“You know, it is difficult to live here in Bali. Unlike in your country, you can earn money to travel. You know, you are free. You can go anywhere you want,” Wayan, our landlady shares while sweeping the floor of our balcony.
“What do you mean? I think Rupiah [the currency of Indonesia] and Peso [the currency of the Philippines] are almost the same in value. The prices of commodities here are similar to the Philippines,” I replied.
“No, I don’t think so. You can spend your money to take a vacation and travel. For Balinese, we have to work and we need to stay at home to take care of the mini temple in our houses.”
I paused confused. I felt that Wayan is convinced that this is her fate. I replied, “My parents would have not done what Nicole and I are doing- leave the country and relocate, more so our grandparents. Actually, most people in our country, stay in our country to build a life there. And that is totally fine because that is how they choose to live. What we are doing now is not a common choice amongst Filipinos…” I stopped myself from further explaining, realizing that I was becoming defensive about my stance.
I wanted to make her understand that it is not because I am from the Philippines nor was it coincidence nor simple luck that Nicole and I are now in Ubud having our ‘extended vacation’, ‘honeymoon’, ‘gap year’ or simply living our normal lives under ‘not normal’ circumstances. I wanted to tell her that this is how we chose to live and that she can also do the same.
Our life is what our thoughts make it. -Marcus Aurelius
But… My English teacher always handed me back a bloody essay paper. I just suck in spelling and grammar. I can’t write anything decent.
But… People always laugh whenever I sing. I was told I was tone-deaf. Yes, I have the confidence to perform but, I just did not have the voice for it. I can’t sing.
But… Riding a motorbike is dangerous. Balancing myself on a two-wheeled vehicle and driving in the streets with cars, trucks and other motorbikes seems overwhelming. I cannot drive a motorbike.
Have you catch yourself blurting the same excuses?
But… I need to keep this job for my family.
But.. I don’t know how to start a business.
But… I fear that I’d let my family down.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t- you’re right.-Henry Ford
We all have a world- a reality, that we live in. My reality is different from yours, from Nicole’s, from my parents. My reality is my world that is comprised of my experiences, memories, dreams, fears, beliefs, excuses- that almost always are not differentiated.
My reality is my truth. If I say, “But… I don’t know how to start a business,” to an outsider, it may seem as an excuse for inaction. But for me, it is an objective statement of my reality- I simply do not know how to start a business. One may argue or maybe talk me out of such thinking by stating all the things that would help me learn how to start a business – read books, listen to podcast or simply execute my business idea. Yet no matter, what others say, I am the only one who is capable of changing this belief- my reality. Would I listen to their advise or would I continue to hold on in believing that I cannot? Whatever I choose, that will be my reality, my truth – the extend of my life.
Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.-Susan Statham
It is only when we realize that we have the power to change our reality, our truth, our lives- to control it, will we be able to start writing and rewriting it. Without this realization, we will forever be stuck in the limitations we consciously or unconsciously bind our lives to.
I am not, nor is anyone, in the position to say that your reality is flawed. But I/ we can do is share my experiences and stories in the hopes of creating a space that would allow others to see a different reality.
But.. I am afraid to be rejected.
But.. I am afraid that I have no experience in writing a book.
But.. I am afraid I am not driven enough to start something new.
These are my buts. The faster I am able to recognize and embrace them, the faster I’d be able to break free out of this self-inflicted prison.
What are your buts?