Forget about an unlived life

A Bright Christmas #23

In this short post, I want to encourage you to love this year. I assume that millions of people in the world wished to live through the year 2020 differently. They would like to have stronger health, more travelling, less stress, more hugs, and more freedom to live. Someone may think that if there had been no coronavirus, life would be better. Who knows? 

In April, I successfully defended my doctoral thesis. The achieved career milestone stimulated me to think through the last five years of my life. I thought what could have happened if, for example, I would choose a PhD program in Canada instead of Sweden. My road to the degree was a turbulent one: in the middle of my PhD studies, I changed the group, supervisors and the topic of the research. I had to start all over. If I knew that it would be that hard, would I still do it? Did I regret my choices? No, and I will never do. I do not regret my unlived life in Canada. Right now, I am happy with what I achieved and looking forward to the new opportunities in my career.

The flowers are falling asleep without FOMO (Fear On Missing Out).

Subscription to “The New Yorker” brought to my attention the article “What if I could do it all over”, written by Joshua Rothman. There he beautifully described our longing for unexperienced events and a different life. Thinking about something that we could have had brings frustration and anxiety. I agree with Jean-Paul Sartre, cited in the article: “We should focus on what we have done and will do, rather than on what we might have done or could do”. I also learned that Harvey J. Alter, one of the Nobel Laureates in Physiology and Medicine of this year, did not wish a different life. In a beautiful piece “The Road Not Taken or How I Learned to Love the Liver: A Personal Perspective on Hepatitis History” and his Nobel Lecture he points out that we may dream about something but the reality will become even better, even brighter. 

“My life has been a dream. The only problem is that it has not been my dream. I never dreamed about going into research. I never dreamed about discoveries or winning prestigious awards. These wonderful things were never in my mind set. Somewhere in Ridgewood, Queens, there is a guy around my age in private practice who is living my dream and railing that someone stole his own. When I retire, I’m going to find that guy and thank him profusely for sharing his dream. I could not have dreamed it better.”  Harvey J. Alter

Small steps shape our life and may turn into something great. Unanticipated and uncontrolled events may bring unexpectedly positive results. These events may seem to be suffering at some point, but then they will transform into personal growth and new opportunities. Think about that. Happy holidays! 

By Oksana Goroshchuk

Featured image – from; the picture is taken by me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s