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... Smile Away!

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Cat lover, RMT, MD in the making. I just love writing about anything and I want to share my thoughts out there.

I’ve blamed my personality countless of times for the opportunities that I’ve missed in my lifetime. If only I had been a little confident then I could’ve presented better. If only I know how to do small talks then I would’ve known what to say when with companions. If only I don’t overthink and overanalyze things then I could’ve handled many situations better. But everything is for naught; most of these happened in the past, and what I can only do now is to think about what I’ve done in front of these situations. Were they appropriate? Did I look so unfriendly? Even after I have mulled over the scenes and my responses, current situations giving off deja vu vibes always drag me back to what I’ve felt before and lead me back to the questions I’ve been thinking about after I’ve undergone them. It was a circle for me, and I just couldn’t seem to get away from it.

Thinking about it over and over again, insecurities from deep within unknowingly built up and gradually inserted itself in my personality. Good for her, she can talk pleasantly with the crowd. Good for him, he can always speak up what it is in his mind. When you always think of comparing yourself to others about the results or reactions of something that you’ve done, one day you’ll realize how easy it is to belittle yourself. I was so shocked when I realized that it was so natural for me to compare my work from others and as a result I got so stingy with my compliments. I couldn’t compliment anyone wholeheartedly; I had a hard time doing that, and it sounded alarm bells in my mind. Why can’t I clap my hands for someone who got the top score in the class? If only I reviewed that part of the exam well then I could’ve done it better. I was so busy telling myself off that I couldn’t process very well on what I should react at certain situations. It was a dilemma. I couldn’t stop the negativity that comes from comparing myself with others, and that has eaten a large part of my soul back then because I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. I tried to study harder, so I could get a higher score but I just narrowly passed the exams. Situations like these liked the bad part of me because it gave it an excuse to belittle and insult me as if passing narrowly was the worst thing that could happen.

Then thoughts were heard louder and louder.

I want to be better. I want to be better. I’ve told these words far too many to count it could’ve passed as my motto, but I just couldn’t be better and that brought me deeper within my inner turmoil. I couldn’t be happy for so many days. My hobbies, reading books and writing stuffs, were abandoned because I get more frustrated when I couldn’t think about what topic to write about. I felt too strongly about everything that it gave me writer’s block all the time. I couldn’t tell anyone anything because I am far away from home and that college was a temporary thing and so were the people in it. It was just plain hopelessness on my part. I’ve thought of a lot of things and it tired me out. Everything seemed too much for me and so… I slept a lot. I get back from school then I sleep so that I wouldn’t have time to think about what a disappointment I am for what I’ve done this day. On weekends, I cook then eat, tend to my assignments for a bit, review the subjects that has quizzes, then sleep again. Sleeping became my only friend in the midst of my sadness and hopelessness. Then one day, I woke up and decided to un-friend people in social media. Tinkering through my phone, I wandered onto my bio and it read “Desiderata”; I remember I felt like crying at that time. It was a poem by Max Ehrmann which we studied back in high school in our English class and I remember being drawn to what it said that I eventually put it on my bio.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

And reading through it again set a little misaligned thought back into its place then I felt relief. That’s right, why did I ever forget about that? I’ve known it back then but greed just unknowingly crept into my mind that it caused it to cloud my sanity. I’m not always going to be better than anyone else, but I’m also not going to be the worst every single day. At that time, I just couldn’t really grasp the idea since I was so adamant that I just deserved better because I did try harder. That stubbornness led me tripping down the black hole and for days that I got blinded about what I believed was right took me deeper and deeper down that hole. Being at the top wasn’t and isn’t going to be everything.

“... do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.”

When you get into that black hole, it was hard not to think about all the negatives. In my mind, I always heard someone ridiculing myself and my decisions. The mocking felt like an eternity and I couldn’t just shut out the voice in entirety since I don’t know where I am hearing it from. It made me feel un-normal. It made me feel insane. The longer I stayed in there the more I lose myself; the struggle felt so long that I wouldn’t even know what to do if I didn’t stumble upon the poem once again.

“ gentle with yourself.”

Despite what I’ve gone through, I didn’t learn my lesson immediately. Habits are hard to forget and practising comparisons every single day at one point in my life proved that to be true. You don’t just magically transform one day. I was still the same the next day after my revelation but a little bit better than yesterday. At least, even though I got no one to guide me through the day, I got the poem to read again to make me feel relieved.

“Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

And that is what I am going to do for the rest of my life. No matter what happened in the past, it wouldn’t define the entirety of you. Although just like in a book where a certain chapter would be so particular, it is just a chapter after all. Endings can change, it just depends on how you want it to go.

I still do get a little bit sad knowing that I missed an opportunity because it seemed like I couldn’t do it, but now I don’t blame myself too much for it. I still overthink and overanalyze things, and I still get my insecurities. They’re still there but now in moderation. I’ve been learning how to control my emotions and reactions to my disappointments. Nowadays, I try finding reasons to my failures; as to why it went wrong and so forth. I still get embarrassed in front of crowds, and I still can’t do small talks with other people but as usual all I could do is to smile at them hoping that it looked friendly enough to want them to talk to me. Thinking about it, all I ever did was to smile. When I wouldn’t know what to do next, when I didn’t know what to say to people, when I felt sad and hopeless but I didn’t want anyone to notice it; no matter how I am having a hard time back in those days and until today, I did smile. What a mad woman! I didn’t even really notice it because I have been so concerned about other things but how contradicting that is. I might just be really insane.

© 2021 Nym Jyt

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