It’s 1a.m on a Friday night. Almost everyone of my friends is out on the town having the time of their life while I’m back home, in the confines of my room with the lights on, but not doing anything in particular. Just lying on my bed face up. I notice the light is slightly flickering. So great, I will need to replace my bulb. (Yes I can change a bulb). I’m out of new books to read. So much so that I’ve been tempted to re-read one of the many piled on my dresser, a personal favorite and birthday gift from a good friend: bless you Raymond. So I grab it and choose to remind myself of my monumental quotes therein that I neatly highlighted, one of many habits I picked from daddy. Even before I read each line though, I know how it ends so this is not working. So I move on to Shakespeare’s “The Sonnets” instead which I occasionally pull out to muse. However today, none of these sonnets makes sense to me. At all. So it dawns on me. I have this unsettling thought about life, again.
That constant self-imposed pressure to do everything right. The terrifying thought of the possibility to JUST go through life, the fear of being an ordinary human being. I have for a long time convinced myself that it comes with first born territory, which it really to a great extent does. Being ( you thought I was going for “Being Edna” didn’t you? Haha) the lucky, sometimes not-so-lucky child that came first, I’ve always felt the responsibility weighing heavily on me in whatever i did and I’ve come to live with and both mentally and physically accept this huge responsibility. Tonight however, I’m vividly contemplating all the things I’ve done wrong, all the times I’ve betrayed my principles and gone against the very things I believe in and stand for. Pressure. Disappointment. More pressure.
See unlike the people that have tough childhood stories, those “didn’t have a mother or father figure” stories, the ones that literally raised themselves, I realize I don’t have an excuse. Not like life listens to anybody’s excuses anyway, but in their hearts of hearts, when they fail, or should they screw up at a certain point in life, they, backed by society can pardon themselves with thoughts like, “well if I was provided the same opportunities growing up” or maybe “If I had been raised in the same environment and given the same attention, taught how to go about things, I’d have done this life “thing” better…” I on the other hand, fortunately or unfortunately whichever way you look at it, don’t have the luxury of any of those excuses. I have no other choice but to do this one life right. Pressure.
No, I’m not seeking sympathy, neither am being a spoilt little ungrateful brat. I count my blessings everyday, I am entirely grateful for how I was raised, the opportunities, love and attention I was accorded. However this particular blessing that i’m completely aware of has also become a part of my adult life nightmare. This is the reason why several nights I might stay up two hours later than my usual midnight schedule. I’ve become extremely critical of every action I take, every choice I make, every person I choose to associate with. I’ve slowly but steadily, with increasing momentum and hostility, become my own critic. Every damn time there’s a voice in my head, one that I personally entertain, saying, you cannot fail, you cannot mess up, you cannot be a bad example, you cannot be defeated, you cannot be fooled or manipulated, you cannot have non-constructive company, you cannot be mediocre, you cannot fall short of your full potential. I’m mentally exhausted and I’m going to do something about it. Why I’ve chosen to share this, I don’t know. Maybe i’m over the days when i’d write about life and stash the notebook far away from anyone’s reach then keep wondering what would have happened if I’d let even a handful of people read. Or whether there might be others going through the same experiences.
Tonight I want to end this ridiculousness, I want to enter my bed every night and not worry about what the future holds. I want to still be very aware that every one of my action’s outcome will affect either the present or the future, but not obsess about what to do and what to not do. I want to implement a quote I like, “Let go and let God.” I want to allow myself to make mistakes and not beat myself up about it after because mistakes are part of life. I want to always remember that perfection is impossible. I want, once in a while, to do things I want to do without cross checking in my head how everyone else will be affected. I want to say exactly how I feel at all times, even when it may not suit me, without putting a disclaimer at the end. I want to forgive myself when I make bad judgement of who I let into my life and know that it happens to everyone else too. I want to always remember that at the end of the day, i am just human: and this, is my resolve.