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.