peace with the past: 7 days

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s actually…

Yours truly with her late night musings. For whatever reason I’m especially creative during the darkest of hours and especially after a bowl of cereal with cold milk (I suspect this is because it tricks my body into thinking it’s actually morning again…)

Any who, I’ve been toying with a few ideas in my head as of late and one seems especially promising, but also bizarre – it’s on self perception – I was always fascinated with what makes us who we are.

Warning: this post details my personal experiences with depression and it might be upsetting to some. (Though I firmly believe, mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of, if we discussed mental health hygiene more in the open sufferers could benefit by seeking treatment and regaining quality of life sooner.)

As far as I could remember I was always a very confident kid, believing I could do anything and everything – up until, people close to me started to burst the bubbles of my childhood dreams with pins and needles.

There were the relatives who always wondered why I was so ‘wild’ and ‘badly behaved’ in their terms. But my mother was always on the defensive side, because, I assume, she either believed in me, or believed in giving me the freedom to express myself.

Then one day: ’you’re not special’ said my mother.

Admittedly, I felt betrayed. I thought she would be the one person backing me up in things and believing in me – alas, it was where the first crack formed.

‘She’s your mother. She’s more experienced. She knows you better than you do.’

‘You’re not special.’

I believed her.

I’m not special.

I conceded.

I caved.

I stopped asking questions.

I stopped being curious.

I stopped going after what I’d wanted.

I gave up my hobbies in favour of more useful ‘activities’.

I was wrong to believe I was ‘special’, except it didn’t just stop there, it snowballed.

I tried to be who they wanted me to be.

I was ‘wrong’ and they’re ‘right’.

I didn’t complain anymore because I’d forgotten how.

I was silenced.

I was joyless.

I was lost.

I was someone I didn’t recognize, someone I didn’t like.

Until one day, I ground to a figurative halt and nothing pretty awaited…

I knew it couldn’t go on…

Seeking help for depression, I visited the health centre at my university. It was a scary experience as by that point I had shut the world out. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I somehow had lost my way and no longer felt any joy.

The clinic was…not what I expected. As in, I’d thought I’d see a psychiatrist right away – instead, I had to fill out forms and get referred. I walked away with a pamphlet, with facts about depression and positive affirmative phrases like: ’I deserve the love I want.’ 

What love?

I’d wasted from what I was to being completely anhedonic. It took years.

And in hindsight, I had no one to blame but myself. I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve stood up for myself sooner, except, somewhere in the intermingled arguments and conflicted thoughts of ‘I want to make my parents proud’ and ‘I don’t want to hurt them’ coupled with people telling me to stop being so ‘selfish’ and ‘self important’ and see things from their perspective for a change for a change for too many times. I had become full of excuses and had somehow forgotten all about myself…

What is it that you want?

I want to feel.

Most importantly, I want to feel like myself.

I want to like myself and live the life I choose, not the life someone else dictated.

I wanted to be ‘free’ – despite over and over again my parents have repeated. ‘There’s no such thing as absolute freedom,’

But why not?

Who wrote the rules anyways?

Did they know what life is all about?

Out of all the 7.3 billion people on the planet (as of June 6, 2015) who really has an idea of what ‘life’ means or should ‘mean’.

Who are they to prescribe the rules, or tell you how or how not to live your life?

Then I realized, it is true – you are born and you die, but what you do between that is undetermined and that is entirely up to you, if you let it, and I needed to do just that.

Rediscover myself in the wreckage and pick myself up when I still can.

Before time runs out.

In high school, I once said and this deeply disturbed a teacher of mine:

‘Life has no meaning.’

Needless to say, she did not agree, nor did I get to elaborate on my point of view. 

But now I say it.

‘Life is what you make of it. It’s like a book, partially written, everyday is a page, every new day a new page. It most likely won’t make sense, as it wouldn’t stick to one genre, there’s going to be comedy mixed in with romance and suspense and horror – but everyday, you get a chance to move it in the direction you want the story to ultimately conclude. But the emphasis is not on finishing the book – the emphasis should be those pages you bookmark and return to at the epilogue and savour again and again. Though I can’t guarantee this, my bets are – those pages, answers the question: ‘why am I here?’


11 thoughts on “peace with the past: 7 days

  1. You’re right…..your life has purpose. Keep moving toward it. God created you for a purpose and you are special.

    Psalm 139:13-14 says: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

    “For in him we live and move and exist.” Acts 17:28

  2. We are all different. It is a hard lesson to learn, I think, especially for those of us who struggle with self esteem and other issues. But we do have to somehow learn to please ourselves–and yet, yes, I believe we also have to try to please others, and to manage to live within reasonable standards of what society deems acceptable. But sometimes I worry far too much about what others think. How can I, how can we, find that happy medium? I love your book analogy. I have to write my own book. It won’t look like anybody else’s. But it will be mine. And that’s OK.
    Thanks for this great post.

    1. Yeah, I think it comes down to self acceptance and not being so hard on yourself, know that it’s okay to be ‘different’ and not to be perfect all the time. I think that’s the theme, we’re always trying to be ‘someone’ and then we forget who ‘we’ truly are as individuals with quirks and flaws…it’s important not to lose those things that make you uniquely you 🙂 thank you for reading.

  3. It’s the careless things they tell us that turn into the lies we tell ourselves. Dream killers I call them. I too had to come undone to start to learn who I was. But at the end of the day we have to be aware that what they’re saying is part of their story, it has nothing to do with us.

    1. Yes, they mean well but it’s ‘opinion’ not ‘fact’. I’ve been known to be stubborn, always want to try things for myself and see if it works or not. I tend to throw caution to the wind and those close to me don’t approve. But the thing is, at the end of the day, this is my life, they can warn all they want, tell me not to go after something when they don’t see where I’m coming from and going after what I want might just be the biggest triumph I value. i.e: not the house, nice car, start a family route.

      1. Yup, I agree. I’m not one for the traditional route either I think. It might take a while but us free spirits do get there, to that point where we no longer believe in the need to ask permission. We just let loose our awesomeness on the world! :p 🙂

      2. Indeed, and I always thought I’m ‘out of place’ like I can’t contribute because everyone else is moving in the same direction and I’m just a little ‘lost’ as if I can’t grow up or move on. Then I realized it’s okay to want different things and there are ways to make your dreams come true 🙂

      3. Exactly! That’s actually a ‘moment’, isn’t it? The moment you realise it’s ok to want things others don’t. That the journey of life to each of us is unique. Frankly those who don’t understand mine are welcome to just watch and not participate, thank you very much! 🙂

      4. Haha yes, it takes a while to grow that back bone and go against the masses and say, look, ‘my life doesn’t have to be the same as everybody else’s’ and it’s really that step in granting yourself permission and space that starts a wonderful journey of self discovery!

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