seek this purpose:
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.