SML V6C39 Your True Goal

Li Ming looked at her in a daze. “What do I really want?”

Rong Xiang nodded. “Yes. I know it sounds …” She hesitated, shaking her head from side to side while she thought of a good way to describe it. “I guess trivial might be the right word. Such a simple question, does it make sense to put any thought into it? But I believe it’s the key to actually finding the right answer.”

Li Ming gave a hum. He felt that he somewhat understood what she meant. “You mean that my main problem is that I need to find a direction and that direction should be whatever I really care about.”

Rong Xiang nodded with a smile. “Exactly! See, I wanted to do these courses for a long time. I already had this idea when I was still going to school. I spent years preparing for this.

“When Ah Yi and I met … it was one of the things I told him early on because this was non-negotiable. I needed a partner that would be willing to shoulder this with me. He wouldn’t have needed to work directly with me but he couldn’t have a problem with how this would influence the way I organized my time or the financial constraints this might mean in the beginning.

“All that is to say that I had this goal that I was working toward and I streamlined everything in my life to be able to make it possible. It was my dream, after all, there is no question about it. I always knew it was right. And everything else was just fit around this.”

She turned to look at her boyfriend who smiled in response, reaching out to take her hand.

Rong Xiang smiled as well and turned back to Li Ming. “When I had the accident and was then told that I might never be able to walk again, I didn’t want to believe it at first. How could I? If I couldn’t even walk, how would I be able to make my dream come true? And I was much too young to give up on it.”

Li Ming nodded. He had heard most of this story from Zhu Yi pretty much the day they met. Some additional details had come to light later but he was generally aware of Rong Xiang’s situation so this wasn’t new.

Rong Xiang faintly shook her head. “It took time to accept my new situation. Ah Yi being able to live that dream for me and holding out until I was ready to come to terms with everything was something that helped a lot. After all, this way, I always had this feeling that … if I did manage to recover, I could dive right in. So at first, I never lost hope. But there simply comes a time when you have to realize it’s futile.”

Li Ming nodded again. “It must have been harsh. Honestly, I admire you for being able to start over.” Yes, since the first time he met her, Rong Xiang had always seemed incredibly positive. No matter what happened, she would never lose hope and continue forward. That was also why he believed she could help him find a way for himself.

Rong Xiang laughed. “Well, you haven’t seen the bad parts of it and I guess Ah Yi wouldn’t expose me. It honestly was tough. I was … feeling despair for quite some time. But then, you can’t go through life that way, can you? I might be disabled now but I’m still young. If one dream can’t be achieved anymore, I have to find a new one.”

She shrugged her shoulders and then sighed. “Either way, to make a long story short, what I wanted to say is that what finally got me out of the funk was that I thought back to the very beginning: Why was it that doing these courses became my dream?

“I believe that doing something isn’t just for the sake of doing literally that thing. Yes, I was athletic and I definitely would have made an incredible fitness instructor and self-defense coach but that wasn’t all that was to it. No, I wanted to help other people achieve what I had achieved. The level of fitness and knowledge that I managed to reach and that was making me feel confident no matter the situation.

“That was what I really wanted. So that was what I started looking for. Of course, there are a lot of things I can’t do anymore. You could say that much of my previous preparation was for naught. But some of it can still be used, even if it’s just as theoretical knowledge I can use on the side. That’s good enough for me. Even if I couldn’t use any of it, it’s alright as long as I find what I want to do.

“So … what about you? Deep down, what is it that you want to do, Brother Li? You need to figure that out and then work toward that as your goal. It might not be something that can be reached in one or two steps but as long as the destination is clear, you can map out the way until you get there. I think that is what you are lacking right now.”

Li Ming nodded with a thoughtful expression. Yes, Rong Xiang had indeed figured out his problem: He didn’t know where to go. He was caught up in the possibilities he could see directly in front of him and those he didn’t have. He was weighed down by all these details and wasn’t able to see the whole picture any longer. But if he truly wanted to make progress, that big picture was needed. If he found it again, he could make sense of the details.

He narrowed his eyes and his fingers tapped the table. Actually, it wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about it. He had simply not allowed himself to think too deeply. But now, her words gave him the courage to at least want to try.

Looking up at her, he finally nodded. “I want to help people. The kind of help that’ll make me feel that it can actually change their lives for the better.”

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