I remember being home alone and thinking, "I am lonely, god. I am depressed." And taking the scissors to carve some lines over my arm. Except the scissors was blunt. It didn't do any good. Lines of salmon pink drifting across like claw marks. And I sat on the couch and wept for my sorry ass. This is a fucked up existence. I'm a self-piteous mess, I thought to myself. Black shadows fell across the blue glass windows as the blaze of the evening sky turned its back upon the world. And I fell apart, just like that, still dressed in my school uniform, with sticky skin and wet hair and hot tears dripping. It's hard, sometimes, to stay alive. It's hard, sometimes, when no one seems to understand or care.
I think it's hard, sometimes, to love yourself. I have a friend who is good-looking, talented, eloquent, and close to perfect. Everybody I know says that about him too. But he doesn't love himself. Sometimes I wonder if he even knows who he is. I don't. I mean, I don't know who I am, so it's okay, if he doesn't know who he is. I told my sister that and she widened her eyes with horror, "You don't know who you are??" Am I supposed to? I have a rough idea I guess. I think I'm nice, but 'nice' is overused and hackneyed. I think she was wondering how I could have gone so far in life without knowing exactly who I am. But I think a question like that is kind of like a journey one has to embark on. You get on the train, get off at various stops, but always get back on. The answer changes every single time, and so do the people and the circumstances and the scenery that comes along with it. I'll sit and stay, for a little little while, and smell the lavender breeze in Perth, and hold my sister's hand, and think, "This, is who I am," without elucidating at all, my soul feeling so much peace. I'll laugh with my friends, we'll laugh like the wild striped hyenas we always talk about at work, and groan about how too much ice cream is making us all fat, and I'll think, "This, is me". Fulfilled. Contented. Satisfied. Happy.
How do I love myself? I try to remember that things could really be so black and white and simple. It is a decision I have to make. Therefore I choose to love myself. I keep dusty letters in choked drawers and birthday presents. I think it doesn't matter how many good things people say about you if you don't believe in them yourself. I think of all the good things people say about me. They say I write well and that I'm compassionate. I don't believe them, but I don't believe that those wonderful friends are liars so it must be I, who is lying to myself. But they also say friends don't tell the truth because they don't want to hurt your feelings. I think it's more than that though. I think friends see what is beyond you. They see all the possibilities and potentials you are brimming with. They see Hope. And they love you.
Singaporeans seem to follow traditional moral values of humility and modesty, but it's practised in too extreme a fashion. You shouldn't just catch and criticize yourself for being proud, or impatient, or greedy. You should catch and praise yourself for being kind, generous, and thoughtful too. You have to love yourself. You have to forgive yourself. You are worthy. You are lovable. You are capable. You deserve better. You have to be good to yourself. (And I know, I know, how cheesy they sound. People put you down and tell you only weak people do things like this. Maybe so. But doesn't it take more courage to admit to being weak, than to feign being strong?)
I think it's hard sometimes, to do the right thing, even when you know what the right thing is. I know I shouldn't envy people who seem to be better than me, who are smarter, richer, prettier, because there are always people who are worse than me. I know I should eat proper meals. I know I should sleep adequately. I know I should take care of my body. I know I should study. I know, I know. I just... never seem to get there, wherever 'there' is. I'm tired. I'm lonely. I want to give up. God, where are you? I am so weak, and shit scared of what I'm turning into, and sorry. But you said your grace is sufficient for me, that your strength is made perfect, when I am weak. All that I cling to, I lay at your feet. I just have to trust, that we will pull through, somehow, that we will, like another of my friend said, do what is right when we can. Because we won't always be right. And my friend is right to say that. Haha. I just have to trust that everything will be okay, that everything will work out fine, if we do our best, when we can, with what we have. Let's just keep trying. Don't give up now. What else can we do? It's no good turning back. But there are specks of gold everywhere, if we only open our eyes to keep looking.
And I guess, what I really want to say is, you are not alone, in being alone. Some people fill the void with religion, others, with human love. But it doesn't change the fact that there is a void. I think if I knew you, really, really, knew you, I would love you. In another time, in another place, in another dimension, I could have been you, and you, could have been me. That's how close and how far we are. And I think it's magically beautiful. What do you think?