I’ve been what society’s told me to be for far too long. I think I’m ready now.
I’ve been what society’s told me to be for far too long. I think I’m ready now.
As I battle my constant internal struggles, or rather, as I indulge in them, I realise that I’m paying for my addictions with my very life. Right now, a DS game has captured my attention-and kept it for more than 5 hours. It was hard to stop playing. Although I couldn’t fathom why I wanted to keep playing; my eyes stung, my back ached after being hunched over the screen, my work awaited, and the worst part is, well, it wasn’t even entertaining. It’s like I was only torturing myself because it was supposed to be fun, not that it was actually fun. So I kept playing, trying to get to better levels so I could taste that fun.
It never came.
And so right now, in the midst of my various unopened textbooks, I’ve come to realise I’ve fallen. I’m standing on burning coals intentionally, which is absurd. And in this moment, with nought but the deep silence of the room, the hum of cars moving outside, and the distant sound of water falling, have I come to know that I am better than this. I’m so much better than what I do. I need to strive so that my actions are complementary to who I am. So that my core values are not banished or compromised in the knot that is life.
So my life doesn’t bleed out every time I do something that I don’t want to do.
There’s an African saying that really we ought to consider before anyone tells us they love us: ‘Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt’. This means that a person says they love you but yet they don’t love themselves. This is so common. I was reflecting the other day about how everyone wants to date/ get married/ fall in love so that someone can love them, not that they can love someone else. Isn’t that the whole point of love to give whatever you can-within your means and morals-unconditionally and loving someone? You’re supposed to love, not just be loved.
How insecure and dependent will someone who dates/marries/is in a relationship be if they are only in it to be loved. How shallow is that? Most of us are inspired to pursue ‘love’ just so we can be loved and apparently this leads to happiness and results in one loving themselves. How absurd. This is why there are ‘clingy’ people out there; there is this popular mentality people have that if someone appreciates and loves them, they will love themselves eventually and be happy. How strange is it to rely on another person to make you happy?
If you want to be happy, be. It’s got to come from you, specifically inside you. No one else can make you happy without your permission, so sure, let other people contribute to that happiness but don’t let them be the reason. Otherwise you’ll find yourself alone, some moment in the day, and you will be ridiculously unhappy, maybe even on the verge of depression.
I’m not saying we should all succumb to the brilliant hell that is the ego (it’s attractive, but you really, really don’t want to feed that demon). Arrogant people don’t even love themselves. Yeah. I said it. No, you’re brain isn’t deluding you, I really said that. Arrogant people love the image of themselves that’s formed in their heads, or people’s opinions- in arrogance’s eyes, an opinion which is either deserved if it’s good or too inferior to take into account if ‘bad’ or critical.
So appreciate yourself. Acknowledge and respect your flaws, your characteristics and your goodness, all of it. Learn to love yourself because then you understand yourself and want the best for you, whether that’s almost killing yourself on the treadmill in anticipation of a better physique or studying to midnight to attain that coveted A grade. You’ll do what’s better for you in the short and long term. And you won’t let someone’s opinion or their actions or words, trample all over you.
So you’re out to shop, browsing the stacked shelves for that one prize. Your goal. Your meagre earnings spent on that one beautiful product: chocolate. As I was eyeing the food necessities placed cunningly in the face of an unassuming customer-me-in a long-overdue shopping trip with my mum, I kept coming across chocolate. Not just a few pieces in a small section, but displayed attractively in all but one aisle (the one with vegetables, obviously). So after that unneeded annoyance of trying feverishly to blackout the gorgeous devils from my range of sight, I came up with my top 6 reasons why chocolate should be ignored (*gasp*):
1. It looks horrible-is that really something you want to eat? Look at it-no, really look at it. It’s brown, dull and doesn’t appeal to my senses (other than my taste buds, but even then it’s just the thought of it that makes me salivate and popular portrayal-not the actual junk).
2.The packaging: it deceives, poses environmental issues and is unfairly attractive to my salivary glands. Why make it so colourful and distractive to my vision when I obviously want nothing to do with it. Obviously it’s used for marketing purposes, however it’s popularised so much within stores-major and local-that I’m forced to see it and then engage in another internal battle why I can’t have it.
3. It might taste sweet but so do apples and watermelons. Why not substitute that unnatural junk for real food; you feel fuller, and you’re taking in fewer calories so can always gorge on other stuff later. Or, by eating chocolate, you’ve got to exercise more with a higher intensity than if you’d just eaten, say, a banana to maintain a good fitness level. Do you really have that time and energy?
4. Cocoa farmers are paid ridiculously low wages!! Yeah, yeah I’ve heard that argument before… We have to buy chocolate so that cocoa farmers are paid. That’s just another excuse for your over-indulgence. And by buying that chocolate you’re actually supporting what these huge profit-making businesses do by hardly paying enough to live by. Even fairtrade-is it really enough for a family to thrive or just for it to survive?
5. Makes me crave more! Wonder why you’re addicted? Because of those addictive substances it contains of course! This leads to me consuming more food, which in turn leads to a much larger calorie intake than I can possibly use without vigorously exercising for 2 hours straight.
6. Spots/ Pimples. My friends-the typical teenage variety who constantly vandalise their bodies with chocolate-are always complaining about spots appearing on their faces. Sure, foundation can help but that’s just another lie. It’s true-their faces do adorn spots.
Here I am, looking at this blank page in front of me with tears sliding down my cheekbones. I’m not emotional at all right now: not angry, not frustrated, not miserable.. not anything. I honestly, truly don’t know why I’m crying. But I have a few theories.
1. My subconscious knows something I don’t and is severely affected by my lack of productivity/ meaningful endeavours/ spiritual connection.
2. Loneliness. All of my ‘friends’ are really just acquaintances who only engage in phatic and frivolous talk with the exception of one friend but she herself is too independent and passive to talk to. I thought I had many friends but it turns out I don’t really want to be around them much anymore-they either remind me of my hopelessness or remind me of other things I could be doing. Friends are overrated.
3. My soul is upset by all the negativity I’m surrounding myself with.
4. I got an hour’s less sleep yesterday.
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships lately. It’s not that I don’t think they’re great people or that I’m superior to any of them, although they all make me wish I was someone else. I hate that feeling. It’s so unwelcome, so uncomfortable. I would try harder if I knew that they would care enough to think about me or wouldn’t forget me as soon as I’m out of their sight, heck they forget about me while I’m with them most of the time. I guess it’s just something about me that people don’t trust enough to be personal and real with; it’s always been like this, every friend that I’ve tried my best with has eventually moved on. All of the contacts on my phone are transitory. I’ll try to make a concerted effort to keep my distance from everyone for a day and see how that turns out…
The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.