So in the shower this morning I was thinking about a quote that I'd read some time ago that went "to achieve what no one else has achieved, you have to be prepared to do what no one else has done". And I ended up spending quite some time in the shower with that.
Since I've moved to the Klang Valley, I've found myself closer to some friends of mine that live and work around here. Being in closer proximity means that I am able to hang out with them with less of a hassle than when I was in Penang. I wouldn't have to travel 400 kilometres just to have a drink, basically. Trips to Klang Valley were more often than not, work-related, and we got little hangout time.
But moving has also meant that I have now a home with my wife. Back when I was in Penang and it was more of a long-distance kind of thing, I found it tough to stay at home and do stuff. This could be because there was no internet at my rented Penang apartment, but it was also because I didn't feel at home there. I felt like I didn't belong in the apartment, like I was menumpang. And to a certain extent, that's what it is if you live in rented property. I would go out consistently, every night, for dinner and for coffee by myself. I would only go back to the apartment to sleep and shower.
But now that we've moved into this rented apartment, it feels more like home and less like menumpang. Maybe it's because we've installed internet here, but I also feel like it's because I get to hangout with my wife here on a daily basis. It's because my wife makes it a point to cook as often as she can. It's because we can watch Netflix on the couch together. So I feel like going out less and less.
So here comes the paradox (if I can call it that). On the one hand, it's been more convenient for me to go out and meet friends to catch up. On the other, I don't feel like going out as much anymore. This sounds like a thing old people think about, and I guess I haven't escaped the clutches of such basic modern-life dilemmas.
Another thing I've been seeing around me is that some older husbands I know tend to want to lepak outside until as late as they can. They seem to enjoy the freedom of being away from their home, wife and children to the max and seem inclined to put off going back home until as late as possible. This makes sense to me in the sense that they've been spending a lot of time fending and providing for their family for a long time, and when moments that afford them the freedom to not have to think about those things for a little bit, one would want to be in that moment for a while. Raising a family is stressful stuff, and opportunities to destress become valuable in stressful environments.
As much as I put an effort into trying to understand their position, I still do not wish that upon myself. I don't want to feel reluctant to go back home to my wife. I want it to be an alright thing for me to just kick back at home and not go out. But at the same time, I also understand that I'm still on the younger side of things and I have so so much to go through still in my journey as a human being in general and a husband in particular. I am not immune to the weaknesses of man, and I should adjust my expectations accordingly.
Bringing it back to the quote earlier, what I'm trying to say is that I have certain things that I want to achieve. I want to be a good husband, absolutely. I also want to be a good son and brother, because my parents and brothers also mean the world to me. I also want to be a good friend who makes time for his friends. I also want to be a good writer and spend enough time reading and writing. I want to be a person who consistently makes songs as well. I also want to be a person who starts thinking about, writing, producing and making (short) films as well, and maybe full-lengths in the distant future. There's more to this list, but I think you get the point.
So I have all these aspirations, but these things won't be achieved without some sacrifices. For example, if I want to make it a point to be a person who reads and writes a lot, then I have to allocate the time for that, time that could have been spent hanging out with friends, maybe. If I want to make songs, that takes time, so time will have to be taken away from watching Netflix shows, maybe. If I want to spend more time with friends, then I would have to make time for them, and that means taking time away from sleep, maybe.
Trying to manage the finite amount of time we have here is a big struggle, I don't have to tell you that. I guess I just have to determine what I want for myself and stop looking longing for what other people have. I look at some people that seem like they have all the time in the world to hangout until late at night and desire it sometimes. I think to myself, "I wish I were able to go about my life in that fashion." But life and aspirations take sacrifice, and to get what they don't have and probably don't want to have, I have to do what they're not doing and what they're not willing to do.
That means staying at home, writing, reading, making songs, hanging out with the wife, working hard to get better at what I want to get better at and eventually be able to do for a living. At the same time, I do want to maintain good friendships, because they're valuable to me as well. It's about finding that balance, I guess. And it's always a struggle.
Here's to the struggle for balance.