Standing on the Quezon Avenue platform waiting for the Pasay-bound MRT train was always a scary experience. Once I finally got on the platform, I always chose NOT to be in front, on the edge of the platform, to be right in front of the carriage doors. I was always scared of being pushed off the platform and falling onto the tracks, in the crush of people wanting to get on the train, even if it was into one of the female-only carriages.
There were several occasions were I didn’t even have to walk to get on the train. I was just lifted off my feet and it felt like I magically floated into the carriage. I remember thinking, “Gosh, this was why they said never to wear slippers, flip-flops, or sandals on the MRT.” Because chances are, you’d lose the footwear if it was loose in crowd-crush situations!
There have been so many times in my life where I have allowed myself to take the path of least resistance, where I didn’t resist someone else’s direction, or I didn’t speak up and share my ideas. Because I thought well, blessed are the peacemakers, right? I didn’t express what I wanted to do, because I would be told it wasn’t a good idea, or that what I wanted to do was something I shouldn’t do, or what I wanted to do would cause an argument, or I would just be wasting my time explaining why I wanted to do what I wanted to do, or whatever it is that I wanted to do would be held over my head in some future discussion, my justifications were endless, and I managed to talk myself out of standing ground and expressing myself.
In hindsight, of course, I know I should’ve had the courage to express my convictions. I should’ve been more considerate of MY own feelings. I should’ve been honest about my thoughts and feelings. I could counter that by saying that when I was honest about my feelings and what I wanted to do, these things were always held against me in future discussions.
There will always be regret for the lost opportunities to be honest and forthright. There will always be regret in passed-on opportunities to stand one’s ground. These are always painful recriminations. But the past is the past. My decisions were made and the actions I took were based on what I thought or felt was best at the time. They may not have been the right decisions, but nevertheless, what has been done has been done. Actions in the past cannot be undone. One can only deal with the consequences of the actions.
Sometimes there is wisdom in following the path of least resistance. Then there are times when you have to “go against the tide”. I feel like I’m in a period of going against the tide – because I’m forging my own path, making my own way and truly deciding what to do with my future, without anyone else controlling me or my environment. I am downright terrified! But at the same time, it has been an exhilarating experience because I finally get to do what I want to do. Sure, if I make the wrong choices, there will be consequences, and, in some cases, the consequences can be catastrophic. But that’s okay. I find it far easier to face the consequences of my actions, rather than facing the consequences of actions I was made to take alone and without support. It is far easier to be answerable to oneself and one’s God, knowing that you made the decisions that led to the consequences.