Why there is such thing as living WITH regrets
Just two weeks ago, I talked to my colleagues about leaving my promising career to be with my 56 year old mother. I’m usually a happy going person, I remote all negativities or pessimism to myself so I figured some of my colleagues and friends who were shocked (totally unexpecting) to hear me leaving, deserved some sort of explanation.
About a year ago, on a normal Monday morning, while friends were facing Monday blues, mum called me up to casually tell me that doctors found a lump on her left breast and that it needed to be surgically removed, soon, and that it was malignant.
Life changed ever since.
I was in the department alone, and work was piling up so demandingly. The moment I stepped into the office, I hear people calling me for short meetings, long meetings, emails pour in every few seconds and once I’m out from the office, I get phone calls, meeting calls. There was no time for a breather. Which I was immune to, but life turned completely upside down after that morning call from mum. There was a minute or two of silence after she told me about “her week” and about her “discovery”. That two minutes, were the longest of my life. Emotionally and mentally, I felt numb.
Right after that call, I remember vividly how I had to generate a complete report and run through the results with the client, and that right after that I needed to execute more things, run through short meetings for ideas and attend to more things – it was like, I never knew about my mum’s news that morning. At all. It was like a normal Monday that passed by in a flash.
I believed what happened between the break of the news till now, was a “trance”. Because quite frankly, my heart was with her most of the time, yet I was attending to meetings and deadlines like I had my heart and soul put to it, it was a skill I believe I’ve unknowingly acquired from the environment I have planted myself in.
That “skill” of moving on like nothing happened after my mum told me she found out she had a freaking cancer... was a regret I’ve acknowledged till today. Forget about what the weed-induced yuppies would say to not live life with regrets, there are such things as regret. There are things such as, I should’ve talked to her more, there are such things as I should’ve learn more, or there are such things as I should’ve joined the competition – it just solely depends what comes first for you.
I lived off my already crazy days knowing and being decisive of one thing – that I had to spend more time with my mum however it is. So I *tried* to go back a little bit more often, eventhough that would mean being disconnected from work for a couple of hours when flying, or literally not open my computer when I’m around my mum especially when she’s telling me about her day and funny incidents that she encountered. It was just a fair enough choice that I had to make; to make it a quality time.
But after a day or two of spending so much of my time with her, I would come back to KL with tons of backlogged work, and when I say tons I mean truckloads, and mind clouded with things like “what would she be doing now”, “what will happen to her at night while she’s sleeping alone” – I hope there’s no fire, no burglaries, and wonder whether she’s all taken care of when doing her medical treatment, what did she had for dinner, what TV show is she watching, does she know how to fix the internet? Does she know how to log in to Facebook? – the questions were endless.
The emotional struggle was really unhealthy. There are times I can’t sleep thinking about what she’s doing, how she’s doing, added on with work related stress. When I’m in KL I am constantly thinking about her back in KK, and when I’m with her I’m constantly thinking about work back in KL. I knew that before my company was going to reward me for whatever success I did in the previous year, they ought to know the truth that I’m planning to end this dilemma and give up one.
It was not an easy decision to make, but it was an obvious choice. I couldn’t rephrase and vomit out “properly” all the things I wanted to say in my head without sounding sympathetic and sad. But, how many angles can this go about? How do you make something like this to be rigid, black and white?
Even my bosses were telling me that this is a no brainer. But the truth is, no matter how obvious “that right thing to do” was staring at our face, for us to be able to literally act on it.. well, it needs a whole lot of strength and rationale. A whole NEW kind of strength and rationale that totally differs from everything else. And after much talking to rest of the Jimins, we’ve finally decided that I will now be “stationed” back home to take care of my mum. It doesn’t really matter anymore what kind of attention she needs or wants, to be able to spend more time with her is a blessing I was and am going to be thankful of. The moment I shared my emotional roller coaster to my colleagues, I felt a HUGE sense of relief, I knew I made the right decision.
I will miss Daren, I will miss my bestfriends here in KL, I will miss work, I will miss all the people I’ve became very good friends with. I will miss the bachelorette lifestyle (to reach home at 10pm – lepak, sleep at 3am, wake up at 7am). I will miss the parties, oh the crazy parties. I will miss so many things so much.
But, I believe I can be happy and successful anywhere, with a little bit of my peace in my heart.