Dear future you,
I sat here for a good, long time, wondering how exactly I could write this to you in order to convey the deep emotions I feel for you, yet, I’m afraid this will not be an accurate portrayal of my feelings, as articulating something as complicated as love into a mass of words stringed together in sentences does no justice to the emotional grasp that you have over me.
I do not long for a fairytale romance as portrayed in movies; my expectations are unclear and skewed, in a manner that allows me to be completely open to your whole being, each and every aspect of you becoming like a new discovery every day, treasures buried within you for me to excavate freely, me becoming an explorer into your deepest emotions, truths, wants, needs, ideals, and everything in between that you hold inside. And I know I will not be surprised and hold back, but instead I will step forward and understand. I will be amazed of the unique differences that lay between us as I begin to study them and accept them as another part of me.
Let me confess something that has always troubled me ever since I learned the concept of loving the other half. When I feel things, when I involve myself into things, I cannot help but immerse myself into them completely. I know that doing so increases the chances of me possibly hurting for some reason or another, but it’s something I have difficulty controlling. I become utterly co-dependent on people and on these indescribable emotions I have deep within me.
When I think of you, regardless of who you may be, sometimes I hurt so much inside because I know that you will be someone who has had a life before me that I wasn’t a part of. There will have been people who touched your life, and there will have been people who made it a living hell. There will have been those who you once loved, those who you lost, and those who remain because they are worthy of you. You will have a whole entire history that I will only ever hear about from recollections, and see in photographs. And for me, this will never be enough, because sometimes I will be hit with the yearning to have been there with you for every significant step of the way. I think of the people you have loved, and I will wish that I too, loved them. There will be things that made you cry that I wanted to cry for with you, times when you laughed and I will wish that I had been there, by your side, indulging in your happiness.
Because of this, I may, at times, be overwrought with a sense of helplessness, of loss, where I will find it difficult to see the good in the moment. I know I should not allow the past, your past, at that, to affect me, but I know it will happen. And this is the biggest fear I have of us, even before there was ever an us. I will need your help in overcoming this difficulty.
I need you to know that despite my fear of the future, I will be ready. I will be yours in times of need. I will be prepared to uphold your burdens when you need me to, because, selfishly, I need to know that it will be me you will come to count on. I need to know that I will be the first person to know your fears and your tears. I need to know, very selfishly, that you trust me deep enough to share your good times and even more, your bad times.
I’m fully prepared to expect the hardships and difficulties during our life together; I don’t expect perfection. But through it all, we will remain strong, and I will always be there for you, as a comfort, friend, lover, companion, and others that will become a combination of things, as I get to know all of you and hold it inside of me.
There’ll be gaining and losing in each and every step we will be making, but all I can offer to do is to be there beside you in good or bad. I promise I will stay by your side to support and have faith in you, even when you don’t have faith in yourself. I promise to help you overcome those burdens and never cease to love you endlessly when obstacles fiercely and repeatedly hit you. I promise to reach out my hand to hold yours in darkness and in the times you fall into the deepest well of sadness and depression. I promise to be strong when you’re not, to keep believing when you stop to, to keep loving when you hate, to endure any pain when you think it’s too unbearable for you, to stand high and steadfastly when you’re kneeling down, to listen when you feel the urge to ramble, to remind you when you stop remembering, to cure when you’re in pain, to pat your shoulder when you achieve your dreams, and to wipe your tears when you weep and bleed. That’s all I can offer to do, and I ask for nothing in return except you and your whole self.
When a person who is biologically programmed to love you can’t even look you in the eye and stand you, you start to question everything. People’s motives. Your existence. Your self-worth. The questions are never ending. And the answers aren’t there to find. So, in the end, you draw out conclusions. That maybe that’s how it all turns out. That maybe that’s how it has to turn out. Nobody is going to survive the questioning. Not even yourself.
It may be hard to find at first, and everything seems to be a struggle before you find that line. But then, when you find it, you know you have to make that big jump. Once you get past that line, everything looks spectacularly… clear. And for all you know, you’ve arrived at where you want to be. You’re there. Home.
A lot of people claim they know a lot about being hurt. At different points in life, everyone was hurt. Badly. Lightly. Accidentally. Intentionally. Whichever it is, it doesn’t lessen the fact that you indeed, are hurt. Now, as I can’t speak for everybody else, I’m going to talk about my hurt.
I didn’t have a happy childhood. That’s too bad, because you can’t have your childhood twice. You can keep the girl/boy in you alive but you can’t be a kid twice. There was only one time in your life when you could think of nothing except play. There was only one time in your life when the hardest decision you had to make was to choose which crayon to use. There was only one time in your life when your father could lift you up, let you sit on his shoulder and carry you around so effortlessly. So, if your childhood sucked, you’re pretty much fucked up.
Talking about unhappy childhood, there are hundreds of reasons. In fact, all teenagers would claim their lives suck. I agree. Teenage years are pains in the ass. You are confused, you hate your parents, you love your friends more than anybody. That is if you had any friends. And when you don’t, you blame on your weight (for girls) or your nerd side (on boys). Now I’m not saying that I’m an expert in this, but I’ve been there. An angry teenager. A very sad and depressed one.
But my hurt was not only about my vengeful teenage years. It was not only about hating myself because I was fat or stupid. My hurt comes from my strong belief of my worth. I used to believe, that I wasn’t worth anything. I used to believe that I was so lowly created that no one would even miss me had I vanished from the face of the Earth. I was so depressed and hurt, I almost believed I was invisible. But what made the difference was when I realized that I wasn’t.
My hurt came from my parents’ abuse. Now, you might say at this point, ‘Oh so this is what it’s all about. The same old abuse story again.’ Let me tell you what. It’s never going to be an old story. It’s so commonly heard, you thought it’s no big deal. It’s always a big deal, it’s always going to be something I would talk about and fight against. It’s part of me, the only part I wished I could change and I wished I’d never change. It’s the part that crushed me but it’s also the part that strengthens me. Am I thankful for that? Not really. A part of me still longs for the happy childhood I didn’t get to experience. A part of me longs for the happiness of a young girl who could care less about the world. But another part of me knows it so well that I wouldn’t be the young woman I am today had I been that happy girl.
My mother used to make me choose what I prefer to have her hit me with. I usually went for the belt. At other times, she wouldn’t even let me choose but she’d let me have some taste in each and every tools she had. She sometimes locked me in the bathroom, without towel or anything, and I would sit in the corner of the bathroom, naked and freezing. Or at other times, she would wait until I got out of the bathroom then hit me on bare flesh. She sometimes would hit me so badly I had bruises all over my body. And she would literally chase me around if I ran away from her. I remember locking up my door terrified. Not terrified because she was out there with tools ready to hit me, but I was terrified at the fact she might be able to knock down the door and get me. I still have nightmares until now. Mostly they’re about the feeling of being so helpless and scared. And after the nightmares, I would slightly return to that little terrified girl who was so helpless and… sad.
Again, perhaps what I had wasn’t as bad as some others had to experience. Some might undergo much more terrible abuse. It doesn’t make mine less abusive, or less damaging, though. It’s all the same. Once a fist was raised to your little face, you’re in the circle.
Now, I am an accomplished young woman. There were times I was crushed so badly I thought I would just die. But I didn’t die. There were times I thought my days were extremely horrible I didn’t even want to go through another one. But I did go through another day. There were times I hated my parents so much I thought I’d never forgive myself until the day I die. But I did forgive them. I’ve conquered most of my painful past, even though the nightmares are still haunting me. I am damaged, but I survived. I was severely beaten but I healed. I lost a lot of pieces of me but I glued what I could find. I am pretty much okay, maybe much more okay than some other 21-year-olds who had a happy childhood. So why worried about abused children? We don’t need to help them. They’ll survive.
No. They will not. Even if they will, it’s one case out of a million. And for the rest 999,999 cases, they would be trapped in the endless circle of hurting. They were hurt so much, they thought the only way to relieve some of the pain is by hurting other people. They knew that’s the only way to do so. They hurt people, so their pain becomes less hurting. Hurt people hurt people. And it’ll go as a cycle. Your parents hurt you, you hurt your kids and your kids would hurt your grandchildren and so on. And the world is really going to be fucked up.
I watched Bill Cosby’s speech today. He said, ‘If you hit your children, you’ll end up really abusing them. You would never be able to restore the wound or undo the pain.” Think twice before you raise your fists to your children’s face. Look at them in their eyes, does anything they do really deserve a punch at their little faces? The answer is NO. It’s always no. And if the answer’s yes, then you should pack your things and leave the house. You shouldn’t be a parent at all.
Children should not be terrified of their own parents. Parents are supposed to be the most comforting place to go to. We should feel the safest when we lie our heads upon their chests. We should be able to expect a hug whenever we got hurt or fell down. We should not be terrified to expect a kiss whenever we succeeded in school. We should be able to go home and cry after a bad day in school without having to worry whether or not they would hit us for crying. It shouldn’t hurt to be a child. You might already know all about this, but you have no idea how this feels if you hadn’t experienced it yourself.
Abusing your children and hope they’ll be strong enough to be an accomplished person later is never right. You have to raise your children right. You have to listen to what they’ve got to say. They are talking to you. They are trying to tell you something. And you have to listen to them because you are their parents. You could never, never be able to imagine how much pain they have to go through. You can lose the hatred, you can lose the bruises but the nightmares? They never go away. And trust me when I say it lasts a lifetime. It really is.
Curiosity breeds wisdom. Asking endless questions about things that we were once so ignorant of, teaches us to pay attention to much more important, yet much more neglected, small details.
And small details are what wisdom is made of.
We live in a world where it is wrong to be an individual.
No one lives alone, so people say. No one can live alone. Partially, this I agree with. However, this has nothing to do with my statement above. This does not justify the social view’s on people who choose to live as a complete individual. Most of the times, when people choose to live individually, it is viewed as strange. Or worse, sick.
Now this is how I see it. To me, being individual means that you’re being independent. It’s not just about you living on your own place. It’s much more than that. It means that you have the capability to think for yourself, and the self-motivation to keep learning. It means you’re taking control of any changes that happen in your life. It means that you choose to live your life the way you want it, not regulated by numerous social rules and regulations.
When we were little children, we were always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And when we didn’t come up with any answer, our parents would tell us, “You have to know what you want to be. You can be anything you want to be, don’t be afraid. Feel free to choose any dream you want.” They also would ask us, “If someone jumps off the cliff, would you do it, too?” These questions triggered the idealist in us. These questions gave us a little taste of freewill and determination to take our fate in our own hands. These questions were supposed to plant in us the sense of individuality, that you don’t need anybody to make life decisions for you. Then we grew up. And in the process, at some points in life, parents started to convey their hopes and dreams. They would tell us, “When I was your age, I was more daring than you are.” Or they would simply say, “When you become a mother, I hope you will do what I do and understand how it feels to be a mother.” Now, these parents are telling their kids how they wish their kids could be more like them. They are telling the kids that if they become like their parents, they will be more responsible adults and have good moral values. Are you confused? I am.
Little have you understood those conflicting emotions yet, you then entered school. You then found out that the only way to survive at school was by following certain ‘trends’ or ‘rules’. You need, at some point, define who you are based on how much you want to be accepted. If you want to be popular, you gotta be one of those popular kids. If you want to be perceived as smart, you need to be a geek. Sometimes, things could get too extreme and you look like you’re trying too hard. You have to behave like everyone else or you will get erased by the social circle and be labeled as the ‘anti-social’ or the ‘public-embarrassment’. Society puts borderlines between people. They draw circles and count everyone in or out all the time. You want to be in, you don’t want to be separated from other people or counted out. Now, who cares about individuality? This is called surviving.
It doesn’t stop there. Your parents would advise you to befriend the ‘good friends’ and avoid the ‘bad friends’. Your friends would tell you to do things they do otherwise, you would no longer be their friends. And while everything is happening so messily, there would always be certain groups of people, like teachers or other adults, who would treat you a certain way because of who your friends are. And they say, school isn’t difficult.
And then it’s time to decide what kind of things that will define you. What kind of clothing to wear or what kind of things to say. On the TV, you would see hundreds or thousands of advertisements that are constantly telling you what ‘nice’ dress to wear or ‘nice’ style to have. They have models, slogans, lifestyles and they have TV, radio, newspapers, and billboards as their medium of disposal. They battle to win your money by telling you how you should live your life. And these are all so confusing. By the time you make your decision, the trend is already over and you are faced with the same endless cycle. And this happens to everyone at all points in their life process.
What time do you have to go to bed, what kind of car should you be driving, what kind of boy should you hook up with, what kind of daughter is considered as a good one, what kind of drink do you order at bars, what college are you going to after graduating high school, what kind of major are you going to take, what kind of companies do you choose to be a part of, which dress are you going to wear to the party tonight, which correct shoes are you going to wear at your wedding day, when will your honeymoon destination be? The list is never ending. You will always be perceived as right or wrong, a good person or not, based on these things you do or choose to have. See, I’m not saying these aren’t important things. I’m saying, what people think of what you choose is never important compared to your decisions and your decisions alone.
The concept of conformity has reached its own new era of definition. It has regulated our lives so perfectly and so anonymously that you are no longer clear on what to do or what to have. Companies advertise and ask us to define our own selves and choose our own styles, but they are urging us to a new concept of conformity: trend follower. You arrive at a point where you are no longer aware if your personality is in fact your own, or the society has formed and created for you.
If you buy a Louis Vuitton bag because you need a bag, it contains a big difference than if you buy the bag because of the prestige you’re about to have or simply because of the influence of the advertisements. If you buy a pair of trainers triggered by the your need of a running shoes rather than its billboard slogan, a prevailing big difference do exist. Now can we arise from these never-ending cycle of destruction? Some would say no. Some would believe that if we do succeed in pulling ourselves out of this black hole of social capitalism, we would only be dragged back into the cycle with or without we knowing. But I say, we can. The questions of which things to have or do or say will always be existent in every second of our lives, but it doesn’t mean we can’t control them. We can control them, and choose what is the best for us or what we do really want, rather than putting society’s opinion as the foundation of our decisions. It matters when you choose to do something because it will make you happy, not because it will be perceived as righteous by the society.
However, like old men would argue, norms are there for a reason. This is a fact, and a true one. You can have anything you want, do anything you want to, say anything you feel like, date any boy you like, wear any dress you think as pretty, as long as it doesn’t trample on other people’s happiness. It all goes back to the blending of individuality and tolerance concept. You can be yourself and claim any kind of life you want, as long as you don’t hurt people in process of doing so. Happiness that come from sacrificing other people’s happiness do not mean much, after all. It’s as bad as having people live your life for you. So, the idea of individuality is something we have yet to define for ourselves.
To which extent can we satisfy our own needs to be free and idealist individuals without crossing the borderline of telling people how to live their lives or making their lives, even if it’s only slightly, unhappier?
If you can answer that particular question and derive a positive phrase when answering, you’ve beaten those odds and you have broken through the hellish endless cycle of conformity.
It’s there when you think it’s there, it’s not when you know it’s not. Grief is the lack of receptive attitude towards death. Grief is when we think that death is the most horrifying thing there is. No, death is never the most terrifying thing. People are afraid at the mention of the death and would even cause death to avoid death. But there are a lot of other things more painful than death. All I know is I should tell people about this.