Sometimes I forgive myself for being just human; for being weak in the face of terrible disappointment; and for my temporarily loss of directions whenever I trip and fall.
I know that I try to encourage a lot of people to work harder, to reach for their goals, to never give up by telling them inspiring quotes or just by working tirelessly myself to set a good example. I always believe in inspiring by action. But sometimes in the midst my my deepest darkest gloom, when all optimism desert me, I scorn that optimistic self and mock myself for ever believing that “If you put your heart to it, you can and you will.“
I know. I am just human.
When I fail something terribly, I will lapse into this painful silence. I remember lapsing into this painful silence once in secondary two.
When that happens, nothing that happens around me matter anymore. It is just me in my sphere of excruciating pain, with my heart contracting in that tight choking manner that threatened to suffocate my very being. I became hyper-aware of my pulse throbbing heavily at my neck, and I will just turn cold. Really cold. Like all the warmth and hope left me all at once, leaving me in the dark and cold.
I hurt. Too.
Try to remember me as just another human.
I know that when I do terribly I would try to give myself motivational speeches like,
Don’t lose hope, this is only the beginning! If you are not doing well despite working hard, that means that you are not working hard enough and smart enough! This is just another one of life’s challenge for you, to see you fall and to see you hurt. Stand up, be strong and keep going. I will never give up on myself.
Sometimes, such motivational speeches are incredibly useful when you are trying to inspire other people, trying to convince them that no, they are not the failures they think themselves to be, and yes, they should always work hard whether they see immediate results or not. The difference is pretty dismal when you try to inspire yourself. I don’t know how good a liar I have to be if I am able to stare at my disappointing results to tell myself that it is okay, it is fine, and by some miracle or another, I will improve and do better. It is like, while half of you is trying to convince and motivate yourself, the other more pessimistic you is going like, “Yeah right, what sort of idiot would believe such rubbish?”
It is even worse when someone else try to tell you that it is okay- instead of making me better, it heightens my anguished mood and make my want to scream and yell and shake the person really really hard, to vent all my pent up frustration on that one person that tells you “it’s okay” in such a flippant manner that negates all your hard work, sweat and expectations of yourself.
I know sometimes people are just trying to make you feel better. I don’t know about other people, but for myself it is like a quicksand. The more you try to pull me out of my despondence, the more I sink into it, and worse still, cause my despondence to be coupled with anger and a feeling of being under-appreciated. Maybe it is just me. I hated the words, “it’s okay” more than anything else in the world put together (even more so than radishes ugh), because it feels like a sanitized version of “just freaking get over your pain”. I don’t know. I mean people tend to interpret things badly in the midst of their pain, don’t they?
I wish that there could be someone to inspire me too, and motivate me, when I needed it. I am not tired of inspiring others to work, or motivating them to work hard. I know how much a few sincere words of inspiration and comfort can do to change someone’s day, and lift their spirits. I sought hard and long for such, but encountered none. I didn’t want to hear things like, “Don’t worry, it is going to be OKAY in the end.” (UGH to “okay”!) Such statements only make me think that the speaker cannot be bothered enough to think about my problems or to give me sincere advice, and I hate it even more when inspirational speakers, be it professionals or teachers or principals say that, because I would be thinking, “Don’t be stupid, and don’t lie. Nothing is going to be okay if you don’t do something about it. And stop painting such rosy images in my head. You are just simplfying my pains.”
Surprisingly I feel better after typing all these out, maybe it is because I unloaded so much of the angst within me today that prevented me from seeing my goal. I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like hey, somehow these wounds might somehow heal. With time. With patience. With better results.
I do try to etch such painful memories in my head as a lesson learned, or simply as a form of masochistic motivation for myself to work hard. In time, I would think about today, and maybe be grateful for such pains that make me stronger, and drove me to the end.
But I realized one thing.
When you fall, there won’t be anyone to pick you up. There may be people to offer you tissue for your tears or a pat on the back, but you are the one that have to pick yourself up despite your pains, grit your teeth, and move on. It is a race that you have to complete on your own.