“I’m definitely no saint, but I kind of know what it’s like to want to give everything for one person, only to have it all go to waste.” (In reference to Hassan, one of the characters from Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner)
No sooner had I pressed the Enter key — for yes, it was I who said this, over Google Talk — than I asked myself, Was it really a waste?
When we put our effort into something, only to have it come to no fruition in the end, is it a waste? We labor over something for extended — in some cases not even so — periods of time, weighing all our options and wondering how we can make it all work out so that it becomes a win-win situation, and when everything blows up in our faces, we heave an enormous sigh of frustration and say, “Well, that was a complete waste of time!”
Yes, in some ways it may have been, because we didn’t get what we wanted after trying so hard or for so long. On the other hand, is it really so much of a waste if we could learn something from it? While we like to think back to everything we did throughout the entire process, wallowing in our resentment and anger, how often do we think about everything we didn’t do, everything we could have done, that may have changed our fortunes and not made it a waste after all? Wouldn’t the fact alone that there were things we could have done make it a waste, because it means we threw away what little chance we had by being too afraid of losing everything? And even if we lose everything, it doesn’t mean it was a ‘waste’; it just means we get to learn from our mistakes so that when we’ve built everything back up, we’ll know not to throw away those chances again.
I know I have no call to think that I wasted my time and effort on this. I was too afraid of pushing for what I wanted, afraid of pushing it out of my life completely. And now that it’s too late, and knowing how it all came to be like this, I will say that if it was indeed a waste, then it was entirely my own fault, because I didn’t try hard enough, and now I’ll have to live with it.
But I won’t call it a waste.
Because no act of love is ever a waste.