I never learned how to take the beautiful thing in my imagination and put it on paper without feeling I killed it along the way. I did, however, learn how to weather the death, and I learned how to forgive myself for it.
(Typing this on my bed)
It might seem weird to say that I would like to be more honest with myself and with other people, to live with an open heart because I feel like that is so much of what I do on a daily basis.
I would like to sit still in a quiet room and cultivate the ability to be alone. To look into the mirror and to see myself as I am- a repository of emotions and thoughts and warm hearted feelings. That I am not a corporate drone or a machine. I am a human, who doesn’t feel very good today. But I think I realised today how much I love myself. I love my striving and my flaws and I love the fact that I try. I am not very good, although people seem to treat me well. I try, not to please others, but to make them comfortable. I try to show them love. Because I realised that there are people who on the surface, have a functioning family and a functioning job, or even a good job, but they can still be deeply unhappy and without love. Just because one is tired doesn’t mean that the day was fulfilling. Just because one has 95 outstanding WhatsApp messages doesn’t mean that there is true friendship and harmony.
When I say emotional honesty I don’t just mean vulnerability, I mean the moment of connection that I feel when I am able to understand someone and his perspective on things, when I see the world through his eyes and I feel what he values and loves most in the world. When I approach him without judgment but just understanding, and then smiling because there are such lovely people in the world who are genuine and kind. Not all of them are, and in fact, everyone comes with their own burdens and tiny flaws. But they are human, and I can find something to admire in nearly everyone.
Thanks to: JB for his resilience, to take up an administrative job to support himself. C for his enthusiasm, E for her support and friendliness and guiding in the two months past. CA for her constant worrying about me and how I’m coping even when she’s not in the office, EM for sharing with me her current experiences and future plans, SX for his empathy about being a corporate drone, D for opening my eyes to the world of Chinatown food, EL for guiding me on the project, stretching my comfort zone and CL for being a good mentor, and lastly, AL for sharing with me her current difficulty in handling a certain mutual acquaintance.
These people taught me something important in just the past three days- they showed me that the company is filled with great individuals, and then even when I am feeling tired and down, I can find joy in little moments of interaction. Because I can understand how they feel, I appreciate them sharing their thoughts with me on what has been going on in their lives.
I am learning to forgive myself. I know that I have high standards and I also know that I have a tendency to work really hard and then hope that the weekend will bring some rest, and that that method is a really lousy method because I don’t actually rest on the weekends anymore. Which reminds me, I am approximately five chapters behind on The Gospel of Mark. In the past two months I’ve tried my best with people and I can say that I am comfortable with seniors and juniors alike, I am able to handle the flow of work- although not entirely comfortable with how little I know. I don’t know how I should celebrate my newfound vulnerability (ie getting scolded by my bosses), but I forgive myself for all the mistakes I’ve made in the past, because I know that I did my best, even if I was slower than others. It is a sigh of relief to finally, truly forgive myself. In the past I would look at proclamations of self love and wonder, what is there to love, if one is not good enough what is the point of such platitudes about self love. And I would think that forgiveness had to come from an external body, and not from within.
But today I realised- after a particularly long morning where I received the news that my boss is leaving the company (he has been guiding me and he was also the boss who hired me)- that I can forgive myself for everything. I can have high standards but I don’t need to scold myself in addition to the scoldings I get from other people, because then I will sink into a pit of unhappiness and I will lose whatever self respect I had for myself. I love myself because it is necessary, I am my only friend and I am the only person who will be a constant, from the start to the end, from the beginning of my life to when I will draw my last breath. There is no one else who can ride out the waves of emotions with me and I am an exceptionally odd person, I don’t know how to anticipate my moods.
But I know that I can trust my willingness to be honest with myself and with other people, I know that I can trust my heart because I have always been true- I don’t fake kindness or warmheartedness. I genuinely try to connect to people and if there is one thing that I’m remembered for after I die, I would like to be known as the person who learned to be kind. I believe that there is great potential for change in everyone.