Tuesday, April 25, 2017

For example, she told me about how her step-siblings bullied her when she was little. They called her worthless, beggar, said her father was a good-for-nothing. They did this day after day. She is fifty five now, and when she talks about it there are tears in her eyes and her voice shakes. She tells me how she still can't forget.

I've asked myself multiple times: Why do we let people do these things to us?

When we are scarred by something, we simultaneously give that thing the power to scar us. When someone makes me cry, I have given that person the power to make me cry, n'est-ce pas? When someone makes me feel small, or stupid, or hurt, I sit back and ask myself: why would I let him/her do that to me?

Now sometimes I do something genuinely stupid, and I get what I deserve. Sometimes I don't realise I've done something wrong, or at least something that could be interpreted that way. Then people snap at me or scold me, and I have to decide whether I have done wrong, or whether the person's just acting out because he's had a hard day. Should I change, or should I treat this as one of those inevitable incidents which occur when millions of people are crammed into a small space and asked to work their asses off?

It's so much easier said than done. Sometimes I spiral into despondence: How could I have made that sort of mistake? I'm an idiot. Maybe I deserve all of this. But from this spiral, things can only get better. Also, I refuse to choose the other narrative: What's up with this idiot? How dare he scold me when it's obviously not my fault and I'm the awesomest? That's called 'poor insight'.

But I'm learning to bounce these things off. And next time will be different.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I'm an idealist mostly (which can mean idiot) so I should start with a realistic statement: people argue, get upset at small things, and snap at people they love. Heck, there's me and my parents.

However, isn't it a treasure to meet people who love what you love, and laugh at the same jokes you do?

KL said we're 'so polite'; I think we're just considerate of each other's feelings. And we like harmony. I have to remember that's not the way for everyone. And even if, with these people who share similar interests and sense of humor with me, we fight and snap and get upset, it's still amazing that in this huge world, we got to meet. I guess? Perhaps I'm just doing damage control in advance haha.


I used to think Psych was easy. Probably because it was all so new, maybe I didn't understand so much. Maybe they didn't tell us so much. It's, uh, not easy. I didn't know the range of human behaviors was so huge ("People do that?"). It's disturbing. It makes me question what 'normal' is.

I remember saying before, if I had lived the life you lived and had the same experiences as you, would I act the way you do? Obviously. Yes. Most likely. The second thought that comes to mind is, was it impossible to add, amongst our chest of experiences and actions, things that would have made us better, wiser, more resilient, stronger?

The thought of improving ourselves doesn't come to everyone. The resources that come to mind are also very different amongst people. So perhaps the actions of picking up a book, googling certain things, finding out more—these aren't always instinctive, and that's why they aren't done. It's not that it's difficult, it's just that people don't think of it, because the people around them don't know or care, and so they don't, either.

Sometimes I wish that, before crises, people thought of these damage control things. For the future in a week, a month, a year, ten years...sometimes simple actions can have subtle but huge effects. Of course, talk is cheap. And I've had my share of coping poorly—very poorly—with stuff too. So as much as one human can understand another, I do understand.

So what's my job? (my job to be). To help. That's all. Not to judge. A certain textbook says 'to help with empathy, without judging, and disinterestedly (note not uninterestedly!)' It's just that, we're human too. Please don't shout or threaten. I know y'all can't help it sometimes. But, being human, we get headaches, we get panicked, we get sad and frustrated—we're just not supposed to show it. We're supposed to be professional. I hope I learn that skill before I graduate, because it's a fine line between becoming an unfeeling robot, and becoming someone who can handle crises with empathy. And if that makes no sense, you should come with me for a week.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

sorry but

If you're a man, you gotta be able to fight a lizard.

because I can't!!!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My basic assumption when someone speaks is that he or she is saying something. I should really try to keep in mind that quite a lot of people treat words like sneezes.

So, I'm sorry that I embarrassed you. Next time I'll just remember that there are people who treat words like noise.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I just finished watching all the episodes of Thirteen Reasons Why, and it's pretty heavy. Although I did watch all the episodes back to back, so it's also pretty interesting I guess.

These days I get these comments a lot: am I gullible? Stupid? Awkward? Inexperienced? What does 'cute' mean? And 'innocent'? And the fact that put together I unknowingly said some things that pissed some important people off?

I want to not unknowingly say 'rude' things... To change, but I don't actually want to change drastically. I don't want to be politically correct all the time, because I want to be true to myself. It matters differently to different people, but it matters to me... it matters a lot. And that means I treat people like human beings, even my superiors. It means I say things the way I think them, although I gotta learn to put a better filter on that.

Various people at different times have told me that it's okay to have ideals. That the world will show us, indubitably, the reality of life. It will shave off our corners and make us less abrasive in general, make us fit in.

Sure, I'm not going to argue against that. But what I hope for is that I will be able to hold onto a piece of me, a small piece of that unknowingness that's getting me in so much trouble now. Because we all justify ourselves, right? Maybe that's what I'm doing. But even though it got me in trouble, I do think that it's important to be true to yourself.

Because we can't all be the same, can we? Even if the guys who say and do the right things, who suck up blatantly or subtly, who can pull the right strings—even if these guys rise up exponentially and are the envy of everyone 5, 10 years in the future: good for them! It's important, sure. It's not the most important thing to me.

Did you know lobsters used to be a poor man's food—they used to be served in prisons?
I want to define what matters to me, that's all. And the world may shave that down, too, but let me keep a bit of it, please. Just a bit.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Still not Part 3 yet...

from thisjapaneselife.org:
For a long time I loved the phrase ichi-go ichi-e because I thought it meant “meeting a strawberry.” Literally, it is “one life, one meeting,” the meeting being a person or a challenge, or, as I like to think, meeting one strawberry.
Ichi-go ichi-e is best understood if we retroactively apply it to the bushido days, when a warrior would train with as much intensity as a real battle. If he fell off his horse and injured his arm, he would get back on the horse, carrying on instead of restarting, because he does not believe in the idea of “trying again.” Each move should be completed as if it were his only chance. He would imagine practice as if it were real life, or else it wasn’t really practice, just play-acting.
When things were hard, I would tell myself, “this is practice” as a way of separating myself from the pain of real emotions. The correct technique, perhaps, is to feel those experiences completely, to let the tears flow, to live through it without going numb. To practice feeling things fully, instead of practicing detachment.
You will never do anything “again.” You only eat one strawberry, even when you are eating a bucket of strawberries. I should practice remembering that, practice experiencing my life fully while it is happening. Meeting the Strawberry, rather than eating one after the other. Everything is practice, nothing is practice. We prepare for the real thing by living it.
This world of dew
is only a world of dew.
And yet…

I keep remembering the phrase, 'You only eat one strawberry, even when you are eating a bucket of strawberries.' It makes a lot of sense, but after being attached to the Obesity Clinic, it has a little irony too. You're only eating one strawberry despite eating a bucket of strawberries, oh yeah... 

 Andy Grammar - fresh eyes