Who Am I? Part II

Have you ever walked through the self-help section of a bookstore, and wondered why there were so many books that teach you to be more like others but none that tell others how to be more like you? If not, congratulations, society, at large, loves you as you are. But for some of us less lucky ones, or just me, it is not as easy discovering ourselves, that we do not fit into any of the prescribed moulds, and having to choose to remain faithful to who we are although it supposedly means we are not destined for conventional success.

What if I never intended to join this never ending race – labelled “prestigious”, where one inevitably ends up disqualified by death, and am perfectly content watering the flowers growing off-trail where the path is less trodden? 

Along the way, I see that a beautiful rare flower’s seeds have drifted onto the trail and budded. I race to reach the flower first, to protect it before anyone else in the race tramples it. I may not be comfortable nor proud of being high pitched and loud but would not hesitate to effectively express the thoughts and ideas that I am passionate and enthusiastic about. 

In others’ mad rush to get ahead, I get overwhelmed by the crowd and allow myself to be jostled into the throng. I then run to avoid being trampled upon myself and once I am safe from that threat, I lose myself wondering how I ended up where I am. To this day, I still get stressed over exams or competitions simply because my classmates fight for it. When I get a chance to take a step back, I realise I do not enjoy the competition and am more interested in learning.

Other times the race comes to a stretch that I genuinely enjoy, maybe it is a magnificent tall bridge across a vast lake, and I momentarily abandon my flowers to enjoy a change of scenery. I enjoy the thrill of competitive running and the satisfaction of post-training fatigue. 

“Oh so you are okay with being mainstream when you’re good at it?”, who ever said I was good at running and bad at academics?

But many do not understand. They think they are doing well by me when they prod and push me to be adopt the form of a sprinter when all I want to run is cross country. Just because we are both running athletes, people assume I would want to emulate the faster runner. Just because we are both students, teachers assume I would like to learn from an organised classmate. No, maybe I am okay with being messy, with doing my homework last minute because I have other passions. Maybe I want to run, read, play the guitar, laugh at bad puns and live life. Maybe I learn better in a mess than with rigid timetables.

This situation is similar to the story of a father, a son and a donkey, there is no way to please everyone so you do you even if it pleases no one else and do not impose your ideals on others ♥ spread love not patronization.

Some people that I had certain respect for have been telling me to adopt the traits of others, leading me to seriously doubt my existence and after much turmoil I re-found and refined my thoughts and core principles so here we are again.

I understand some of my posts lack quality towards the end. It’s just I have so many ideas that I get excited to start and I kind of lose my train of thought amongst the jumble of unexpressed material in my brain. Thanks for bearing with me xx

Who Am I? (Part I)

Who Am I? 

What makes me me? A story of growth as of Feb ’17.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! I am still pigging out on the chocolate I have received from friends and classmates, as is the tradition (that I do not adhere to) of an all girls school. I have recently posted and removed a number of posts crafted in the spur of an emotional moment so now for a reflective one that will be here to stay.

I once thought growth comes with age like pulling a rabbit out of a hat as if I would stop liking dolls when the clock struck midnight on a milestone aka 12th birthday. Of course I now know it comes with experience.

In my camp empowered reflection, Dec ’16 I chose not to mention a chat I had where I was posed a question about my identity because I felt it was something more personal. Identity is a topic I choose to dodge and yet I realised it is an inevitable confrontation.

I am an overseas scholarship recipient and was one since I was 14. The world’s mainstream culture is that of being competitive. I went from a society where academic success was valued to one where holistic education was key. Yet one thing remained unchanged, the idea that hardwork pays off, driving my peers and I to launch ourselves into every activity that promised us a better future. Some of us did this to an extent where we had no time to do anything we truly loved, and began to doubt the core of our very existence. In a recent motivational workshop that I was forced to attend, the speaker told us to “just give up two years of your life, cut out people, cut out the activities you enjoy, they do not benefit you, do it for twenty years of good future.”. Some of my friends actually nodded in approval and attempted it. It took me a long time for me to realise what it was about this suggestion that made it so repulsive to me. This was when I decided that living in the present makes me me because I believe tomorrow is not an entitlement for anyone. This doesn’t encourage and justify irresponsible acts by thinking one might be able to escape consequences, rather, this means to live a life where there will be nothing important left unfinished with were you to die tomorrow, to live a life without remorse, to strip away the less important, and to truly live a life one enjoys.

The Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity.It is the most temporal part of time-for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays -C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters

Apart from that, now, a few months after the chat, which included certain dissatisfaction with the dynamics of my family, I no longer despise the situation and family community I have been born into. He has taught me love, by placing me among people I would never have chosen to love and then loving me so much that His love overflows out of my into the hearts of my family members’. While it remains difficult, He has taught me how to love. Family makes me me.

Thinking makes me me. Running makes me me. My love for deep, mature, intellectual conversations makes me me. My appreciation of the minute things in life makes me me. My intolerance for injustice, hypocrisy, inauthencity and ignorance makes me me. The desire to share makes me me, which is why I have this blog, to share a raw and honest version of myself, without any motive to elicit any sort of response from others be it approval, pity, awe etc. and without the fear of judgement. As the same friend told me “Remember, that the only person that should influence who you are, is God. Allow yourself to be moulded by God directly, it will require you to take away some things and put on others. Be ready, because it hurts!”. Our Father Above makes me me, and I am eternally grateful for this anchor that my faith has provided me with in my continuous search of Who Am I? (a story of growth, as of Feb 2017) 😉

Of course there will be parts that I missed out but just a brief reflection prompted by recent events ♥ Feel free to share what makes you you in the comments 🙂