This is the book I never read.
These are the words I never said.
This is the path I’ll never tread.
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
ANNIE LENNOX, “Why”
If I could rewind my young life, I would’ve bought a lot more Nike shoes, T-shirts and underwear even—so that every morning, as I get myself dressed for the day, I’d be reminded again and again to “Just Do It!”
Of all the dumb things I had done, of all the stupid things I had said, I have yet to regret any one of them. Because “at least, I have tried.” I know now what are the things I completely suck at and will probably always suck at, and I know now what are those things I need to keep to myself and what I simply must share with the world. But never have I regret saying those words, doing those things in the first place.
Because by following my heart and pursuing what I selfishly desired—I had grasped freedom in my hands. It freed me from living the next morning regretfully, wondering if I would’ve had had a better time at the party had I sang my heart out to “I Will Survive.” It freed me from wondering for yet another day why that boy never called me back. It freed me from living in the past and spending my time in useless daydreams, and scenarios I concocted in my head, wishing it had been played out, if only, if only. Oh, if only …
Sitting next to me in the plane could be an … interesting experience. If there’s nothing more to watch in the entertainment box, you could always watch how my facial expressions change as the movie of my life unfolds in my head. I like the window seat because for many, many hours, I get to just sit still, look out the window, listen to Coldplay on repeats and reflect. By myself, I’d giggle, smile and many times, I do shed some tears. My mother is constantly nagging me to stop doing the above: “People will think you’re mad,” she tells me.
I might have been slapping my forehead wishing I never took up debating when my knowledge in Malaysia politics was close to zero. I winced at the thought of putting myself vulnerably in front of a boy, hoping for him to like me but never once did I asked myself, “Hey, do I even like him this much?”. And in between giggles, I shook my head wondering where I ever found the guts to have done “The Craziest Thing Ever”. (Oh, you wouldn’t believe I did this! Even I can’t believe I did this!)
But I could live with a sore forehead, I can live with embarrassment, and I love the fact that when I have grandchildren someday, I could tell them a story in which I hope they would be enthused and reply with, “What grandma? You did that ? That’s CRAAAZZZYY!”
But I could do without the tears.
If only I had discovered John Mayer sooner, I would’ve taken his advice:
Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You’d better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again
Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open
Say what you need to say
JOHN MAYER, “Say”
If only I could turn back time..
I would’ve tried that thing I always wanted to try.
I would’ve told someone I liked them back.
I would’ve knocked on random doors and said “Hello.”
I would’ve replied “Yes” to every invitation.
I would’ve jumped when I had the chance.
I would’ve fearlessly sang in front of all of you – Pitchy? Off-Key, I don’t care.
And when push comes to shove..
I wouldn’t have ran.
I wouldn’t have walked away.
I wish I had just stood still.
Or dance. dance. dance.
This is the book I never read.