“It is a curious thing, this that throbs inside of me.”

Sometimes I think I feel a hunger for the world so immersive and overpowering that I’m beside myself; forever a paradox. On one hand, I want to plant roots and build a permanent home, no longer restless and on the move, yet on the other hand, this curiosity – hunger – is the fuel, a key essence, to my ambitious nature.

Sometimes I wonder, would I have turned out softer, gentler, less curious  and hungry – more content – had I learned to tame or suppress ambition. What is this perpetual hunger; how do I silence it?

Would I have been a wife at 24, mother by 25? Would I have learned to settle by 21, already calling Malaysia home-sweet-permanent-home? Would I have allowed the concept of a boy, then man, to fully form in my mind and thus busied myself falling for The One instead of jumping between the different natures of love – never a person, always a concept? Would I have treaded life with less scrutiny, more acceptance? Would I have grown up content, not greedy, of my fill and share?

Would I have turned out differently? Exactly how… “different”?

I think I am curious as to which one do I lean more heavily towards: nature or nurture. In a wholly different circumstance and background driven by different life principles, would my fighting spirit diminish? Or would it still thrive? Would I find myself less or more of the person that I am? These questions are endless.

I look at these girls, some of them random strangers, and sometimes I wonder – the small voice in my mind questions – had I grown up in a different setting with a wholly different set of variables and controls; would I have settled – maybe even more easily – for these seemingly simpler, definitely typical, outcomes of marriages and babies and happily ever afters?

Because it was ambition – my ambition – that conceptualized and embedded a dream – a wholly different and new life half the globe away – into my naive, eleven year-old self. Ambition, undeniably, was thus the fuel for the subsequent eight years that followed as the wheels of dreams coincided with reality, slowly but surely. Ambition too, was responsible for the overwhelming hunger to stay on for an additional two years, realizing a dream within a dream. Even now, it is still ambition that propels my fighting spirit, the key that turns on the engine of my endless curiosity.

If I am not equipped with ambition – an internal hunger so immersive and overpowering – would I have settled easier for a life behind picket fences, where a warm house with a table first made for two then more, awaits?

It is a curious thing, this that throbs inside of me.


2 thoughts on ““It is a curious thing, this that throbs inside of me.”

  1. I was reading a novel the other day (yes, finally after years of fanfic-only drought, I am reading novels again!) But it was a kind of political thriller, a retelling of WWI and the powers at play, and I get so excited reading these kinds of stories. How the world does stuff, moves, screws stuff up… It made me very nostalgic for the time in my life when I read histories and poured over my studies because ‘this is what I love’.
    I used to want to go into something ‘diplomatic.’ Of course when you’re in high school and even college, you have a very vague imagination of what that’s going to be like. I was studying German. I wanted to apply to Georgetown for my masters because they had an excellent German program that fed into an Am-German international center there in D.C. I had high hopes, you know, of getting into that program, traveling abroad, being a part of something, anything, for how the world operates on a global scale. I remember asking my then-fiance if there was a music school he wanted to apply to on the east coast so that we could together. There wasn’t. I didn’t end up applying. There were lots of factors overall (my health, mental and physical- which were a huge priority by the time I got my BA).
    At no real point in life now do I *regret* not doing that- following my ambition. Sure, I have a lot of what-if’s, or where-would-I-be-now’s, but regret? No. Possibly what would have happened is that I’d have gone alone. I would be married now, maybe we’d had tried to do something long distance but I am so bad at long-distance it’s not even funny. I would live where I do now, or have the friends I do now, or even listen to Kpop. (What!? A world with no Kpop! Outrage)
    I’m losing my German language. It’s rusty, it’s horrible tbh. I have a huge library of German literature collecting dust because I’m so bad at reading it now that it’s almost worthless to even try. But every now and then and even recently I pick up a book and I labor through it- to keep the spark of my knowledge alive. Reading helps you learn a language right? I need to read. And when I do, I am overwhelmed. Yessss, it’s coming back to me. I have this skill again!
    And then I inevitably ask, but for what? What’s the point of learning German… I don’t use it. I don’t have a job that requires it, I’m not planning to travel there (at least for a very long while). It’s… useless. What’s the point? Then I get dragged down by all the other useless, plausibly-intellectual things I have crammed into my head for some unknown future purpose that will also go to waste.
    Is it ambition that I am missing? How can I miss it, when I never seriously had it to begin with. The vague dreamings of a student are so so different than passion and drive, of which I lack. I know I do, and I always have to some extent. Now I am sitting around in life, without a job and not particularly craving one – pondering what my future will be like. I have that inkling again…
    “It is a curious thing, this that throbs inside of me.”
    It’s different though, this time. It’s the call to some kind of ministry, whether it pays or not. I want to be involved with people, with church life. (*And my brain suddenly screams: Hey, go be a missionary in Germany! 2 bird with one stone!*) Lol.
    But isn’t that silly. Just because there are things I was good at, they aren’t going to waste right. Right? (Tell me I’m right, please lol) I’m just reusing them in different ways. For myself. I don’t need to take all the bits of me and shove it into one phase of my life just to feel like it wasn’t for nothing. And if it was… well then, I can know that for a time in my life, I exercised my brain. Hah
    I’m still going to try to keep up my languages. I don’t know what for yet. Maybe I’ll never use them. Maybe I’ll never get the chance to exercise every web of knowledge I’ve crammed into my brain. Maybe I just need to become a novelist. Who knows! God may tell me. Until then I’ll wait and see what life has for me.
    Okay I rambled again. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED! You always make me ramble!

    1. I just want to add, that every time I ramble on here, it’s always like, “Hah… oh yeah I’ve got my life figured out. See here, look at me. I got this.”

      Reality: “hahahaha what is life. who knows. omg help. gonna laugh until I figure it out! gonna laugh until I die!”

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