“Sorry, You Missed the Train”

That’s what I think someone says from afar when I missed a once-in-a-time opportunity to get what I have dreamt for a long time. At first, it is a testament of my own folly. I have never been serious about what I really want to achieve. Though I constantly remind myself to focus on what is truly important, oftentimes I cannot go against the flow of things. I could blame my high-school years in shaping me to be a “stupid person”: someone who cannot stand not having a say at social issues. Someone who is forced by his conscience to put others before himself, even if it sacrifices his own goals.

At the beginning of this year, I was presented with so many opportunites to various organizations: the legislative and executive boards, semi-autonomous interest groups, even extra-campus student activist groups. I rejected them all. There is a place that I consider as a home, though a broken one. This home needs someone who is truly committed to it and is ready to sacrifice all other gains just for its sake. So I decided to step in and take that commitment. To be honest, this is not a personal ambition, although some part of me want to make it so. But this is what I believe: in order to achieve something truly great, you must devote yourself to one and one cause only. I want to make a lasting contribution to build my home and am ready to do whatever it takes to do so.

Turns out, I did not think that thoroughly enough.

My commitment to the home has costed me much than what I expected. I was forced to make a choice between going for a semseter-long exchange and staying at home to take care of my responsibilities. As a result, I can only pursue shorter-term mobility programs. I made my procrastinating habit worse by adding ambitious selfish goals like this going-for-an-exchange thing among others. This is not to mention that I have been letting my grades tumble down. Too many things are going on, and I cannot keep up with all of them.

Truthfully, I should not blame whatever is happening for my being missing the train. It is just a very bad excuse. There’s also this teenage afflictiion going on, even though I am not considered a teenager anymore. Again, this is also a terrible excuse.

What I fear most about missing the train is not that I am unable to fulfill my goals. I have pledged to myself that I am not making my dreams my master. It is just that I feel like being pushed to the point of mediocrity. And it is just depressing. I have moved forward, yes, but seems I am not moving fast enough. I am still too fearful to take new opportunities, and worst of all I started late. If I don’t push myself to move forward quickly, then I will always miss the train and fade into mediocrity.

After a second thought, maybe this is just God’s (or my super-ego’s, conscience’s, whatever’s) way to say, “You can’t always get what you want. Make up your mind. Then do only what is truly important.”

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