This Is My Life Now

I reached the same level of acceptance as this kitty.

Growing up, I tried to be the unstoppable force to some immovable objects. I have a very stubborn family. Even though I picked myself up many times, I lost many battles and eventually gave up trying to change anything. In some areas, I've been beaten down by life too much to pick myself up again, even though there are still areas where I try to institute change. I have little hope for people changing. I can be too accepting of my circumstances, and that means I don't fight back when I should.

I say no to some activities so I can say yes to others. Right now, I have to prioritize my own recovery since I have a three year resolution to follow through with. What this means is that I can't fight certain battles that some people would like me to. In the world of activism, volunteerism, changing the world, everyone wants you to help their cause, but I can't and won't. Some have assumed that I would follow through from my experience with supporting a sexual abuse organization or something similar, but no. If I let myself get distracted by other endeavours, I won't be happy with my recovery progress.

I face many challenges, which I've tried to lay out on this blog. There are a few establishments I could try to change, but instead I won't take aim at anyone except myself. Sometimes in these situations, a victim says "Don't help me. Help this charity instead." I don't have a charity to point to. There are always natural disasters. Friends will experience a loss in their family. People have problems, and some of them turn into causes, projects, missions. I empathize with them, but right now, I can't afford to reach my hand out to help.

I have a lot on my plate already.

Every week, I struggle with a problem, then I write about it on the weekend. An inherent struggle smuggled into each cycle is for me to actually focus on that problem instead of thinking about what I'll write about. Don't get me wrong, the middle child in me is loving all the attention this blog is getting like a kitty on catnip, but I have to discipline myself to live in the moment of each day. It used to be that a single topic would surface each week, so writing would be easy. These days, I battle so many different things that there are too many topics to write about. I never know what I'll write about because I don't know what problems I'll face.

Part of that extra struggle is trying to keep this blog as a diary instead of a self-help book. I don't like to preach, even though I tread into that territory a lot. Right now, the best help I can give anyone is to help myself. That being said, I still think about you, dear reader, and how to make myself clear enough so you can relate to my struggle. I'm still putting the carnage of my life online for everyone to see for all of time, so I need to protect myself by destroying every typo and writing plainly. I feel like academia forces us to write with fancy words, but I try to write very plainly. I have friends and family who aren't fluent in English, so I try to explain myself in a way they can understand. I have to write in order to be true to myself first, but that doesn't mean I don't polish my posts.

I don't take suggestions for blog posts. I sit in front of my iPad each weekend and audition a few topics, mostly centered around answering "what happened this week?" I could write about a lot of things to help a lot of people, but primarily, I'm here to help myself. I'm not here for the Likes. I just want to help someone by making my struggle public.

I'm wrong on a lot of topics, but that's okay because it's just where my current headspace is. A challenge I face is digging deeper into a topic. I'm not so worried about the correctness as much as finding pearls of wisdom from the depths. There are a lot of different ways I can focus each week, but as I become stronger and more self aware, it's up to me to determine what are my problem areas and what I can do to address them adequately.

That begs some questions:

  • Do you help anyone besides yourself?
  • Are you the centre of the universe?
  • What are you doing to help others in the fight? The struggle is real.

I'm convinced that a core element of suffering is wanting someone to (not) feel your pain. When you fight with your romantic partners, sometimes they hurt you and you just want them to hurt in the same way. I feel like comedians are motivated to make others laugh to relieve their audience's pain, and it seems to be normal for comedians to be depressed. They live in emotionally dark places and they don't want others to visit those places, so they make people laugh. I describe my problems on this blog because I don't want others to have to experience the same pain.

There is a limit to that sentiment though. I'm not here to shield you from life's bullets, but I will visit you in the hospital. I can't protect you from your problems, but I'll be here to talk if you need support. I'm not here to campaign against sexual predators. I'm not here to decry Asian cultural values that lead to my abuse and it being swept under the rug. I'm not going to educate anyone about how to be a better family member. I'm not making it my mission to fix the church. There is no moral lesson, just "this happened, and here is what I think about it."

I've accepted that this is my life now. I fought hard to get to where I am, but even though I can help many others by trying to change the system, I ran out of steam just getting here. I'm climbing a mountain, and I'm showing you the path I took in the event that it helps you on your climb. I still have a long way to go, so I'm only able to focus on making a little bit of progress every week. In this adventure, I don't have time for side-quests.