Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

After living in 12 addresses, four cities, and two countries, it can easily be assumed that I have mastered the art of moving.  Or worse, I am an escape artist.  Or probably I am a free-spirited soul who flies wherever the wind blows.  However none of these assumptions are farther from the truth.

I am a creature of habit.  I thrive on routines, schedules and templates with Swiss clock-worth precision.  Sure, I can be spontaneous.  But I would have to make a schedule for that in my calendar as well.  As someone who is adverse to diverting from my set of routines, how I have subjected myself to various detours and changes especially these recent past five years.  Oh, the irony of this sweet life of mine!

Why do I keep on moving then? ... I am not a coward nor am I a quitter.  The temptation to go back to what is familiar is strong but that is cowardice.  I want to do what is right for me, and not what is easy.  It takes courage, guts and  a dash of craziness to relocate. It is tough having to relocate.  I had to learn to give up, let go and move on. I had to overcome my sentimentality and strong attachment issues, particularly on material things.   

Adventure. Whilst I do not want to constantly put my life on the edge, I do not want to stagnate either.  Every time I feel afraid, the more I push myself further even with great hesitation - because this is the only way I will know where my limits lie.  I have journeyed a thousand miles and my frequent flyer points have helped me attain a wealth of skills and breadth of experience.  

Contrary to other people's beliefs, I am not flimsy nor fickle minded.  Had they lived up to the options I faced, they would have moved too - even earlier than I did.  Or they could have opted to stay and rot. 

I am definitely not running away from something.  I am chasing after something.  And what is that something? ... That is the question.  I have pondered over this question so many times over and over during my short break in my hometown.  I have discovered that in my younger years, I was aiming for success.  But now, I am aiming for significance.

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” —Leo Rosten

Success may be easier to be measured and achieved through titles,  position, possessions and financial acquisition.  However, significance carries on, it is long lasting and it leaves a strong impact to the people and the world around you.

Personally, I want to live a life of legacy.  A life worth emulating.  A life of character and integrity. A life that touches. A life that is shared. A life that ignites and leaves a spark of happiness.      

Now in my quest for significance, where will this take me?  Will this bring me to  my thirteenth address? fifth city or third country?  Address, more likely yes but city and country, I definitely hope NOT!  I am at this stage that I want to settle.  And by settle I do not mean, settle down but settle UP.  It means finding my place under the sun, take root, bloom and bear more fruits. 

My journey towards significance has just started.  I know I have a long way to go and the route is far more worth than the thousand mile journey that I have already taken. Who knows how many thousand miles further I need to take?   I will still take it because I am confident that this journey will finally lead me home, in the arms of where I truly belong.