The past few months of my life have been one the most influential in my existence - during my stay in San Francisco, I have had plenty of time to experience new things, and introspect on myself, my life choices, and how am I spending my time.
For example, during July 4th, I went to Lake Tahoe, where I conquered two of my fears - air and water. I had always been afraid of heights, and I also panic whenever I am in the water, since I almost drowned at Wonderland upon being expelled from a water slide when I was a bit younger #noswimteam. At Lake Tahoe however, I went parasailing for the first time, rising hundreds of feet above the water attached to a parachute, and I also dove into the lake while I was doing some white water rafting. These were fears that I definitely didn’t want to hold onto for the rest of my life, so I decided to face them at those moments, and move forward in life. Now, let’s step back a little bit - to the part where I was hundreds of feet above Lake Tahoe, strapped on to a parachute and hanging to the boat by a single knot. Up there, I was gripping onto the harness for my dear life, and I thought a lot about how I would live life to my fullest if I ever got down alive. But, what does that really mean?
In the recent days, I’ve often been pondering about what it really means to live life to its fullest. What is the correct way to spend your time? There are a few answers that come to my mind - obviously happiness is something that a human being should strive for, for it is in some sense a measurement of your success in life. But how does happiness come? Is it from entertainment? Is it from spending time with friends and family? Is it from working on making the world a better place? Or is it from the pursuit of love? There are a lot of things I genuinely enjoy doing - from playing League of Legends and playing badminton, to reading articles on Higher Order Components in React. However, some of those things that make me happy can easily be labeled as something that is a waste of time - something that isn’t going to move humanity forward.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a San Francisco Learning Night, which is when a group of interns and fresh graduates gather together and a select few speak about some cool stuff that they know about and want to share. From my previous learning nights, I have learned everything ranging from how to make pasta from scratch to how to reduce my carbon footprint. This time, however, there was quite the eye-opening story where one of the speakers talked about some of his bedridden grandparents’ last words: “Where did all my time go?” They told him that after marriage and settling in, they basically fell into a routine that they were trapped in for the remainder of their lives, making them regret not spending time the way that they wanted to spend it. There’s a pretty interesting perspective on life where every year that passes in life, the year feels slightly less significant because it is a smaller fraction of your life than when you were younger (for example, when you are 14 years old, 1 year is 1/14th of your life, which is a lot more significant when you are 50 years old, and 1 year is 1/50th of your life).
At the time of writing, I’m still unsure of what I want to spend my life doing. In fact, it has taken almost a month to complete this writing because I did not know how to conclude my post. However, I now know that at the very least, I do not want to spend my time in routine. To do so, I have a list of mini-goals that I want to achieve on a short term basis and hit them one by one so that I’m continuously pushing myself to do new things, even if it’s not the best thing. Until I find my calling, I will continue to search for my answer, and I am perfectly content with that.