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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Time travel.


How many once-in-a-lifetime moments do we all have?

Did you really have to think about it? The answer is in the question: "once".

I have had the chance to work for one of the top Philippine conglomerates. The position offered to me was not what I originally applied for but still, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not given to many. I accepted. I resigned after four months. It was agonizing to make a choice given that I had no back-up plans and still in debt, yet I know I could not waste any more time in a job that I can ably do but have no passion for. I was offered another once-in-a-lifetime chance before I finally called it quits: to someday pioneer the conglomerate's records management initiatives. That made me pause. It was one of my career goals. It is an RM student's dream. But the offer came in a period where I already am in the middle of a thousand questions about where to go next and what to really do for the rest of my life. Do I really want to be a highly paid, stressed out employee for the next 20-30 years? I figured, no thanks. I just have one life. So I bid goodbye to my excellent boss and new friends, and packed my bags from the corporate world.

***
I was so angry with a friend once, I didn't want to be touched. But left alone, I craved to be near and to be hugged like I did matter. I lost a chance. What if I lost the friendship too? If I have allowed myself to be comforted, it would not undo my anger or hurt but I could have taken that as a first step towards forgiving. Since I allowed pride to rule my head and my heart, if I no longer see that friend anymore, my last memory would have been of pride and tears and pain.

***

I am struggling through an opportunity that I am working on right now. The temptation to just quit and give it up is great but I know with deep conviction that I will not. Why? Because it is something I have prayed for years before. I knew then that it will not be easy. Nothing in my life right now ever was because all of them have been so worth it. This is no different. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference in my life and that of others. Can I give up now temporarily, and just return to it later? Yes, maybe. But what of the lives I may be able to help now? What of the thousand more opportunities that come with the everyday struggles? Not everyone is entrusted with such a privilege. I will not trade it all for temporary comfort and an illusion of security, and a tomorrow filled with "what if"s.

***

I have the chance to say I love you to my parents and siblings every day. Do I say it? Sometimes I forget. And I regret every day I do not get to hug them or say I love you to them even for just once during the day. Sure, as long as I live I can still have a thousand more chances. But that one moment when I could have, is forever gone.
***

What  do we then with all the once-in-a-lifetimes that we have lost?

Nothing. We cannot bring them back. In retrospect though, we can see those "missed chances" as opportunities "to learn, to improve, and ultimately to react differently." We can now be more aware of the coming ones and treat such moments as the infinitely precious chances that they are. And if ever you should happen to be in a place like me where it is easier to just let go of the moment because you are angry and hurt and you just cannot think straight, just remember: there will be no "next time."


August Bernadette 




"Time travels in only one direction. We will never get a chance to relive this very moment. We have all been given the wonderful and miraculous gift of life, but our time on this earth has a definite expiration date. It is crucial that we spend this one-way gift wisely" - J.H. Hyun, http://www.rdasia.com.ph/time-travels-in-just-one-direction

kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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