When I was in high school, one of my teachers asked the class to think about what we wanted to do in the next 5 to 10 years.
As a teenager who was very idealistic, of course, I had certain life path to consider my life as a success. I wanted to major in fashion because I imagined myself would be a successful fashion figure in 5 to 10 years time. Everyone knows that majoring in fashion part never happened. Eventually, I took a degree in graphic design – and the rest is history.
Not only in career but also life in general, we often associate happiness when life goes according to our expectation. We have plans. We have goals. And we think that everything will go well if it goes according to our condition.
For example, we think that we’ll be happy when we get married at certain age; or reach a certain amount of money by a certain period of time; or have kids of our own at a certain time-frame; or nail that dream job as soon as we graduate. These are the kind of standard we aim for ourselves and set it as a condition for us to be happy.
However it goes without saying that more often than not, life does not go according to plan.
WHEN LIFE DOESN’T GO ACCORDING TO OUR PLAN
It sucks. I know how it feels like when the only door that you think could bring you closer to your dream is closed. I have seen a lot of my single friends complaining how they planned to get married by the age of 25, but their relationship crumbled at the age of 24.
However, if anything I can share from my own experience is that sometimes, we have to let go of what we think should have happened – to embrace the happiness that life offers us right now. I realized that if our happiness depended on fulfilling all of these ‘conditions’, then we would never be truly happy.
Life is full of twists and turns – we have no telling what’s bound to happen next. And when we think that life takes a turn for the worse, it’s so easy for us to succumb to unhappiness. These are the times when we tend to be so focused on the past and the future that we forget to live in the present.
Contrary to what I believe, by letting go of how I expect life to be, I’m making my lives a whole lot easier – and happier. When we let go of “what could have been” and how life is “supposed to be,” we are surrendering our present and future to God, and living in the moment.
In my case, I didn’t major in any fashion related field – but I end up where I dream I would be, and even more awesome than that. God opens me more doors that I could never imagine before, and brings me to places I have never dreamed of.
I know this is only a simple example of what might have happened to you today. Maybe your relationship that you think would go on forever goes sour. Maybe you just lost your dream job. Maybe your health report doesn’t seem well. Whatever it is, I am sorry that it happened to you and I hope today I can remind you to find courage and let go of the life you imagined.
When we let go of the life we imagined, we can welcome whatever life brings us with open hands; which means we could focus on the things that we already have and the lives we already led instead of focusing only on what we haven’t acquired and/or the closed doors.
When we let go of the life we imagined, chances are: life will open us much, much better doors that might bring us closer or even bigger than our dreams; which means we could keep our hopes and dreams alive for the future.
When we let go of the life we imagined, there are limitless possibilities of life – and I bet you will enjoy it; which means everything will all go for the better. The key is to take one day at a time, one step at a time.
Photo by Mr. Hendra Kusuma
Outfit by LAISON
Make-up by Mimi Kwok