July 25, 2007

Being in the right place at the right time

July 25, 2007 - Categories: canada

Another cycle of revisions. My supervisor thinks my draft is ready to
be defended, although there are some things I’ll fix tomorrow before I
sort out the page numbers and send it out. He told me to relax and not
worry too much about deadlines, although he understood that I like
delivering things when I say I will. So, that’s going well.

I met Robert Terpstra again this afternoon, and his questions helped
me reflect on things I was doing well—and some tricky things I need
to think about a little more.

One of the questions he asked me was whether I felt that I could have
done all this had I been in the Philippines instead of Canada.

I told him, yes.

This is not entirely true. The kind of research training I’ve
received, the opportunities I’ve had, the library I’ve made so much
use of—all these things are difficult to find in Third World
countries. But what I said was more true than it was false.

I would probably have been able to do something in the Philippines. I
don’t know what I would have done, but I do know that it would’ve been
interesting, and I would’ve been just as happy doing it as I am doing
this.

The important bit is being happy. In terms of my work, I can’t say
that I’m happier here. Then again, I can’t say that I would have been
happier had I stayed home. It’s hard to tell because I’m happy and I
think I’d be happy no matter what. I can’t speculate much about other
possible lives, but looking back at this one, I can say that I’m happy
to have survived the challenges. They’ve made me stronger, and even if
homesickness gets the better of me sometimes, things are good. But my
intuition tells me that there’s a reason for this, and that there’s
something more that I need to explore. It feels right to be here at
this time.

I don’t have a master plan right now. I can’t tell you how my life
fits into some grand plan for the Philippines or for the world.
I’m here, and as long as I pay attention to the details and check
every so often that I’m heading in a direction I like, things should
work out.

So, should I have stayed in the Philippines? I don’t know. I’m sure my
life would have worked out if I had. But I’m here in Canada, so let’s
see what I can do from here. After all, if I think that I’m in just
the right place at just the right time, I’ll probably be right. And if
I think I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, I’d be right too.
I’d rather be in the right place. =)

Random Emacs symbol: mail-default-headers – Variable: A string
containing header lines, to be inserted in outgoing messages.