Love is patient, love is kind. 

(Disclaimer: All my posts have been rambles, this one is no exception. It is midnight now, and I have been not been sleeping too well. Hopefully I will be able to finish this within half an hour. Before waking up for work in seven hours.)

I was trying to fall asleep but the key word being ‘trying’ to. I was just lying there, thinking about the books I read today. The nth time of deathly hallows, Joseph Heller’s ‘god knows’ that has been sitting in my storeroom since I was 15, and a Chinese book published by a weibo author. I was thinking about the lunches I had this week. On Monday, I met with a fellow associate who joined six months earlier, to eat the nasi lemak burger. It is really good by the way, the chicken patty is delicious and I love the sauce. On Tuesday, I met with a senior from my unit, we had subway. I could relate to how she can’t sleep during the week but crashes on the weekends, and how she works on government projects and has to follow all sorts of compliance rules. Today, I went out with my new friends from a different department, we all joined three weeks ago so everyone was still getting to know each other and asking simple questions to start the conversation ball rolling. Beef pepper rice bowl was good! Tomorrow, I have lunch with people I sat with on the very first day of work, then pork ribs with tonkatsu and on Friday I have anopheles and DG! Shaping up to be a good week.

I love meeting ENFPs and ENFJs because I always get along very well with both groups, but not everyone fall into those categories. But sometimes, I really just can’t talk to a stranger. You know in the initial conversation, by the sort of questions a person asks and how fast he talks or his body language, it is usually possible to get a sense of what kind of personality he has, what his priorities in life are. Occasionally I will wonder about why is his opinion so confined and unaccepting, why does he not see that he has an unpleasant personality, and can he stop whatsapp-ing me because I have to keep archiving his chat. Or when the person says A and I am eating my sandwich and I say B and the topic moves on to C as if none of us mentioned A or B. Or when I do something unintentionally to him or he does something unintentionally to me, that little bit of annoyance and whatever happened to love is patient, love is kind? Is there any value or joy in those unremembered moments, when the relationship isn’t progressing fantastically?

I want to talk about the people whom we meet for the first time, or the friends whom we have been around for a long time, and conversation for some reason, on that day or that morning, does not flow well, idiosyncrasies are really glaring and everyone is just not blending in together. It rarely happens in groups but sometimes I just meet one or two people that I cannot click with. And I realised in that past three weeks that people are no longer one of my KPIs. If I go out to lunch with them, it is because I want to. It is because I genuinely enjoy being around people for lunch, it is not because I have to report to my boss about their job satisfaction levels. One of the key reasons why I didn’t want to do internal HR is because it would mean that I would be separated from all my colleagues, because I am privy to policies that can change the nature of their work. 

It is the ability to love someone else that I’m honing. A capability. Of loving a stranger, or a friend who has changed from his or her original personality. I am not perfect, sometimes I say weird things and I interact in weird ways, and sometimes I overthink things. The feeling that every human being is worthy of respect and should be treated with love and kindness was foreign to me. I only realised it this month when I started intentionally interacting with people, trying to get to know them, and to see them as they see themselves, and more. I finally understand a little bit of what it means to love the unloveable, the people whom we would not naturally gravitate to, and not just see them as an interesting specimen that I can analyse and then write about.

Learning to love might take a lifetime, I am just scratching the surface with many of my colleagues, I see their flaws and their hobbies and what they enjoy talking about, I see their smiles and sometimes their insecurities when they talk about their job search. I can let go of things much more easily now, in the past I used to not remember grudges because I couldn’t be bothered to, now I see  that such things are unimportant. Truly unimportant. There are many parts of love that I have no idea how to describe. I still don’t know how to commit to someone else. But perhaps I have it in me to love others.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

My work is proceeding smoothly, I understand a lot more of what we deliver to clients now. My relationships are proceeding smoothly, I say hi to almost everyone, although there are definitely pockets of time when I don’t know what to do and feel snubbed by people, or snub people accidentally. It’s all in my head, literally. I can see that others are struggling too. And I thank God for my hr research experience, which is really useful when reading a tonne of materials online. And for my current company allowing me to practice the growth mindset, trying out so many new things this year. Especially for my food allergies and rashes having recovered just before I started work. This week is a week of just one symptom, a highly upset stomach. Not a single hive has appeared. But the stomach was highly upset.

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.

-Soren Kierkegaard