Before starting this sequence of notes about how reserved I’ve been and the need for getting involved with the outside world, I often felt that I am out of the system. By that I mean most often I had this feeling that I shouldn’t be where I am, like I am, not at this time, and not being supposed to be who I am known to be! Now, I have still a lot of mistakes and shortcomings in staying committed to my daily routine. Not responding to distractions like emails, social media, and internet in general is one big obstacle for me. However, I have learned something for sure: I do belong to here, and supposed to have my current role and life. That’s what the whole life is about.
At the very young ages, I had a strong desire for theater and actually my dream career was either being an actress or a play writer. Now I am only a good listener and spectator! Even later, when I was fairly in the middle of my professional life as an engineering student, I wrote in one of my writing exams: “Actors can do anything, because they know how to play a role, feel it, and live with a new character for a while. They are most prosperous and never regret being someone else because they simply can act it…,” well, today I don’t know how much this statement is true based on the statistics and history. But, this philosophy is echoed again in my life.
Here is the new plan that I will follow from now on. Whenever I find myself disengaged (especially with my thesis that’s my current business) I remind myself of the two possible outcomes that is likely to happen:
– I will switch to some distracting activity like checking emails, browsing aimlessly, or spending time on social media. Then I feel guilty, I try to reconnect with my work, and this on and off approach continues until the day ends (negative reaction)
– I know that I have a role, and need to play it well. I think about how I could do it better, and what I should do to get better at playing it. I know that I failed (right at that time), but if I am truly engaged in my life I should try to fix it. This helps me to be more mindful. (positive reaction)
There are other necessary elements that keep me alert about the present state of life. I notice that for at least 10 years I have been regretting about being someone else: I am not to be an engineer, I could be a writer, a graphic designer, a cartoonist, a poet, and just about many other career that you think of that! This has made me sick: “Why on earth everything looks so good to me except me?!” and if someone told me that “try to live in now and don’t regret about the past,” I wouldn’t understand what they really meant. Things look different now, because:
– I have learned that I am free to do anything that I want (I have been, but I didn’t realize it until a while ago)
– I understand that life is not predictable and that we are learners all through our life. So simply our ideas and viewpoints changes as we get wiser (you shouldn’t try to predict the whole life when you’re 25, for example)
– I have seen this pattern a lot: people start from some point in time, and their activity continues in future. Trivial, yeah? For a long time I thought OK they are different from me, they know more mathematics, they have a stronger background, etc. in their field. Now, I see their point. They wanted to make a change. It needs time for everything to get changed. So, even if you are not satisfied for what you have now, the answer doesn’t depend on your past which is gone. You can’t even rely on future (which hasn’t come). You only have this: now.
This is all about my engagement scheme in life! When writing this note, I had the Sarah Kay performance “Point B” and Kathryn Schulz talk “On being wrong,” in my mind. They both impressed me with the sense that life is about uncertainty, and guess what, I knew that. I just didn’t know how to live an uncertain life: enjoy the wonderful now!
P.S. I was also reminded of my life-theater attitude by Amy Cuddy in her beautiful talk. Thank you Amy!