“Don’t you run run run. It’s already been very hard. Walking now is okay.” — Day6, Marathon.
If you ask me what was the most relatable thing that I’m currently experience is Day6’s song titled Marathon. Especially when Park Sungjin, Day6 leader, stated a precious quote from recent interview. He said, “Life is already been hard, it’s okay to take it slow. Don’t rush it.” Perhaps that was the most suitable quote for my condition and encouraged me so much.
Being an ambitious person is hard. I’ve been living by feeding my ambitions for more than two decades. Positively, my ambitions and the strong spirit to pursue it finally take me to my current place. A comfortable place, shaping who I am today. However, if I tracked back to when I used to have explosive desire to be the best and see everyone as competitors, I couldn’t imagine how hard I’ve tried. And how exhausting the process I’ve been through these years.
I started to find peace when I finally reach my peak ambitions: studying abroad. Living in the UK and snatched the opportunity as an scholarship-awarded student was the highest desire I have achieved. But things started changing during that time. An ambitious person like me suddenly became a slow-burner and being more sincere. Engaging in diverse community and finally face the real challenge might contribute to who I am today. In UK, I wasn’t even close to be the smartest student or the highest achiever compared to my peer. Does that let me down? Strangely, it doesn’t.
At first I thought I wasn’t good enough or put much effort to be equal to my classmates. Then I realise, I didn’t put much effort indeed but no one really asked me to be the best student either. I mean, I don’t need anybody’s validation, right? If I want to be the best, that should come from my self not expecting somebody else’s appreciation. Since I thought that I don’t need to compare my self to my friend, I feel at ease and the burden slowly disappear. I enjoy my time in UK and be more positive, happier than I was.
It took me more than 20 years to reach a conclusion that life is not a competition. I walk on my own pace, everyone does the same. I don’t need to be the richest person in the world to get recognition. I don’t need to rush my self in finding great partner just to proof that I am not alone. I don’t need to show the world how happy my family is while the fact it wasn’t at all. Because at the end of the day, validation is not our main purpose in living. Once my friend said that we should be useful for others or at least not bothering the others at the very least. To think about it again, if I were given so much money or prosperity I might have been burdened and my living standard will be higher as I have more money. I don’t want to live like that, I just want to live comfortably.
Comparing one self to the others will lead to grow negative traits, such as: jealousy, degrading others, and holding grudge. I’ve been there for two decades, I couldn’t accept my failure, I blamed others for my fault, I tried so hard to nullify others’ achievement instead of nurturing my own ability. I kept thinking I wasn’t good enough though I have put a lot of effort. I wanted to gain recognition from my teachers, my parents, my friends, that I possessed the ability and that I am the best. I kept feeding my arrogance and selfish desire to be at the top of chain. I perceived the world as something I must conquer, I have to be the leader. Honestly, that was the darkest period I have been through and my mind was never at ease. It was incredibly exhausting.
When I meet more people who are different from me, I gained more insights to be sincere and acceptable. That everyone is unique. Everyone has their own way to survive without even fighting each other. That every position is meant to be. That each of us is special. That’s when I started to take off my pride and live in a humble way. That I am no longer possess too much ambitions and burden to carry on. The existential crisis I suffered might contribute in sudden change of my old paradigm.
However though I finally find peace by living slowly, less competitive, somehow I lose my purpose. It’s currently happening. After pursuing Master degree in the UK, I settled down by working in a good company with an okay salary. It’s enough to support my self, enough for saving, okay for an investment. But for me who has been ambitious all the time and setting goals now is losing the purpose of living. What am I going to do next?
I already wrote my dreams down on bucket list but still I don’t see my self motivated to create or achieve something. Since I always have plans ahead, not even making single goal makes me anxious. This means though you are not competing with others, you still need to set goals to make your life have a purpose. Because what makes human alive? The purpose.