recently i’ve been struck with strong melancholy and a lot of introspective thoughts. i haven’t felt like this in a long time, and since it had been so long, coping was a bit more difficult than usual. i managed to stay healthier than in the past, and just slept a bit more and lay around moping – so i didn’t end up doing anything that i would regret. sometimes these lows come in ebbs and flows, and you can’t help but wallow in how you’re feeling.
with everything that has changed around me recently, i’ve been questioning myself and my feelings a lot. the constant whisper of what’s wrong with me? echoed in the back of my head. i was desperately counting my blessings over and over, and reassuring myself that all these doubts and feelings of self-loathing were just a temporary glitch, as they have been in the past. just a moment of weakness, a simple mountain i had to conquer to return to the nice, slightly hilly pastures, i’d been so content in recently.
it’s funny how small things can snap you back to reality. something so simple that you can scarcely believe you hadn’t thought of it before. i was baking cookies with my nieces, and we were having a good time. they’re sweet twin girls, and always showered me with endless compliments and genuine admiration – the way only children can do. finally, one said to me, “auntie, you’re the coolest person i know. you’re the nicest!” i responded with a “that’s so nice of you.” with a smile on my face. again, the tiny whisper echoed if only you knew. i’m not nice at all. i wallowed in this feeling, while continuing smiling and joking with them. they were so happy, and having fun. and suddenly, i had a eureka – why can’t i be the person that my nieces think i am? i want to be the person that they see me as. what’s stopping me? it was so simple. and that carried with me the rest of the day.
that evening i spent some time to myself, reading an old manga called honey and clover. in this story one of the characters went on a journey to “find himself” and in this journey, he noted that houses can end up looking like the owners – some more approachable and warm, while others daunting and cold. he asked himself what kind of house would he want people to see, and decided on one that would be a bit shabby, but friendly and homey. one that someone would feel comfortable knocking on the door of. and he decided for himself to become that person. i was so struck by this notion. it was only two or three pages of the chapter, but i had to pause, and lay there for a bit thinking about it. what kind of person do i want to be? if i don’t like myself, how can i become someone that i like? what can i do to be a person i’d actually love? what must change so i can be the person that my nieces see?
as those questions repeated over and over in my head, i shut my eyes and imagined myself in the future. a person who realized her goals – a person who had goals. i saw myself setting up a tiny office, being independent and sure of herself. i saw a person who earned everything she had and liked herself just fine because of that; someone who wasn’t always cruel and mean. why couldn’t i be that person? what was stopping me? the whisper in my head? my self loathing? those two things that have held me back this whole time, that’s what was between me and this person i could like.
and as if a glimmer of light sparkled down from somewhere beyond my reality, i heard a soft voice in my head say confidently, “oh, is that all?”