It happens every year. Another 365 days pass, and that point in time comes back around that remarks a new age. Today is my birthday. My skin and bones have carried me through 25 years of life, and this day I met 26. I think this the first year that I actually do feel different on my birthday. It kind of scares me, because that means change is present. I’ve felt it creeping up, but it took a birthday to take a step back and dissect the current content of my life. Some things I expected, but others didn’t.
In this year there was a moment when I had this big turbulent. This is one of the things that I didn’t expect and unpredictable to navigate. Probably it could be my turning point as I felt a low. And realizing that yesterday (a day before my birthday, September 10) was a World Suicide Prevention Day, makes it even more meaningful than any other birthday I’ve ever had. Of course it has something to do with my birthday.
The golden one at that, I learn a lot, to truly accepting myself. By means to put a brave heart to be very honest with myself. You know, sometimes honesty with self is the hardest thing to have to look at. I have to admit that, for the most of my life I never fully accept myself. There are this sides of me that I don’t really like, and I tend to force myself I don’t wanna claim it as a part of me (which is a complete one hell of a goal because it is still part of your trace).
As we grow to be a better human, sometimes you may tried to change your bad habit slowly. Even when we now it’s hard to change that, at least you’ve tried. Once in while you succeed, but every so often you slip into mistakes again, and it happened that far. I don’t know what it’s like for you, but for me that have this perfectionist personality, the bad things that happen would makes me feel very insecure. It would be a big trouble to deal with. And I have this tendency to slip into all-or-nothing thinking (i.e. it’s either perfect or I’m not doing it at all) to protect myself from the judgement and criticism that I think will come from others if I fail. You know, a perfectionist has a hard time accepting her wrongs. I am likely to be neat and orderly. I will question anything that doesn’t feel right to me. But it only occur in my mind. The fact that I hate having an argument or debate over something with anyone so I mostly avoid to have any. I mostly bury things deep down inside for the sake of keeping my composure. And this composure is what the world can only see. Maybe I looks tough at the outside. But behind my smile, is a story you would never understand.
In the words of perhaps one of the overused quotes of all time: never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes—especially not when their filtered Instagram or Facebook posts are all we can see. I think, most of people only show the side that they want the world to see. Here, by people, my main intention is to include myself in. But Through this writing I’m going to be honest with you. I write this because I can be myself when I do it. When I’m in public, I’m probably going to really quiet and shy. Someone that knows me may read my blog and think that my writing nothing like how I am in person. But, really I think I’m more of myself when I’m writing than when I’m talking.
I believe that every single person has a story to tell but there are a thousand different ways to do it like writing, speaking, singing, or painting. Usually when I try to tell a story, I mumble and talk really fast and words mix together and it comes out nothing like what I had planned in my head. I use writing as my way of storytelling, not because I’m great at it but because I enjoy it and my thoughts tend to only make sense when I write them down.
Here’s my thoughts:
People really can change. We’re still changing. And we’ll always be changing. Even when we’re old, we’ll be changing.
I was struck by the realization that I am now is so different compared to the old version of me. I decided to have a little look into it.
Remembering my school life, it was fun. I got every fondness from everyone, family, relatives, friends etc. People at that time may thought me as a smart kid. Because ever since I was in elementary up to high school, I got good grades at every class. I have lot of friends to hung out with, even have those cliques which also super fun! But as time goes by we’re now… I don’t know we’re not clique that much as we grow and stay apart because of… there are these friends that already married, and we can’t be as close as our childhood and teenage time. There are friends that indulge in their new job, living life with our own business. It’s alright. People come and go to teach you something.
School life was somewhat a pleasant memories, because all those exhilarating moment unconsciously build me as a person who had this high-self-reliant. Yeah, because everything seems didn’t need too much effort to get something what I really wanted. Especially in term of academic accchievements. Except the time when my parents got divorced in my middle school era. That was actually the first time I experienced depression. And it affects that much on my school grades. But you know, life goes on. I learn very early on to be very good at hiding it. At high school era behind all of those delightful moment with friend, boyfriend, family, there were also a reality that hit me hard and I fainted couple of times because of these moment that immensely difficult. But I still can remain vigorous after that. Push it to the back burner, stay busy push it back! And everything will fine. And I became ambitious as eff. All and all I can say that the highlight reel of my school life also had its ups and downs.
There are a lot of something happening at this era. As a freshman year, I was humbled by the sheer facts that there are countless individuals that are always in some aspect, ‘more’. The subject I had enrolled for, is Mathematics. As it turned out, the hurdle was not just in the difficulty of the subject, but in adjusting to an environment where everybody else is as (or even more) keen, intelligent, diligent, and resourcefull as you are.
It trouble me for a while, until I learned at some point, this is what will make me thrive ultimately. Though… my college life is tough honestly. Not just in academic aspect but in how I struggle living in a strict budget. If you currently living with your parents, counting budget for next week’s groceries or having to look for some penny for toiletries, laundry, daily necessities such as food ingredients, gasoline for your motorcycle, even some basic make up, might not sound like a big matter to you.
But for us who living apart from home and parents, those simple matters are what we call by small things that feel like a tiny stone in our already bumpy road. I tried hard to keep it balance between my academic and that. Then I entered the sophomore year in the university, I began to get pangs of self-hate as I made copious failure at that moment. The junior year even more frustrating, I struggled with mild self-harm on and off. The feeling of I’m not good enough and feel stupid. Sometimes even with the maximum amount of preparation, things still don’t turn out the way you want. There were literally everything in my head. But I put on a brave face so nobody would know there was something wrong.
I know every single person in this world is struggling with their own battle. But things come along with different sense to different people right? I’m an over-thinker, and this affects me much in everything I do. It was a hard decision when I took a break for in total 4 semester (not in array) for some reasons. Because I have other things to deal with. Very tough moment, and inevitably I became too long in the University. And then, there was nothing easy about going back to Uni after years away! Even when you love your major study and have a ton of things to do to keep you busy, those first few days back in the Uni are always a bit of a drag.
I knew it was time to get back in the groove. But after months of not even having to care Mathematics (the subject I enrolled), re-engaging in a regular routine as a college student seems a bit of a tough pill to swallow!
Do you know how it feels when you can’t meet your peer, because some of them have graduated, and only three couple of your peer that haven’t graduate and they rarely seen came to uni because they are doing their things. You only see freshman, sophomore, and junior, students that you don’t know.
Because I’m an introvert, I rarely talk and take initial conversation with others this make me even harder to make a new friends. Maybe only a few couple of them that I finally let them engaged with me, because they are a kind person that in my assumptions can accept me being who I am, being a ‘beyond godlike’ students (too old lol). But do you know how it feels?
Do you know how it feels when you face situations where no matter how hard you try, the results do not match your expectation? And this escalate the list of your failure more and more. Like for over two years I felt most insecure about myself, sometimes asking myself if I was good enough. How shame is it feel when you’re still not get your bachelor degree at your 25. And don’t have a certain job that can fulfilling you with your purpose; steadily finishing this study without me and my parents having financial struggling. But life is that hard. I felt a familiar dip start to happen. It’s okay I said, in life sometimes the tides were high, sometimes low. I expect that I can pass all of this. And I grind through the days. Clammed up and try to avoid reality more that I want to live in.
But Last March when the depressed part of me kicks in and made me super sad. I just end up crying and start questioning about everything in my life, like, “Why am I even alive?”
Why should I live? Why am I born in this world? For what reason? Living with only trying to answer people expectations? People just don’t know I’ve spent countless night crying alone wanting to do suicide but still afraid of God.
My depression start to get worse and began to get scary. Dealing with anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, anger , and I had this kind of disinterest, and many other negative thought patterns and emotions that rip me apart. It’s always been an immensely difficult, complex, and I felt so embarrassed and guilty mixed in with all these complexities. And this suicidal thoughts was an ebbing stream and it was escalating and getting dangerous. I tried to handle this by myself. I told my mind to cope this a little bit more. My eyes kept gazing on that cutter which slipped in between the spoons and forks. I ended up crying so hard at the corner, silently without anyone having a clue. I didn’t like to let anyone hear this sound crying gasps. That night, only me and maybe God can understand this vulnerability in that very intimate sense.
This is why I said at the initial of this post that World Suicide Prevention Day has something to do with this birthday. Emotionally.
I got tears in my eyes remembering about thist vulnerable time because it was hard but so important. One thing that I learn; That was me with my anxiety struggling with loving myself and loving life. I forgot that I’m still learning. I thought that I’m already who I am going to be. I thought that I know the future and it’s going to be horrible, and I assumed I will never be able to fix it. But that is not true because we’re still changing. And we’ll always be changing. Even when we’re old, we’ll be changing.