By the time you lay your eyes on this post, whether you read this or not (ha ha), I should have been packing my bags and by Saturday I would have been on a plane to Vienna. In a few days time I would have been wearing the nice winter outfits that I bought and I would have been walking down the beautiful streets of Vienna and maybe sitting in one of the cafes having a nice warm Viennese coffee while listening to some classical music.
But due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel this Vienna trip that I had long dreamed of.
I almost died crying. But I didn’t die.
Moms, as they always do, have the habit of reminding you, how you were as a kid. It could be fun, it could be embarrassing. There are things you’ll remember, there are things you won’t.
When I was a toddler, as she said, I wouldn’t stop crying till she buys me an ice cream. She’ll buy not because I want it but out of shame on the scene that I’ve made inside the supermarket.
She said that after sometime, I started asking for wallets and bags whenever we go to malls. I won’t cry anymore but I won’t stop looking at the bag or wallet. I would stand there looking at the thing that I want till she buys it either out of pity on how sad my face was or out of irritation on my obstinacy.
A different tactic, I would say. A different way of asking you to buy things for me. And I will just laugh it off, though to sum it up, I was really a stubborn kid. She doesn’t say it directly and I don’t admit it either.
Back in the 90s, having a whole set of Encyclopedia is like a form of a social status. It’s like, having a set displayed on a nice varnished bookshelf in your living room makes you either look so cool or smart or (rich?) whatever the case is. I think I was just ten years old when I asked my mom to buy that encyclopedia set.
There was this one sales guy who kept coming back to offer the whole set along with some freebies at a very irresistible deal – that we don’t have to pay it all upfront. We can pay it monthly, for like a year or two.
Like the sales guy, I didn’t stop asking mom to buy that encyclopedia till she did.
In the end, I did not even read the whole set. I wasn’t even close to finishing one volume, let alone the whole set (of 20 volumes or more). The encyclopedia set, became, a form of a social status, a reference from time to time, and now, an antique display.
My mom did not have to tell this story over and over again for me to remember it as my memory of it is as clear as the summer sky whenever I see the Encyclopedia set.
Today, while still in remorse about my canceled trip, I remembered one of the lines in the novel Memoirs of a Geisha.
Young girls hope all sorts of foolish things. Hopes are like hair ornaments. Girls want to wear many of them. When they become old they look silly wearing even one.
– Mameha, Memoirs of a Geisha
I can well, replace the word hope, with dreams or aspirations or wants.
I always try to push for the things that I want in any possible way I can, no matter which direction I take. I’ll try because I want to, even if I don’t really need to. This is how I always was, and I believe I still am.
Trying to get what you want could be a good or bad thing, and in my case, if I push for what I want this time, it will be the latter.
It broke my heart when I canceled the trip. It’s nearly 4 days away. I could almost see myself wandering in Vienna, experiencing my first white Christmas, venturing Europe for the first time.
I have the time and resources to pursue this trip but the timing isn’t just right. There could be a next time, or there could be none.
I’m still crying a river because it hurts not to get what you want, what you’ve always longed for and what you have already looked forward to.
But things are quite different now. It’s not just a matter of ice cream, or purse or bag or a whole set of Encyclopedia. There’s more to life than what we want.
I have really dreamed of this trip and I hope that I’ll get another chance. And if the right time comes, I’ll make sure that the trip won’t be just another ornament on my hair.