Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Learning things the hard way

Today is the 7th day that I am left here in PMA while the rest of my classmates went on break. I spent the whole day today moving tables, cleaning offices and sweeping fallen leaves after typhoon Paeng. That was my supposed duty to count as my punishment for being a "good" cadet. It is just now that I finally have the time for myself and I am proud to have survived the day. I will have to keep this up for another five days.
As I was doing my chores this whole day, I kind of imagined the others who are already enjoying their freedom. I remember how I was so excited last year to go back to Baguio because the break was just too long and how I thought that I should have maximized those days have I known that I won't have a break this year. I also contemplated on the things that I could have done if only I was able to go on break. I thought that this is just a lesson learned the hard way. I promised myself, I will never do this again.
Lessons in life come in different forms. I could say that the lesson I learned now is the one that everyone hates the most. We all hate being denied of certain things that we want as a consequence of once action. I thought at first that I wouldn't feel so bad. But waking up early in the morning because of a predetermined schedule, being forced to do some punishment despite your body's protest, the feeling was not really good-- I hated it especially when you know you could have avoided it. I have always been this way. I mean oftentimes, I take for granted important things just because I wanted something at the height of the moment. I was not able to think clearly of its long term implications, I just did it and regretted it after. And so here I am now just regretting it, feeling bad about myself and trying to ignore the feeling and diverting it to other things just to prevent myself from feeling the frustration. Again the feeling is just so bad.
I wonder if all people have to learn lessons the way I am learning it now, would it not cause more people not to commit the same mistakes twice? If only all the lessons that we learn in our lives are lessons that were hard earned, we would try harder to avoid it the next time around. I remember the lesson that I learned the hard way as in the hard way. It was the time when I got myself discharged from the Academy. I wasted 3 years of my life because of that experience and although I know I became a better person because of that, I still think that if only I listened to people and thought more of the things that are important I would have avoided it. But just like many people, I too was stubborn. What started out as an innocent and irresponsible single action turned out to be a mistake that I will regret and will change my life. Well, I snapped out of it, learned my lesson and I am just relating it now. At the back of my mind, I still wonder, what would have happened IF ONLY I LISTENED. I know now that many people wanted the best for me. They were more experienced, more learned and more wise and if only I listened to them, considered their wisdom, things would have turned out different. Although the "if only" statement is something that is totally irrelevant now because things have already happened but the thing is there will still be more advises we will hear, there will still be more people telling us what to do and the "if only" in the future will become a possibility.
Regret as they say is one of the saddest state. We often regret the things that we have done wrong and although we have accepted it, every now and then we are still haunted by it. As I was sweeping the floor this afternoon, I regretted everything that I did that resulted to where I was. I realizes that I have been bad. But the more important realization that I had was to avoid the feeling of regret. I decided that I would listen more to people that are more learned. I may not be able to ensure that I will never experience regret over my decisions, but what I will ascertain is that I will never be able to learn everything the hard way always because there are people who have been through it and will be willing to share their lessons to me without me having to go through it. I will learn things without being disciplined...... I hope.

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