Lesson #8: “Today is potentially the best, or the worst, day of my life. Work on it. Beat it. Learn from it. If both options are possible, what now to worry about?”
Four hours before KM Pangrango entered Ambon port, the Banda Sea showed her mighty power.
Waters stirred up, splashed over the side of the boat, and the gentle wind turned into a mild hurricane.
Three hours later, she finally berthed at Yos Sudarso Port, Ambon. Safely. Most of her passengers, including me, had a horror look on their faces.
I knew at this time of the year, any seas would be rough. It was also the reason two other options of public transport were canceled.
They chose to follow the logic, so the logical result would be safer staying in Banda. As Pak Dipi jokingly mentioned, Pelni seemed to have different ideas about safety.
So there I was, gambling between two extreme results: either safely arrived in Ambon or sunk in one of the deepest seas in Indonesia.
There was a slight possibility of returning back to Banda, but it might soon lead to a second option of sinking.
With that two options I had, there was no better way to work on it, beat it and accept it.
So I kept peeking over the rounded glass window of the navigational room, trying to find distressed looks in the ship crew.
Either they were very good actors or, in fact, there was nothing to worry about. I eventually chose the second, only to keep coming back thirty minutes later.
Hopeful worry was an agonizing terror
After about ten times back and forth from my deck to the navigation room, I stopped and told myself, “This suspense is killing me earlier than the seas might be. I will not waste my time worrying what is not there to worry.”
When I said this to myself, I looked around the other passengers. Some already cupped their hands, held praying beads, mumbled holy scripts.
And I continued with my own script, “Today is potentially the best, or the worst, day of my life. I will work on it. Beat it. Learn from it. If both options, to live and to die, are possible, what now to worry?”
There was nothing holy about it. But it worked.
Doubt is a self-induced fear
When I finally landed my feet on solid ground, the experience got me thinking.
In my life, there were similar times where the choices were starkly different. There were no third options. But life demanded me to choose, anyway.
Just like a famous military slogan, “Ragu-ragu, pulang” or “when in doubt, stay at home”, I felt that doubt escalated fear almost exponentially.
I learned that doubt can be an unnecessary source of worry that later turned into self-induced fear,