Choosing the Chosen of Choice
Last week I had lunch with a successful Singaporean businessman who is now in his 60s. He had seen the world and lived in different cities. Halfway through the meal I decided to ask him, “What made you choose Singapore?”
He paused, thought for a moment, and replied, “To be honest, this is the place I feel least foreign.” He went on to talk about the places he had lived in, and how no matter how close he was with his friends there, a certain element of alienation existed. He added, “at some point in my life I made a choice. I chose that Singapore would be the place; that I could make a difference here, however large or small.”
That moment of clarity rang true for me. So many of us wander through life looking for the perfect home, the perfect partner, the perfect life — without realising that perfection is a quest in motion, not an end state. And that the quest begins only when we commit ourselves to it.
Today marks the 12 year of this blog. I remember the date because 12 years ago, on February 13th, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, I had the fever of my life coupled with back spasms and thought I was going to die. It was then I decided to crawl to my desk and on to my chair, learn HTML and started this blog. Everyone in the dormitory had gone home for the holiday, and the blog was a means to reach out to my family many, many miles away. It was meant to add a trace of permanence should the fever claim my life that day.
I lived. And continued writing. And now, reading my old posts, I realise that many things have changed since, and I am thankful to have chronicled them. Starting a family with the most beautiful girl in the world; the birth of our two amazing children; the death of a close friend; many wonderful people I have had the privilege of knowing when the online community was small, only to have the years pull them into the stampeding crowd of Facebook profiles.
I am thankful to have written. I am thankful to still be writing. It was a choice I made, lying at what I thought was death’s door, though now looking back in retrospect I do not know whether to laugh at my adolescent penchant for over-dramatising everything, or the fact I turned to HTML for Dummies in my time of need.
My post for this Valentine’s Day has to do with choices. Not so much about debating which choice is right, but that at some point in our lives, we need to stop running away, stop hedging our bets, and commit.
Make the moments count.