I give up. Why can I never do what I want to do. Why are my thoughts always wrong and totally opposite of theirs? Why do they not understand me.

If they don’t want me to go on the internship abroad. Fine. I can live without that. But I do want to spend my last 2 free months I have before I graduate more meaningfully. I want to go on a long trip with my mom as promised to see all the places that I gave her in pictures on magnets. I want it to be just me and my mom. Why? Because I feel guilty. I haven’t been very nice to her and she’s done everything for me. She’s suffered so much in her own family and at her in-law’s. I just want to give her what she deserves. She’s also a lot more understanding and willing to hear me out than I had thought. She was very supportive after hearing about my depression and anxiety and would help me to avoid conflict with my brother over things that touched on that. I also don’t know how much more time I will get with my parents. Maybe next time we enter the emergency we may walk out with one less person. Maybe it won’t be just angina but a heart attack. Maybe the cancer that my uncle had is hereditary.

It does hurt that they don’t think I’m good enough or mature enough to go on the internship abroad and alone. It hurts that I’ve tried so hard my whole life for them and I can’t do what I want for a month. It hurts that I am always the one at fault, 1 vs 3. It hurts that they don’t accept my thoughts. It hurts that I’m crying in my room all night and they don’t come to ask if I’m alright or comfort me. It hurts that I have to give up my dreams over and over again because of them. It hurts that they say they support me in whatever I want to do and act otherwise.

I hear them talking outside my room. It doesn’t matter if they misunderstand me. In the bigger picture, that doesn’t matter. What matters is what I do with my life. I thought that the internship or travelling is a worthwhile meaningful contribution to and with my life. I still think so. But it seems as though it’s not going to happen. So I will just keep thinking of ways in which I can contribute to the lives of others near or far, friend or stranger. As for their ways of thinking, I can’t change that (believe me, I’ve tried). I can’t run away from home as much as I want to. And I won’t go ahead and do it out of love and respect for that. I hope that one day they can understand me. But that’s all I can hope and look forward to in the future.

The strength to go on

Where does this strength come from? It’s a different answer for everyone. For some it may be their loved ones, their family. For some it may be their ambition. For some it may be that they believe in the hope of the joy that is to come beyond the trials. For some it may be the wish to prove themselves worthy. And for some, it may be for fulfilling the dreams of others. I remember when I was asked for reasons that I could tell myself to live on for. What would keep me from suicide? What is the reason for me to live on?

It was hard to think of an answer at that time. However, as I live on, I find that the answer seems to come slowly, as if to tell me to keep living just to see more and more reasons to live. The future is quite the painting beyond this tiny snapshot we see. I want to live to fulfill my childhood dream. I had given up on the dream to be a teacher from the blunt reality of life spoken to me by my parents. The teacher career isn’t going to get you anywhere, blah blah blah. However, as I interact with kids, it is just so…satisfying, seeing their innocent curiosity, their eagerness to learn about this wonderful world through their eyes. This drama I watched recently said how people are most beautiful when they do what they love. And I am so excited to begin volunteering with the One to One program in reading with kids and helping those who have trouble reading. I remember how reading brought me into new worlds and adventures. My glasses are a testament of that, my mark of my love for reading since the age of 6. It was a challenge for me and something I loved to escape to. This feeling is what makes living worth it. To be so excited about something and to be able to share that feeling with others and show it to them is something I can’t wait to do. Life seems brighter with the excitement of realizing a dream of mine. The will to fulfill my dream is stronger than I could fathom. Dreams are a reason to go on. The fulfillment must be unimaginably satisfying.

Another reason I have found. The people I love. The people I want to be there for. During my depressive episodes, I withdrew from a lot of people. There are many broken friendships I just can’t seem to mend or find from the times before. However, the ones that stayed strong I just want to keep so badly that it keeps me alive. They never gave up on me. So why should I give up on me? They sometimes even have more hopes and dreams for me than I do. They see me way differently than I see myself. They show me the best of me and love me despite having seen the worst of me. They invest their time and energy in me because I’m worth it to them. They remind me of why life is worth living.

Funny how the reasons for living don’t exactly counter the reasons for dying. Being a failure and disappointment to others, to myself. Being successful isn’t on my list. However, being loved by those no matter how successful or how unsuccessful I am is. Being able to love myself and what I’m doing with my life is. It makes the reasons for dying seem so tiny and unimportant for lack of better words. There is so much more to life that makes it worth living. I can’t wait to explore and find even more reasons.

The meaning of life: smiling moments.

Everyone asks the age old question some time or another, usually more than once during their lifetime. Even Garfield has asked this question in his comic! “What is the meaning of life?” What indeed is our purpose? What do we have to do so that our life is “meaningful”? The answer varies depending on our unique lives and right now, I feel as though I have figured mine out. It may change, but as of right now, my meaning of life is to create those smiling moments. 

Let me explain a bit about those smiling moments. Today, I hung out with a friend for her birthday. We’ve been best friends since elementary school. We’ve had our ups and downs, but it’s always her that I would go to in my most difficult times. Our friendship’s survived time and distance going to different high schools and if this isn’t true friendship, I don’t know what is. When I got her text after we went our separate ways about how she felt today, I had a smiling moment. Knowing that I made her day better and that I had helped her in some way, I felt so content. Those smiling moments when I know of the impact I had on people. Those smiling moments when I feel as though I’ve done something worthwhile in their life that I could just die in that moment and not regret it. A good moment. I’ve had a few of these smiling moments recently and it’s what keeps me going. When I feel as though I have no place on this Earth and I’m drowning myself in my mistakes in life, one little smiling moment convinces me that I can’t just let myself go down that path. Busy and stressed with school, it’s easy to disappear into a mental war with myself. Hanging out with friends and making them smile is like opening the cloudy sky with a rainbow. There is hope. I’m not a failure. I want to keep being a light to those around me. Everyone is in a war with life; whether with themselves or people or dilemmas etc. The least I can do is to try and help bring them that rainbow and be there for them. Whenever I get a smiling moment, life just feels so “right”. 

There are times to cry together, laugh together, love together. Life is one crazy drama. And like how my friends have always been there for me, it warms my heart knowing they feel the same way too. Like an overflowing bucket of love, smiling moments are worth all the time and effort put into that relationship. Nothing extravagant is free and easy in life. But neither is it impossible to feel as though the all the troubles in life was worth it. To live and strive to make those smiling moments happen makes life meaningful.