Growing up, my parents gave me a childhood in which I was free to explore what I want and what I like to do. They threw opportunities after opportunities at me, yet somehow, I have squandered them and had let them slip away. Now what are these “opportunities” you ask? Every now and then, I always ask myself these questions: “What if I didn’t quit martial arts class….What if I didn’t quit taking piano classes….What if I didn’t quit taking guitar lessons….What if I didn’t quit Vietnamese school….What if I didn’t quit tennis….What if I knew how to do them ALL?”
All those questions haunt me, especially when I see someone else that can do any one of those. I am not going to lie, but I am going to be really honest when I say that it hurts to see someone that can play piano or the guitar well, or someone that can show off and say that they have a black belt. I little bit of jealousy oozes out of me because I could have said that I could have done all of them.
Just five years ago, I was still taking music classes, language classes, and tennis classes. My parents had forced me to attend these classes, but I had made it known to them that I absolutely HATED them, and that “I didn’t need them” (this is what I told them on numerous occasions). Back then, it was simple: I told them to let me mind my own business and let my free from this prison because I wanted to control my future. If I didn’t like it, then why force me to go? But my parents always responded by saying, “You will regret it in the future. You won’t appreciate it now, but 10 years from now, you will reflect and ask yourself why did you quit.”
And rightly so, that is exactly how I feel five years later. I regret not finishing what I had started. I regret not appreciating the opportunities that my parents had handed me. I guess I was just a lazy kid who thought that he was always right. Its hard to face it but my parents were right and they had always been right. I mean the one thing that I kept on doing because of their encouragement and push was swim. And it turns out that they were right about that too. Initially, I refused to join swim because I wanted to play basketball instead. But because my parents forced me to swim, it became an experience that I would never trade away.
I know that its never too late to get back into it, but its just the thought that I could have been good at all those extracurriculars right now if I had kept going. But now I can only think what could have been…
*Photo by Anja Creative Commons