“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
So today I have decided that there are some people in the world whom you just can’t please. No matter how well you do, no matter how brightly you shine, they will always find a point of criticism. They will always find a way to rain on your parade. They will always find a way to undermine your successes and make you feel small and unworthy.
When people don’t appreciate and adore the person that you are, at this very moment, they are not worth your effort. No matter how much you try, you are never going to match up to the ideal in their minds and that’s okay. Because that’s their ideal, not yours.
“It’s all right. We’re in a fight. You boys are doing all that you can do. Anybody can see that. Win or lose… We gonna walk out of this stadium tonight with our heads held high. Do your best. That’s all anybody can ask for.”
-Coach Boone, Remember the Titans
The truth is, humans are all just stumbling around in this debased world trying to find a way to make ourselves feel better; to feel good; to feel justified. And this is the basis on which we build our value systems.
We prioritise traits we think we possess because that means we are doing something right. It speaks for our place in the world and that we are basically winning at life.
Humans tend to exploit our best individual characteristics and try to mould the world in a way that gets us the best deal. This is the same in every other systemic problem- the ones propagating inequality are always the ones with the better lot.
We need to understand that with every belief that you propagate, there’s a flip side. With every person who says that intelligence is crucial and that human life should be measured by the quality of one’s ideas and thoughts, there is someone struggling over grammar, thinking there is no way he could ever be spectacular. With every person who thinks attractiveness is of paramount importance, there is someone with road maps on her thighs, not having the courage to pursue the life she deserves.
Attributes like intelligence and beauty should be admired, not pursued to the point of insanity. Ticking hourglass bodies waiting to shatter into a million starving girls, and ink-stains seeping into bloodstreams turning people into meaningless equations and scientific formulas shouldn’t be categories you fall into to have a fulfilling life. Life goes on if you’re not smart. Life goes on if you’re not attractive.
The only quality we should all strive towards in unison is kindness. Being accepting and loving towards all the different kinds of people that make up this strange world is the belief system that we should all subscribe to.
So I have the house all to myself after ages and ages and that means… TIME TO SING OBNOXIOUSLY LOUDLY TO BAD SONGS. Other than that, I feel six years old with all the advice my family gave me:
- Mum: Don’t go downstairs to buy food! Order instead, it’s safer!
- Bro: Don’t order from McDonald’s, the Indian guys all flirt with you on the phone. Order Pastamania.
- Dad: Don’t open the gate when he comes. Just try and squeeze the bag through the openings in the gate.
- Bro: Don’t let them know you are home alone! Blast music so it sounds like you are having a party or something!
LOL they obviously don’t see the gaps in their arguments I mean:
- Definitely, let me inform some random guy of my address, that is much safer than going down to the hawker centre.
- LOL let’s just say that when they see me in my pyjamas, they’ll be disappointed more than encouraged.
- … this isn’t even possible so I’m not sure what to say.
- Why would I order for one person if I’m having a party? Party of one I suppose LOL RAISE THE ROOF.
Still, it’s nice to see that they care and feel young after having to make frightening decisions for the future recently.
Recently, I’ve been holed up in my room a lot, and skipping mirrors because I don’t want to lapse into another bout of pity and misery.
But about five minutes ago, I had an epiphany (it’s really not that groundbreaking but I think it’s the first time I have fully accepted it)
I may not be pretty, but that doesn’t decrease my worth as a person. At all. So what if I’m not pretty? I’m not saying that being attractive is a bad thing, but it’s just one aspect of who you are as a person.
I’m strong. I’m independent, passionate, opinionated and empathetic.
I am also stubborn, self-pitying, fatalistic and self-righteous.
I am not pretty.
How is it fair of me to accept the good things about me and reject the bad? My good balances out the bad; yin and yang. I have to come to terms with the fact that my faults and my strengths come together to form a wholesome me. And it’s my duty to love all of it.
I don’t criticise myself for not being able to dance well. Or not being able to paint. In the same way, I can’t criticise myself for not being pretty. It’s so silly to think that you are inferior because your face isn’t symmetrical or because your love handles offer maybe too much love.
My body is made up of pieces of my history. My parents, my brother, my grandparents, my great-grandparents… Every callous in my hands is from something I have achieved. My dark circles show that I am working hard to secure my future, to be given a chance to do what I love and contribute what I can to this mad world. Every bit of stretched skin shows that I like food and I’m not ashamed of it. How can I hate this body when it’s the map of my life, when it’s a compilation of my stories? My body is my first novel, my first masterpiece.
My chromosomes have combined beautifully to create me, this laughing, breathing, babbling me. They have fallen together exactly as they were meant to, and I am exactly as I am meant to be.
“Your body is made of the same elements that lionesses are built from. Three quarters of you is the same kind of water that beats rocks to rubble, wears stones away. Your DNA translates into the same twenty amino acids that wolf genes code for. When you look in the mirror and feel weak, remember, the air you breathe in fuels forest fires capable of destroying everything they touch. On the days you feel ugly, remember: diamonds are only carbon. You are so much more.”
“Patagonia” by Kate Clanchy
I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought
of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait
till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush,
had paddled off in tiny coracles, till
those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant
skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.