Saturday Story: Cactus or Strawberry?12:36 AM
Life is confusing. Sometimes what we hope for and what really happened are two different things. We may plan, we may love, but life speaks otherwise. Should we become a cactus that stands and stays alive even when the environment is unlikeable? Or we better become a strawberry which strives for supporting environment where it may bloom to the fullest?
Meet Aini. She is my best friend whom I met during my first year of highschool. We both came from a small town, raised in a modest family, and strived for an exchange student scholarship to USA. It was with her that I started a life changing journey. It was with her too when I tasted bitter sweet fight to overcame obstacle. I call her sister though we are unrelated by blood. We are related by heart.
When I recalled those times when we were younger. Aini wanted to be a doctor and love KPOP very much. She never skipped a day without talking about Princess Hours and how handsome the Prince was (I forgot his name!). She planned a day where she could go to Korea and met those handsome men in dramas! Whereas me, I wanted to be lecturer, loved economics, engrossing myself with working in clothing store and joining many many competition.
Anyhow, when time had come for us to start university life. Same problem came to us. Money. Being a doctor needs much money. She strived for public university entrance exam and accepted at Biology faculty. Close, but not exactly what she wanted. For me? Even entering university seemed to be unaffordable. I wanted to study economic so much. I applied to Pelita Harapan University and any other universities but they said different. They pulled me to another direction. It can be law, oceanography (seriously??) and psychology, well pretty much those less popular faculties. I chose psychology.
Being related by heart, we promise each other to live abiding to one principle. Be a cactus! Means whatever situation we are in, we MUST adapt and still doing our best. First two semesters we did. Though I didn`t enjoy what I was studying I got best student and UPH Scholar award. She was too. She was very stressful with her subjects but still got great GPA, 3,9!. One day, we met again and she stayed over. Suddenly, she brought up an issue that she was planning to change university, to Indonesia University and study Korean Literature. I was like, “ What? You are doing well now, why you should go and waste one year of hardwork? How about your family? Why can`t you just stay in Biology and do your best?” Many questions were hammering my head. I cared for her very much that I worried for her. She replied me like this, “ In Biology, though I am doing well, I am stressful all the time. I have no passion and there is no joy in my heart. You know, I wanna go to Korea, right? Studying Korean is a step closer to that dream. Just thinking about that, my heart is at peace.” She was being strawberry, and the cactus was shaken.
I started to ask myself whether I should change my major to economic, pray pray and pray. It was not that I just wanted to follow Aini footstep. But, I too in the same dilemma and I started to ponder whether taking a brave step like Aini woud solve the problem. I chose to stay because I could not give up the hardwork. I remember too, taking a decision means I have to be responsible for it. The only freedom that man has is the freedom to make a decision, after that we are enslaved by it. I pushed myself, and learned more of psychology, seeking a spot where it lits the passion. I did found it. In the end, I stayed and Aini moved.
It has been three years now that we are away. The cactus and the strawberry blooms their own way. I still am doing my best year after year, challenging how far can I go with psychology, and now I love it. Just thinking about lecturing psychology in the future lit my passion. With God`s grace, I am actually practicing economic by starting a business. Aini do even better in her Korean study, she got almost a perfect GPA and actually fulfilling her dreams to go to Korea. I am so proud of her and her brave decision. I just believe that she will do even more DAEBAK things in the future. Me too.
Being a cactus or being a strawberry is a matter of choice. We, human are capable to choose and responsible of our own life. Carl Rogers, a famous psychologist said that man is capable to choose their own fate for we are a purposive, trustworthy, and self perfecting creature. I believe so. Dear friends, if you feel entrapped in an unlikely situation, where you are forced to choose whether you need to stay and fight or flight and find a better condition, I learn that we have to ask ourselves. God is just and sometimes he does allow troubles to bother us so that we grow stronger like a cactus or bravely take a life changing decision like a strawberry. Pray and calm yourself so that you can hear what God says through your heart. Strive, do your best and if you find a peace, STAY. If you have prayed and you have to make a hard decision, then DO. No matter you are being a cactus or strawberry, after we make decision, we got to live it. Live it to the fullest and that way we will bloom.
Until we meet again,