I believe it was my mother who once told me I should live life so that I had no major regrets. I have tried to follow that advice. And I have a quite a few minor ones, such as not applying to the University of Illinois, and not getting my degree sooner, so I could get a decent job overseas. There are a few girls I wish I had asked to the dances back in my high school days, or asked for a date in my college days. I regret things didn’t work out between Cheri and I. But all of these are minor happenings and they don’t haunt me.
The ones that haunt me are soul crushing. Luckily I only have two. Leaving my son and giving him up for adoption left me hating myself for years. Eventually I worked to live a life that would make me happy to share with him, if I ever got the chance. And the other regret is not returning to China to be with Fanbin. I miss her everyday. The way she smiles, or pretends to be made at me and the fierce determination she lives life, I miss that and more. I wish I was a brave as her.
I use to live under a dark vision, always convinced I would be dead soon. Maybe it is the fatalistic Irish side of me which drove this idea. Or perhaps it was massive soul crushing black hole of despair and depression I was suspended in for so long. For what ever reason, I never took my time to plan where I thought I would be or what my life would look like at any time in the future, beyond maybe a year-2 years at the most. Eventually, the dark fell away, as if I were making my way, from the depths of the earth, towards an opening into the world. It felt good to be free of those dark, disquieting thoughts. I felt lighter; the air was less oppressive. I was moving in a new way.
It was no longer a task, or effort to go after a goal beyond obtaining food and shelter. At first, my goals consisted of graduating college, travel through Europe and then Asia, and eventually living overseas.
Yet I never projected into the future. The closest I ever came to this is when I dreamed of joining the Senior PGA Tour, after turning 50. But I haven’t shot a round in at least 5 years, in reality it is closer to 10 years.
I did try to find some free time while here in my hometown to get out to the fairways. However my plan to open a restaurant and thereby have time to hit the greens didn’t materialize. I shopped until 4 or 5 everyday for a year, going in to work at 8 or 9, while scrapping up money to pay the bills. So that by 5 or 6 everyday I was ready for a nap. I had no energy beyond building the foundation for the restaurant’s future. My business partner has just bought me out in the last week, so I have more free time to plan for the future. It is nice to have some personal time, again.
As for where I imagine myself to be in 10 years all I can picture is somewhere warm. I would be over 50 and that is proving to be a daunting idea to embrace. 50. Years. Old. I keep thinking that is age of my parents, not me. It is staggering to think of this. I find that I will have to think more on this, once I get through the idea of being 50.
END OF PART I