Saturday, December 27, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New

As the year comes to an end, I can't help but think back to all the happenings of 2014. A lot has happened. A lot has changed. Some friendships were mended yet there were others still that were lost- to time, to distance, to trivial misunderstandings. Treasures have been lost, others found a way back to me somehow but the rest were lost to the world forever. People have come to disrupt my routine and have gone in just about the same abrupt manner. Lessons have been learned and unlearned. Experiences. Memories. Smiles. Laughter. Tears.

Too many things have happened in the past year. So how does one begin the coming year renewed? What does it mean to start fresh? To start with a blank slate? How do you take all these things and just... make them disappear? All the joy and the pains of these past months, how do you get rid of them? The answer is simple. You don't.

You are molded by your experiences, your memories- the moments that made you smile and laugh, the moments that made you cry and crumble, the moments that made you doubt yourself, the moments of your defeat and failures. So, how could you possibly just get rid of them in hopes of doing better the coming year by starting anew? Your memories are a part of who you are and you can't just do away with them. Even if they hurt. So, what we do is we keep them as closed chapters of our lives. We put them in boxes and leave them there until times come when we need to consult them to remind ourselves of our past mistakes, to relearn lessons once learned, to avoid repeating history. But for so long as they are not needed, they remain untouched and they become nothing more than the past that has led you into becoming who you are now.

The problem comes when you realize that not all memories can be boxed away because not all loose ends have been dealt with, not all questions have been answered, not all qualms have been put to rest. As you trudge through your memories, you realize how much unfinished business you have left. Are these not the things that you shouldn't bring to the next year? At least, not in the current state that they are in. These loose ends, questions and qualms, should you not settle them now?

I'm not sure I'm making sense. My mind appears to be a mess. Perhaps I am grieving the things I have lost this year- friends, ideologies, trust, hope. Or perhaps I am lost in the world of unfinished business I have yet to settle. Or perhaps this is simple the way my mind works.

The world is a curious, curious place. And, for lack of anything better to say, I wish you all a Happy New Year! May you put to rest any open cases before the year comes to an end.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Talk Back and You're Dead

I never watched the movie nor read the book. And to be honest, I have no plans to do either of these. But, the statement seemed appropriate, so allow me to use it.

I'm known for my gargoyle stare and sharp tongue. So, it no longer surprises me to learn that people are afraid of me. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion of other people. In much the same way, I believe that multiple encounters with someone, allows you to gleam into who they are, thereby changing how you see them. It didn't bother me that people were afraid of me because if they knew who I really was or even just a portion of who I was then they would realize that I wasn't someone to be feared. At least, I thought that was the way it was until certain events proved me wrong.

The realization came to me in a fashion no less shocking than if I had taken on the ice bucket challenge. It was shocking. And, at the same time, quite painful. Even my friends were afraid of me. The people who should have known me better still found me frightful. Well, I suppose knowing that wasn't quite as shocking as I might want to make it out to be. I've always known that. But finding myself in a situation where all I could do was take all the words they've dealt to me and not find the option to say anything back just made my situation clear, defined and quite permanent, like it had now been set in stone.

I've known people who have shut their mouths closed and kept their retorts to themselves because they were afraid that voicing out how they felt would start a feud with me. They never understood that I wanted them to speak their minds, to say their piece and to be frank. Because, that was the way I was- I spoke my mind, I never shut up until I've said my piece and I was frank. I was born with a lack of verbal filter and am quite tactless. This has hurt some of my dearest friends but I believe that this has also been the reason for the insurmountable trust we have for each other. Being able to say what I want comes with the price of having people judge me with the same harshness. I've known this my entire life and I welcome the criticism. But people have always mistaken my honesty and bluntness to be an offensive scheme instead of an invitation to have a real, honest and true conversation.

It wasn't just one event. It was a succession of events that had slapped me in the face and nearly crushed my spirit. The fact that I had lived with this open invitation to a verbal sword fight of sorts made it extremely hard for me to find myself in a situation where people were asking to change who I am without giving me the opportunity to defend myself. It was done out of concern, perhaps even care or love for me. It was a simple case of telling me my apparent shortcomings and faults. Why am I taking offense in this when I said that I was open to criticisms? Because I felt cheated. They were telling me all these bad things that I did. And, while I admit that some of them were true to varying degrees, some of them were just plain wrong and simply a misinterpretation of my actions.

I was cheated because I wasn't given the opportunity to present my side. Because they were so quick to blame everything on me without taking the time to look in a mirror. Because I felt like the verdict was given without a proper trial. And, yes, I could have had chosen to voice my thoughts out but doing so, at that time, felt like it would shatter the fragile connection we had. I felt trapped. And, I felt cheated because they didn't have the courtesy to offer the same invitation I had always given to everyone around me. And, to add insult to injury, I felt like they were trying to change me into this person who I was not. It was like they didn't understand the meaning of compromise, of friendship.


They did eventually ask me to speak up. That is, they asked me in the most incomprehensible way before quickly changing the topic and picking up a microphone to sing out loud. Maybe one day I'll get to have that conversation with them. Maybe there will come a time when this won't just be a post of a lone soul but a multi-sided conversation. It could happen, probably when no one's so ass-drunk that they wouldn't remember the conversation had it happened. But for the mean time, I find myself still licking my wounds.

There's a reason only so few have heard my innermost thoughts. Not everyone can handle the darkest me. Not everyone understands. And, that's okay. Because I only need the few who bother to try and look past all my layers.