Onism

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“I just feel like there’s not enough time to do everything I’d want to.”

This was a sentence smack down in the middle of an email I received from a good friend a few days ago. I think it’s something we can all relate to. It’s difficult to find time to do everything when there are so many interesting and exciting opportunities popping up everywhere we go. For someone just starting their 20s, the world can be a little scary even. We can get paralyzed by the sheer amount of possibilities we have. What to study, where to study, whether or not to study… Those are all things constantly in our minds. Maybe taking another gap year is the smart thing to do. Maybe then, if we wait a year more, we’ll be absolutely sure of what we want and things will be easier. Maybe then we’ll be a little more grown up, more responsible, things will be clearer.

Well I’m actually very happy to say that that’s not the case more often than not. I started writing that “I hate to say it” but deleted it because I don’t hate to say it. I think that’s wonderful.

As I replied to the email, “I think there’s a certain beauty to it, that we get to choose.” That we have to choose, even. If we had all the time in the world, if doing everything there is to do were possible, life would be a lot less interesting. People would be a lot less interesting.

We’re composed of everything we’ve experienced. Of every conversation we’ve had. Of every book we’ve read. Of everything we’ve done. If people didn’t need to choose, if they could do everything there’s to be done, why would we need to communicate? Why would we need to exchange ideas, to live in a society even?

It’s always a pleasure to come across people who agree with me, to come across people who will nod and say “that’s what I’ve been saying all along.” That makes for great friendships, of course. However, if there’s one thing I like much more than that, it’s to come across someone who won’t agree with me on almost anything. To come across someone who will shake their head and say “no, I see it differently.” If the whole world were made of people who went through the same experiences, life would be boring.

There’s no way to see how each of our choices will impact our future, the only thing we can do is choose what sounds more fun, interesting or what we think will lead us to where we wanna go. Maybe the path is completely different from what we thought, but it was a choice, and we made it. There’s no objective best choice on what to do with our lives. What defines us is what we make out of our experiences.

I said to my friend that “there’s a certain beauty to that, we can only explore so much, we can only see so much, so it’s our utmost duty to fill these things with as much meaning as we can. To stand by our choices and to not waste time regretting it or thinking that ‘we should have done it differently.’”

I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of where I stand today. I do wish I had done a few things differently in the past, but ultimately, having done things differently might not have put me here, now.

So stop wasting your time regretting and start walking. The path becomes clearer and clearer, choose, and make the most of each situation life gives you. After all, you only live once (I’m so, so sorry).

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