Okay, with the diagnosis wreaking a havoc on my life plans, the task of knowing where to go from here is next. The anxiety is somehow fueling me to be more spontaneous, and to find more ways to still make the things that matter most to me happen. I am one stubborn plant after all.
I’d like to be that person who says “ah, but this does not affect the way I will live/am living my life” but huh, I’d be the world’s biggest liar if I spout that. Because it is changing the way I put meaning to my days. It makes me pause a little longer to admire the strength of my family, notice a bit more the flimsiness of the passage of time, and reflect deeper the decisions I’ve made. It honestly feels like I am trapped in a YA novel meant to teach people lessons about living. (But my life isn’t a lesson.)
Whatever I make out of my remaining time here – years, I hope – I wanna make sure I will walk out of the earth lightly and gladly. Anyway, I fear the future less now. Let’s focus on here.
…with myself 🙂
Sounds cliché, innit? (I can see your eyes rolling!) Sorry for the click bait title, haha. But this is what I’ve learned from my 23rd year, to be in a relationship with the self and be okay with it. The way one views themselves affect their relationship with everything and anyone else. In a society that convinces people to give more than what they can be, it’s hard to learn how to love oneself.
Last year felt like a whole hiatus – my own form of self-exclusion from society. And I needed that. For someone who spent almost all her life chasing affection and attention, I needed to refresh and set my broundaries. However, right now I’m at the stage wherein I can face people again. I can face myself in the mirror and not be full of hate once more.
I won’t pretend to be a beacon of self-love because, like many, I’m still figuring that one out. I’m still in the process of being okay with my limitations and discovering new things. I have a long way to go.
A day, like today, gives me hope. For the first time in recent memory, I don’t hate my birthday nor the fact that I was born. I don’t hate myself for celebrating. I ate a lot, went to see great art, tried a new genre of movie, and picked up my camera again after a year. Today, I chose to see the mixed bag of wonderful the universe has given me, especially the ones I took for granted before.
Today, the world, despite my wavering mistrust for its capacity to be cruel, showed me reasons why I should love myself. And for me, those are enough to keep trying to live to the fullest.
It’ll be okay. You’re in a place where a lot of good things can happen. The opportunities that lay in front of you are for you to take. That is why, continue growing from that experience. Right now, you may feel like a blank canvas.
And it’s alright. It’s time you paint colors on your own life. It’s time you give your all to you, to truly live out decisions that are best for you. You don’t need to adjust for anyone else anymore; no need to put out the fires in somebody else’s problems while yours burn to the ground.
You can learn to love yourself. You will love yourself. I’m speaking this into existence.
The road is arduous but I know that you have the spirit to take it on. You’ve been through so much already. Still, you are here – using the bits of ashes left to fight to live. You are free to take your time to discover and piece together the parts of you that has been scattered and missing since you were 11.
Let’s fall in love and stay in love with the girl you see in the mirror. This is yet to be the greatest love story you are about to write.
As I write this, I am delaying doing an assignment. I am listening to IU croon a cover of “The Snowman” by Jung Seunghwan. For the first time in a long time, I can type words to express my feelings and thoughts, and publish them in public again.
It will be a year in 28 days since the last time I almost died; the day I ate at a Chinese restaurant, went home, watched a Korean drama, blacked out, and woke up in the ICU. Doctors until now are still at a lost what really happened that day; why my brain decided to snap and just /poof/. It doesn’t matter now. I am, still, alive.
Honestly, after that, everyday feels like a borrowed time. I gained five diagnoses as months passed. It feels like my body is slowly deteriorating yet I am slowly, slowly figuring out what type of life I want and will live, given the circumstances.
Anyway, in the months that I was gone, I:
– learned to play the ukelele
– learned to read, speak, and understand Korean
– made a few, good internet friends
– volunteered as a design editor for a friend’s website
Yes, things are happening. Welcome back.
Perhaps the most recurrent theme of this depression cycle is ‘searching’. I craved to be alone most of the time to listen to music, to write down thoughts, and to embrace all the privacy I can get. I knew that my way out isn’t through the help of people this time.
Somewhere along this year, I lost my sense of self. I lost a part of my identity in my fight to be alive. I became someone’s advocate, another’s girlfriend, a daughter, a friend, a patient etc. But all these did not mesh together well. I did not know the sum of my parts. I ended up being more broken.
As such, I’m using this restlessness to provoke me to do self-care and to feel something, anything, as me for me. To find out once again what I like, what I love. To find why I’m trying so hard to have more time here. To search who I want to become.