Hey! You! Read this.
by The Dreamer
Hey! Look here and read this: Life’s too short.
I know, I know. You’ve read this a thousand times before, and perhaps will hear it a thousand times more. But okay, this letter is mainly for myself, not for you. It’s up to you to read this and decide whether this letter has the power to influence you. I may sound like the hugest hypocrite writing what I’m going to write below, but there is something about penning things down that convinces myself to do it. “The pen is mightier than the pain.” I think, somehow, every time I write it out, the more I tell my story to people that probably won’t bother reading, the realer it gets and feels to me, and the the more I am able to see it from an outsider’s perspective. It makes me think, “I pity that girl. But I’m not that girl anymore.” Telling my story and my thoughts and my revelations allows me to step out of my bubble of self-doubt and wariness, and to tell myself courageously: Life is too short.
What does a sixteen year old know about life?
Seriously. This is a question I ask myself everyday. I look at my great-grandmother who had lived a few years of her teenage years pretending to be a dirty, skinny, weak boy to survive through World War II, and realize that the torment that I had inflicted upon myself was pathetic.
I was one of those kids going through the phase of reblogging things like this. Sure it’s good to realize your insignificance so you can be more humble and stuff, but then again, this act of undermining your own troubles is the reason why I struggled for nothing and was so goddammed unhappy for the past two years.
Matter: A physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space. In other words, something important or significant. The weird but only thing to consider is, how much you matter in this world is how you take a real effort to leave your presence in your surroundings and beyond. This is my way of making myself matter more. Writing it down. And afterwards, how I am going to “occupy more space” is to be kinder to others, so that the people around me notice that I genuinely care and appreciate them. Mattering is easy – and it is a choice, not something decided in the stars and cannot be changed. And that is all that matters (haha, punny.)
Carrie inspired me to write this. She mentioned that she felt so agitated and frustrated because she had been wasting her teenage years doing this she didn’t like, wrapped in her own comfort zone and not being able to face herself. And so I realized, I’m still in my teens. I have the power to change my life and live it the way it should always have been.
When I was 14, I received a letter from my senior from Girl Guides. It was titled “Confidence”. Inside, she wrote about how she felt that I had outshined my entire batch because of the confidence I radiated – from the way I presented myself, the way I spoke and interacted with others. At that point of time, I wasn’t flattered or comforted. I was utterly taken aback and appalled. Me? Confident? Back then, I felt like the kid that hid her head into her collar, who never allowed the world to see her beyond her eyes. I was convinced that acne had screwed up my face so badly that people’s gaze lingered on me for only one reason – to do a double take, with thoughts like ‘oh god, i’m glad my face isn’t as bad as her’ flashing in their head. In fact, I kept my face buried in my palms so often I aggravated my acne. I couldn’t face the world at all, I kept my head down and I had examined the crevices of floors too many times to count that I could be a specialist in that field. I, confident? It felt like she was mocking me.
But then, thinking back, I realized how good an actress I was. I was struggling with depression and anxiety so badly that my mother had to disguise anti-depressants as nerve-soothing pills for me to consume them, yet when I stepped out from my house, no one actually realized that I was that girl who cried herself to sleep every night and had extreme hatred for sunlight or fluorescent bulbs (cause it made my acne look so bad, ugh.) In birthday wishes, my friends always talked about me being funny and always laughing. And I wondered, how did I managed to do that?
It was sheer willpower. And if I had the strength to pretend, I could pull out the strength to actually be a confident lady. It took me a while to realize that, and a lot of time more to actually set myself to do it, but then when I did, it was like a catalyst that made my face all better (of course, I was on medication.)
The reason I’m sharing this story is because, I realized that I was suppressing my feelings in school, and ended up attacking my family with the pent up frustration. It was a bad time for me, but a rougher time for my family. I lived two years like that, and though I really regretted it because I had inflicted hurt on both me and my family, it was that rock-bottom period of time that I could use as a foundation to rebuild my life.
This video was recommended by Carrie, and by the end of the song, I was an emotional wreck. My tear faucet was broken and it just kept on flowing and flowing, but it was a truly beautiful and enlightening song.
Life is too short to worry and be to sad and nasty. I would like to apply that especially to my family first. I was a bad b**** to them in my early adolescent years. I resented them and insulted them constantly, criticizing their “bad genes” that they had passed on to me, pointing out their flaws that I thought were reflected on myself (and therefore okay to say it to them) and basically the worst kid you could ever have. Seeing your nice little daughter turn into a monster, I bet it was really tough on them and strenous mentally and physically. They ferried me from dermatologist to dermatologist, avoided places with bright light for me and keep quiet while I threw tantrums. If I had a time turner, I would have told past me to shut the hell up.
For all I know, my parents could have been dead the next moment they left the house to bring back my meals because I was adamant on not going out, and my last words to them would have been, “I don’t care. I don’t want to live anymore. Why did you even bother to give birth to me if I was such a mutated kid?” God. I was so horrible.
I would have taken back all my insincere hugs and kisses to my father, and taken back all the times my mother tried to slap me and I stopped her with brute force (honestly, just slap me mother. it would have been a good wake up call). But there is still a chance to change, and it is right now. The reason why my homework is beside me but I’m playing with the keyboard is to tell myself that it is not too late to revert everything right now.
To the me who scrutinizes her thick thighs, belly fats and crooked jaw and teeth, stop it. There is so much more than weight and symmetrical faces. They are just pointless numbers and ratios that don’t matter. And to the friends who can’t see past that, it’s sad but you can do better than hang out with them. Use the energy to make your friends happy and to be more kind, understanding and helpful to them. I’m going to be honest and straightforward with you guys. There were times where I withdrew from hanging out with my friends because I thought it was a waste of time, and some activities were burdensome. But now I realize, those were too precious moments that I had missed. So to the friends that are reading this, the next time I say something to you or if I ever compliment you, it’s really from the bottom of my heart and 100% truthful. However, I do understand that the life is too short mantra certainly does not apply to saying stuff that might hurt people, so I will reserve some comments and feel guilty that I even thought about them. But besides that, I will make a conscious effort to smile more, hug more and love more.
To the me who said “good morning” too softly to bus drivers, I understand that you wanted to make someone’s day, but do it with a bit more enthusiasm and courage and actually let the bus drivers hear it, okay? All along, I always thought that bus drivers were one of the most underappreciated jobs in history. They hold in their pee and cruise through same routes multiple times a day, only to receive blank looks from people. So I tried greeting them. But I was reserved and afraid. Sometimes my friends would notice me greeting them and receiving stoned gazes from the drivers, and they would nudge me and laugh under their breaths. And that discouraged me. But no longer! I will try to be more enthusiastic to people, strangers, because life is too short to worry about what others might think about me.
To the me who pretended to like club music, what were you thinking? Seriously. Just love the things you do, and people will gradually accept you and your tastes. Don’t dance with others if it makes you uncomfortable. Don’t laugh at jokes that are hurtful and offensive. Believe that when you stand up for what you think is right, there will be friends who think the same way and click with you. Don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not just to please everybody.
Many things take time, like big accomplishments and big dreams. But there are also things that take just 5 seconds but we constantly put them off. Why? I really feel, reaaaaallly feel like calling everyone I love to thank them, to tell them they are great and that I love the fact that they are in my life. Including you, if you’re reading or liking the post, thank you so so so much. I shouldn’t feel conscious and afraid of being judged anymore and stop myself from doing things that I like because others don’t like it. Everybody dies a little everyday, so treat yourself and others with more kindness. Don’t waste time battling with yourself. Go to sleep every night knowing that you have no regrets because you were bold enough to do something that improved your life and the life of others, even if just for a fleeting second. Every other worry, is really, just…secondary and really DOESN’T MATTER, I’m glad that I found out all these things when I’m still young.
One more thing. Imagine life is a book, and you’re unhappy with how your plot is developing. You can always choose to drop the pen, rip the pages off and start afresh with “Part One”. You are not a puppet and people don’t manipulate what you do, so have the courage to rewrite the chapters of your life. Yes, time had been wasted, but you don’t have to waste anymore time persisting on a disgusting plot. If need be, keep the ripped pages somewhere, so sometimes you can relook it, think, “Oh god, that plot was horrible. One-star. Thank god I rewrote my novel and it’s fantastic
as shit and I love it”.
Phew. That was relieving to get off my chest. My fingers hurt in a good way. This might be the last update before a month long hiatus – maybe, maybe not. But I’d like to leave this blog for a while knowing that I’ve written something life-changing (to me) and hopefully to others. Carpe diem, people. Excuse me while I go cuddle with my grandmother with the best love-handles to jiggle.