Reminiscences: Making Wrong Turns Isn’t Wrong

Some time in May 2008, I was at the Intercontinental Hotel in Singapore on a business trip, eating breakfast alone, drowning in self-pity, misery, and loneliness, never mind why, when I found myself listening in on some tourists’ conversation over at the other table (errrr, yeah I confess I do listen in on some conversations sometimes). What one of the tourist guys said made me feel ashamed of my unhealthy thoughts.  He said, “In the past few days I’ve been here, I get lost whenever I get out of this hotel.  And that is how I find my way.”

Going astray, making less than peachy decisions, or even making a fool of oneself, should not be seen as a mistake, a reason to quit.  Of course, ‘not getting it for the first time’ eats up a lot of precious time but that’s how we learn life’s lessons.  One should keep going.  Because not doing so, that’s when it becomes a mistake.

And so, determined to be happy and to forget why I was there in the first place, I shoved my laptop in one corner of the suite, sashayed out of the hotel, and made lots of wrong turns (and wrong decisions!) in the shopping malls.

So, thank you, Mr. Tourist, whoever you are, for clearing up my mind with those insightful words and for helping me to enjoy (splurged and stuffed my face with spicy food) my few days in that lovely Asian country.


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