Today I realized something about myself: I'm always in a neverending quest. A quest of finding that one thing that would 'change my life forever'.
I admit it started when I was in home from the university break. Was watching television with my mom on this Everest expedition and she was like, "I would love to do this... if only I was younger." That last line woke me up - there I was with my mom who looked pretty resigned folding up clothes, and I was young. I had all the time in the world for to do something big! But then studying took over and I forgot about all the things I told myself I would do/try.
Then my 6 year relationship ended. I grew up with this person, our families were almost like families themselves, so being all on my own again was quite tough. I remember crying my heart out on my bed one night and then jumped with a start, took out a pen and paper, and did a list of, 'The Things I Would Like To Do This Year.' I became obsessed with the concept of time, continously asking myself, "It's day 56 into 2006 - what have you done that you could be proud of? What have changed for the better?" The idea of doing something crazy appealed to me so much. I WANT to have my life changed by an experience. I want to become a different person because the current me was heartbroken and pathetic.
And so I started. Some things were big (scuba diving license), some things were small (learning how to master chopsticks), but none were insignificant. Each achievement meant that I was one step away from the girl he knew, and one step closer to the 'new' me I wanted to be. I was heartbroken enough to do the scuba diving license alone, with only 2 men for company. I think I didn't talk much for the 3 days. I came back raving about the species I saw... but I was still the same person.
The cycle continues - I went on a one week turtle conservation program only to suffer from diarrhea. I spent 2 semesters volunteering at PAWS where I would commiserate my lonely life with all the unwanted kittens and cats (side note: please spay/neuter your pets!). I taught art to a bunch of 3 year olds only to realize kids are not really cute after 5 minutes of being with them.
Then it was the major backpacking trip across West Europe I planned with my housemate. Reading other people's description of their trips, where almost 90% of them claimed that their lives have 'forever changed', I banked my hopes up so high on this one. I was fresh out of university, stressed to the seams from a very trying final year project/thesis/finals and I just warmed my traveling legs with a 14 day backpacking trip across Central Java. I couldn't wait.
We went. We got lost so many times, starved for most days, slept at train stations/bus stations/beside the toilets, harrassed by rowdy Irish roomates, argued (with each other) in Paris, bullied by the German punks. I had my running shoes and went running whenever I could. I waited for the change to take over. I wondered if I was going to wake up not remembering anything at all, like an amnesiac.
54 days later, I trudged up the stairs to my room, feeling very much the same like the girl that bounded down the stairs with her new 50L backpack on. I still have moodswings. Sadly, I realized, I am pretty much me, the same girl, no matter where I am in the world.
Then I took up sports. Seriously.
Which brings me to today. I was browsing through some websites and I glanced across a blog post title that said, "The race that changed my life forever". I stopped, and realized she was talking about mountain biking. Not interested.
But whatever it is, that made me think. I would always be the girl that would be attracted to screaming headlines of people claiming THIS or THAT changed their life forever. I think this is why endurance sports appeal to me so much - it is always different, everyday, all the time.
I always thought that when you become a new person the change would be like a total relevation - an epiphany - instant and obvious. I never considered that you change slowly but surely, sometimes without realizing it. I have always been someone who gives up easily. I rather stop than fail. My life previously would be a lot of DNSs and DNFs. But I remember finishing the longest ride ever totally blown away by my ability. And that dark times at km 36 completing that goddamned marathon. I don't give up things so easily now.
So in a way, I have changed. And will look forward to change more, for the better. Sports have given me this amazing space to try and explore sides of me I didn't think I had. I learned to reign in, let go, learned to push, learned to socialize better (I always have problems with this!). I eat better too... (teringat kat Magnum almond...dah la puasa).
Have a Good weekend!!