Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about The Remembered Kiss and Why You Must Hurry.
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Hello and welcome to episode #88 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about The Remembered Kiss and Why You Must Hurry.
The Remembered Kiss
She had known Jason for over three years. Every time she went to a business meeting, he was there. He was charismatic, cute, and charming; drawn to him, she tried hard not to show it. When it was his turn to lead a meeting, she could look directly at him without causing attention. When she stood near him with other people in conversation, she could take a glance at him. Seeing Jason was the highlight of the meeting for her.
She wished she was not attracted to him; don't ask why. Jason was always surrounded by many people seeking his attention for advice, information, or help. He always seemed to have the time to help when she needed assistance. He was patient, kind, and gentle. He was generous and kind to others; who wouldn't like him? And then, if anyone wanted to go out for dinner, he would treat everyone. Many would follow. After all, who wouldn't like a free meal?
The years went by, seeing him weekly at a meeting or event. The time would pass, stealing looks at him during dinner or office conversations with a small crowd. He had a face that was square-shaped, distinct, and manly. His ears were meaty; it was a sign of wealth, and he was indeed making a six-figure income. His eyebrows were bushy and made him stand out. His nose was a bit like a pig, but it looked cute in the middle of a manly face shaped like the cartoon face of superman. Just thinking of him or his image brought smiles to her face. Sometimes, she'd stand near him in a group conversation and smell his cologne; it would be intoxicating, and she'd feel a bit tipsy even though she didn't drink any alcohol.
Over time, she'd feel the attraction stronger and stronger. It wasn't just a physical attraction; she was also attracted to his kind heart and personality. He seemed to drop hints that he was interested in her, but she couldn't be sure. One time, before he went out of town for business, he called to tell her he wouldn't be at the office meeting. She was puzzled why he called to tell her. He'd call to ask why if she was not at a meeting. If she tried to leave a meeting early, he'd find a way to stop her from going sooner. Any conversation between them was always business-related.
After three years, the unthinkable happened. It was just another day after a meeting and dark outside. Jason offered to walk her to her car in the parking lot outside the office building. It was the fourth time he had walked her to her car, and she strongly felt he was interested in her, but she wasn't sure.
When they got to her car, he said, "Can I hug you?" She thought he needed some moral support after a hard day's work. She reached over to give him a quick and friendly hug, but as she let go and before she could step back, he engaged her in a long French kiss. It was like she was in a trance. Her inside voice said, "What is happening? This can't be happening! How could it be happening? How come I am not stopping him? How come I am not fighting it? What is going on?" The many questions were asked as fast as the speed of light. In the next moment, she could hear his heartbeat. It was pumping so loudly that she thought something might be wrong with his heart. Throughout the kiss, she kept asking herself what was happening and why his heart was beating so loud. After what seemed to be many minutes, Jason let go of his tight hold on her. "I was so scared you would not let me kiss you," he said. Then she understood why his heart was beating so loud. This kiss was the most memorable. Perhaps it was because we thought about it for so long before it finally happened. Maybe, it was because he caught me by surprise. Maybe, it was because I had waited so long and didn't know how Jason felt about me.
You might have thought about your most memorable kiss before, but have you ever thought about who would consider you their most memorable kiss? I never thought about it, so I wondered who could deem me to be one of their most memorable kisses. I can only guess.
Maybe Teo, Anson, or Curtis considered me their memorable kiss because I was the first girl they ever kissed. "Wow!" my friend Celeste would say. "How did you manage to steal three hearts like that?" "I don't know! Just a coincidence, I suppose," I replied. On the other hand, I was not Jason's first kiss, nor was he my first kiss, but he was the most memorable one.
After Teo first kissed me, he wanted to do it again. I said I didn't like kissing him because of the smoking residue in his mouth. Unbelievably, he stopped smoking cold turkey. After Anson kissed me for the first time, he wanted to repeat it, and I said I didn't like the feel of his mustache. The very next day, he shaved it off! His mom later told me she had been telling him to shave it off for years, but he didn't listen, so she was shocked to see that he did. She even asked what I did to persuade him to shave it off! Curtis was bumping into my teeth and was a novice. I remember these three, but I wouldn’t say they were memorable.
Whether they were good kisses or not, I hope the ones who found me memorable were the ones who loved me dearly. Jason was magnetic, and I hope our kisses were special to him too.
Why You Must Hurry
Some people hurry, and some take their time to do what they want. Some people have an urgency, while others do not. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours a day or amount of time to do anything, whether you move fast or slow. Yet why do some people seem to get more done in a day, week, month, or year than others? You may want to deceive yourself by saying that others have more time than you do. However, the truth is no one has more time than another person. We all share the same twenty-four hours a day. I declare that your perception and relationship with time contribute more to how much gets done than your habits or priorities.
It seemed to take a lifetime for me to travel to eight countries and then only six years to travel to twelve countries and dozens of cities. It took a lifetime to write zero books and then only two years to write and publish six books. The contrast of time it took to travel or write books did not make sense. Why did I take so long to do one thing, and then at the turn of the corner, I got the same thing done so quickly? I wanted to know. You could say I had more time, or I stopped procrastinating. No, it was not as simple as that. I believe something else was in the driver’s seat. That driver had on a different set of lenses that would kill the procrastinator and derail the one with a full plate.
I dreamed of writing a book one day. That dream stayed on the shelf for many, many years. I will do it when I retire because I will have more time. It made sense. Busy with work and other projects, it didn’t seem like I had time, so retirement sounded like a reasonable time to do it. That dream was for later; there was no urgency. I assumed I would do it later because I would have the time. Also, it was not a pressing matter. That perception led to decades of not even one word written towards writing a book.
I dreamed of traveling the world. I wanted it; I thought about it many times, but many things stopped me. My rationale was that I did not have the time. Even when I did have the time, I would say I didn’t have enough money to do it. I would have another reason when I eliminated time and money, which sounded very plausible. I wanted to find the right travel buddy to travel with me. The stars never seemed to align themselves where money, time, and company would all match or connect to make it happen. And so, I only traveled to a handful of countries in my youth and adult life.
Dreams of traveling and writing books seemed to evade me. It appeared that the culprit was time. However, if granted all the time, I surmised I would find another excuse not to do things I dreamed of doing. The search for the evildoer was on the way. Before I could search for it, it found me in the form of a devastating breakup.
Broken by a relationship, the impermanence of things smacked me in the face so hard that I could not help but wake up to the presence of life. Shaken and startled, I realized that time had passed by me without me paying a great deal of attention to it. I was busy working, earning a living, doing chores and errands, meeting up with people, and having some fun here and there. I did not stop long enough to ask myself about checking off items on my bucket list, fulfilling on passions, making dreams into a reality, or simply doing the things I enjoyed most.
Too often, people come to a place to be in action with it all when they have a near-death experience, a severe illness, or some tragic event that would have them stop to ponder and examine how we spend our time. For each moment we can breathe, what are we doing with our precious life? It doesn’t even feel precious until we feel like we are losing it. I didn’t almost die; I didn’t have a severe illness or an enormous tragedy. But in my mind, my heart and soul died, and I walked around like a zombie. A hollowed body with no heart, no feelings, and no thinking brain, was still breathing and functioning. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I wondered about the meaning of life like that teenager growing up or that middle-aged woman having a midlife crisis.
Facing the impermanence of life came the realization that life was limited and had an expiration date. Theoretically, I already knew that, so what was the difference? The fact became a reality when coupled with experience.
A relationship that severed abruptly was shocking, but the lesson learned was not to expect that there is always a tomorrow. Without a tomorrow, there was only a present left. With only the present, there was only one thing to do. Live it, enjoy it, and celebrate it because it will pass and never return. I could no longer hold the beautiful connection I thought I had in the romance department. All that remains are the memories. However, one of the best things that resulted from the devastation was a hunger to hurry and do the things I always wanted to do because tomorrow was not guaranteed. I sat up to enjoy life as a precious thing that would end and be gone. The ability to stroll down the street, smell the fresh air, and feel gentle breezes as I observed trees standing tall with life was no longer taken for granted.
Soon after moving abroad, I traveled all over Asia. Whether one day or ten days, I took a vacation to go somewhere. I wanted to see the world, open my eyes, and jump out of the little world I had trapped and contained myself. There is more to the universe than just me and my small world. I had only been to eight countries over several decades. Now in six short years, I have gone to twelve countries and numerous cities all over Asia. The money and time excuse went out the window. They were no longer obstacles in my way to travel out of the country. The reasons miraculously disappeared because a new attitude and outlook on life emerged.
Many have asked me why I galivanted all over the place so many times a year. Why didn’t I wait until retirement when I would have more time to go? Why didn’t I wait until someone had time to go with me? Why don’t I stay home and rest? Why didn’t I save more in my nest egg? I used to say the same. What changed? My perspective changed, and then my behavior changed. Combined, they changed my feelings and enjoyment in life.
My simple answer was that there was no time to waste. I could die tomorrow, be ill, or become an invalid, so I needed to do what I wanted now. I have the income, the energy, and the desire to do it, so now was the time. The attitude was that I did not know what tomorrow would bring, so I needed to do it now. I needed to enjoy life now and not later. I wanted to realize dreams now and not later. Later may never come; I could not count on it to be there for me when I wanted it. The only guarantee was the here and now. Instead of saving things for later, for a better time, for the right moments, I stopped.
Later was not guaranteed. Plus, life is to be enjoyed now and not later. By living in the now or the present, life became more meaningful and joyous. With the perspective that there are no guarantees for tomorrow, my actions became less waiting, less just thinking, more doing, and more living. Saying you must hurry to do what you want in life is to say hurry and live a more fulfilling life rather than just going through the motions of what needs to be done, pleasing others, or peddling through life without direction or purpose. Hurry, time waits for no one. Live life choosing to live it the way you want, so when there are no more tomorrows, you can close your eyes with a smile feeling a life well-lived.
I can already see my eyes closed with a smiling face because I want to end with a smile. The smile will say that I have lived a whole life. With all the twists and turns and all the ups and downs, I lived a full life free of boredom. Through writing personal essays of adversity, I found the lessons learned from them. Through sharing the encounters that made a difference in my life, I discovered the difference others could make and how I, too, make a difference for others. Through developing new perspectives of situations lived, I found comfort in new lenses that give hope, improvement, and satisfaction.
I leave the world my legacy by writing all the stories and publishing them. It is a life full of joys and sorrows, challenges and struggles, lessons and insights. They give hope, perspective, food for thought, and inspiration. You can read it on paper or hear it in a podcast; either way, it is a voice that wants to give strength and make a difference for others.
Though it took decades before I started writing and podcasting, it finally happened swiftly because the attitude and perspective of no guaranteed tomorrow generated the actions needed to make it happen. Assuming you only have now, your only choice is to take action and live for now, not later.
Key Takeaways: Though I have had some unpleasant kisses, I have also had a most memorable kiss.
Though we all only have twenty-four hours a day, we must have the mindset to hurry and do all the things we want because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Next week, you will hear two new real-life stories called Turning A Deaf Ear and Tagged as a Volcano. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening