Wallflower

They saw you
but no one ever saw you
in the way I did.
To them you were a silhouette
cast against the walls;
a flower wilted in the dark;
a parch upon the throat
to fade away with time;
a passing, disappearing reference
in the stories to be written.
To me you were more,
you were you:
a seed to flourish and tread,
leaving gentle footsteps
on the hearts of deserving many’s.
You are the laughter in my throat,
the twinkle in my eyes;
and a novel could not contain
the brilliance of your mind.

(I will always be a wallflower, but maybe
I’m alright with that)

Don’t find it, it’s not there

So you say that the world is meaningless and life is purposeless. That if you stripped everything down to its essence, there would be nothing. What is the point? There is none. People are searching for something that does not even exist.

Some pretty grim assertions you’re making here, but I gesture for you to continue.

You continue. And say how meaning doesn’t exist but we create meaning, that life is purposeless but we create purpose, that we are the ones who make nothing into something, who transform wind-blown trees and cloudless skies into metaphors, who paint the colour in this world.

And you say: don’t find it, it’s not there.

Create it.

Purpose, where are you?

Purpose. Where are you?
I found you once, now I’ve lost you
in a storm. Greying clouds coagulate,
my mind is blurred. Solidarity
is gone, I’m left to drift alone
in darkened seas, seeing nothing
but horizons I can’t reach.

This battered boat I am.
This single wandering
gaze. I’ve forgotten how to focus
and everything that once was clear,
is not.

But then I think. Maybe.
Just maybe, there’s no purpose
to be found, for purpose is
a rowing oar you forge.
Unthread that stormy sky, create
your own tiny stream of light.
Unblur your world, adjust your eyes,
open up your mind.

Purpose. There you are.

To be or not to be yourself

My friend recently created her own Facebook page, and she (jokingly?) encouraged me to create one as well… So here it is! If you’ve liked my blog so far, give the page a like.

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“Be yourself.” It’s a concept that I’ve struggled with for a long, long time. I always ask myself, how can I be this person that I am, if I don’t even know who that person is? I admit that to this day, I still have not a clue of who I truly am, but I’ve realised something else: it doesn’t matter who you are. The moment you try to put a label or a name or a description to your identity, you are limiting yourself. It isn’t so much as “being yourself”. It’s more about being comfortable within your own body and mind. Not trying to resemble someone else, not trying to imitate a particular action or way of speaking, not trying to repress those quirks that make you unique and special.

So who are you? There is no word or words that can define you, and wholly encompass this person that you are. Simply, embrace it. Love it. Live it.

Opening doors

I always made a living so I could make movies. I never made movies to try to make a living… If the reason why you’re doing anything creative is to make a living, then you’re doing it wrong.”

– filmmaker Casey Neistat

We all have those so-called ‘pipe dreams’, I’m sure. Dreams we fantasise about, dreams we leave for the elusive ‘future’, dreams we tell ourselves to pursue only after we’ve reached some degree of financial stability.

We think such dreams to be impossible… and seem to believe that if we act later rather than sooner, we’ll have a greater chance of accomplishing them?

Not true.

Because how can you ever think to accomplish something if you aren’t even willing to take the very first step?

I want to be a poet, an author, a photographer, a screenwriter, a filmmaker. I want to write my own novels, direct my own movies, create my own ‘inspirational quotes’. And what I’m realising is that, it isn’t a matter of becoming well-known or famous in any of these fields; it’s a matter of doing what you love, and loving what you do. You are truly passionate about something not because it may make you a lot of money, but because it will make you happy.

So don’t let the thought of imminent failure put you off. Don’t ‘save’ your happiness for later. Don’t stare at the closed door; open it.

No-Blame Wednesday

Inspired by May 13th’s blog post Self-Blame, “I’m Sorry,” and Forgiveness. Her courage to write that blog post is now giving me the courage to write this one.

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My parents used to always tell me that I was “too sensitive”, that I didn’t have the thick skin to deal with even the tiniest of criticisms. But what they never realised was that I was stuck in a vicious cycle of self-blame. I used other people’s insults and harsh remarks as fuel to blame myself for not being good enough, and then I would blame myself for blaming myself, and I would hate myself for letting my self-worth be battered down by these words that weren’t even true.

I’m that type of person who will never show that I’m hurt, even if I’m being torn to pieces on the inside. Whenever someone insulted me, I would remain poker-faced and free of any tears, and it was only afterwards that I would found myself analysing and over-analysing every single cruel word they had fired at me. The truth is, I do have thick skin; I just have too soft of a heart.

It’s only been in the past year that I began to realise just how much unnecessary self-blame I’ve been placing on myself, and while that realisation hit me harder and more painfully than I would have liked, it gave me the push I needed to start adopting better habits and more positive outlooks, to start loving myself more, and to start loving myself for the person I am today.

I stopped hanging out with peers who ignored me, who excluded me from their whispers, who made me feel inferior, like I wasn’t good enough for them. I stopped fake-smiling and fake-laughing, and I stopped trying so hard to get into the good books of the more ‘popular’ crowd. I stopped fearing about what others would think if I acted goofy or made mispronunciations or declared that I actually enjoy a subject that everyone else detested. I stopped caring so much about their worthless judgements.

As my mentor once wisely said to me: Would you ever go to that person for advice? If not, then that person’s opinions are of no value to you whatsoever, so toss their words into the bin because they aren’t worth any of your time and consideration. 

To reach out to anyone out there who’s spent too much time blaming themselves and not enough time loving themselves (as I have), I’m proposing a No-Blame Wednesday. A day when we reflect on our week, and recall 5 or more things (no matter how big or small) that liberated us from our moments of self-doubt and self-worthlessness and self-blame.

Quotation-Steve-Maraboli-blame-life-day-success-nonsense-Meetville-Quotes-1813

Write down that moment you stood up to a long-time bully, or that bittersweet moment when you finally realised just how much of an asshole Mr. Asshole-who-made-you-feel-like-everything-was-your-fault-not-his was and broke up with him, or that moment you forgave someone who was genuinely sorry they had hurt you. Write down those moments on small bits of paper, and then put into a jar – your Jar of Self-Worth.

Let that jar be a reminder of your self-worth. Let it remind you that you are worthy, and you are enough.

Saying hello – it’s that simple

I’ve always been an introvert kind of person, and while I’ve been trying to improve my conversing skills, I still find that it takes me several deep breaths and internal pep talks (somewhere along the lines of ‘Come on Katherine, you can do this, no one’s gonna judge even if you do stumble through all your words and momentarily forget how to speak the English language.’) before I’m able to go up to the stranger and say ‘hi’. Part of me fears the prospect of me making an absolute fool out of myself; the other part of me fears the possibilities this two-letter word could open me up to – in particular, the possibility of having to reveal a part of myself in order to maintain the conversation and stop it from dwindling into the much-dreaded awkward silence. This might sound silly, but I feel like when I open myself up to someone, I am opening myself up to their scrutiny. I feel like I’m placing myself in this vulnerable position where I’m fragile like glass and any cruel word that escapes from their lips might just shatter me.

But a girl I was talking to a couple days ago (yes! she started off as a total stranger) told me that everything begins with a ‘hi’, and if you never dare to say a simple hello, who knows what possibilities you could be missing out on? Sure, every now and then, you might embarrass yourself so much that you just want the earth beneath you to swallow you up and save you from public humiliation. But sometimes, you might just meet that someone who is worth your time, who is worth all those times of embarrassment. Sometimes, that person you said a simple ‘hi’ to, might just turn out to be your best friend, your soulmate, someone whom you know will always have your back no matter what.

So next time, don’t deprive yourself of the chance to get to know others and to let others get to know you. Next time, just go up to that person, smile and say hello. It really is that simple.