Sunday, May 05, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Catching Up. Days 1, 2, 3

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)

There are a few things that make me who I am, and therefore how the story of my life unfolds. One of the first is that I am a nonconformist, or I am internally. I'm pretty good at being a conformist when I do overcome that interval voice of rebellion; I'm good at being normal, even though it would be hard to tell that from those who either know me as the crazy eccentric I seem to be most often. Another thing that makes me who I am, is that I don't like being told what to do and as such, these things bring me into what would have been the introduction to what I am doing now. I have enlisted myself into the Blog Everyday in May challenge that two other bloggers, Wanderer and Ajay Kontham, have been posting about since the start of May. And so this is how my story goes.

The spark happened, with a great joy and new love. Love of two beings that were intertwined in that deep and innocent way that goes beyond explanation, one that I could never have explained for I was the result of it. But the spark was there, and that spark was me, entering a world filled with a brilliant yellow sun, and the blue skies of a quiet morning. Under the devotion of the shelter and nurture of vivid green, my first lesson was a smile - not one that I was exactly taught for I entered this world with a giggle and a laugh, and I was to be the beloved. Beloved of these two, and perhaps beloved of the world, for isn't that the dream of a parent always? So I grew with the warm hand of the stem upon my head and the cooling grace of the leaves giving me every comfort, and I was given companions, smaller than I and I too learnt to nurture and protect, until one day the skies gave vent to horrendous storms and without warning one day the leaves were gone. The tree stood bereft and alone with only three little acorns to its name. It shook in grief and the acorns fell, and took root. So I grew, apart and distant, and in a world different and strange. When it rained, it rained down hard, without protection, and I learnt to grow stronger for it. When the sun beat down, dry and hostile, I learnt to embrace it for it was all the warmth I had. I learnt to send out tendrils and shoots, and to create as creativity only could, to cherish the birds that gave vent to song upon my shoulders, and to shelter the squirrels and smaller trees that grew under my shade. Every time I built up hope, and vibrant buds sprang anew, and fluorished as I did under the yellow that I knew so well, and every time my hopes sank, and I shed my tears as each leaf fell again, in despair. Alone I stood, night and day, bending to catch glimpses of a horizon beyond my reach. Until one day I heard a voice.

"Life does become routine after some time. It's normal. You can't always have excitement and whatever. Routine is a good thing, I guess. Stability."
"Stability is this tree rooted down deep and standing alone."
"Then half the world is alone."
"Yes."
"We can be alone and stable together."

That's when I looked up at the skies and knew them for what they were. I had come to love the sun because I endured the rain, I had come to love the rain because I endured the sun, I loved the cool nights because of the day, and the day because of the night. And I welcomed and appreciated companionship for the loneliness I had endured. But most importantly I learnt to cherish simply being alive, and so doing, that even I had a story to tell.


Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

Okay class, today's lesson is on how to be good at things. Yes, I realize this might be confusing: I'm meant to educate you on something I'm good at, well that's just it, I'm good at being good at things. What things, you might ask? Well somethings like cooking, or writing, or drawing, or making up plans of actions, or, well things like that, everyday kind of things. You always felt you were good for nothing right? Well here is something that you should know: you can do anything.

The first thing you need is faith. You need to tell yourself that no matter what, you will be able to do what needs to be done. Don't worry yet about the hows and whys - thinking about that right away doesn't get you anywhere, and ties up your neurons into tangles of panic, so you tell yourself at the outset that it's impossible.

Next, add some confidence. Who cares if you don't know what the heck you're doing. No one else needs to know that! If you act like you know what you're doing, how will anyone else tell that you don't? If you say NO right away, you've already eliminated the mere possibility of you being able to do something you'll surprise yourself, amaze yourself with, never mind others. If you tell yourself YES, you either fail or succeed, you have a 50%-50% chance compared to the 0% chance you allot yourself when you say NO. That 50% success rate is what you're going to take into your hands and optimize it with faith and confidence. 

Now you take a look at what you are trying to do. You need to first understand how to do it. Oftentimes it's going to take a lot of attempts until you understand not only what to do right, but what not to do - because you're going to remember all the times you screwed up and how you screwed up way more than you'll remember how you did it right. So don't worry about screwing up- that's the key to being a kickass whateveryouredoing-er. 

Maybe you think, ahh some people just have the luck by genetics or the way they were raised, I mean, some people are colourblind afterall, right, so makes sense they can't paint. Well, that's negativity at play, the chances are the 1 in a really big handful that you're not afflicted with anti-ability genes. Throw the negativity out with the bathwater. Sometimes it's just fun to make a mess at trying to do something while on the way to being really good at it. I mean, it really wouldn't be as fun if you did a perfect job right away like a robot, or it wouldn't be so satisfying as if you knew once upon a time you really sucked at it, and now you're pro.

So how does it work? Believe you can do it. Carry the confidence. Follow instructions, make yourself quite familiar with the how-to of what you're doing.   Do it many times. Don't be afraid to screw up. Learn from your mistakes. Have fun doing it. Practice. Do not be afraid to laugh at yourself. Remember it takes baby steps to become a Mozart, or Picasso, or Einstein or err, Gordon Ramsay.

Think I'm just spewing usual gunk? I mean yeah, I don't blame you, we've all heard this stuff soooo often we're almost immune to it: 'practise makes perfect', 'if at first you don't succeed, try try again'...etc. So, to get my point across, let me give you a few personal examples.

I hated English. At one time, I used to write my answer to 'worse subject' whenever it came up in quizzes or surveys as "English". I thought it was as far away a satisfying subject as possible, because anyone who had the authority to pass judgement on what were MY opinions and words would judge through THEIR own opinion and such objectivity and judgement pissed me off.  I never thought I was even good at it, even despite decent high marks in the subject, a teacher who took me out in the hallway to argue with me that I should be applying to the Enriched 'nerdy' English course the following year, and I told her bluntly that I don't enjoy it, I don't like writing and blah blah blah. She sneakily changed my next year enrollment from Normal English to Enriched English, and that changed my life. (My french teacher did the same to me :( Conspiracy, I tell you!). I'm going to tell you, when I was in enriched English, I was totally average. I got back essays totally murdered with the figurative red of comments and corrections. For awhile I anguished, my A-average was at verge of being at risk. That's when I took a second look at whatever I was doing wrong and realized she was telling me what I was doing really well but could have been better.

Similarly, when I started high-school Calculus, I had entered the class knowing everyone was prepared to fail. So I wasn't at all surprised when the first few weekly tests rendered me 55% or 67%. I had accepted that as normal. Then one day I thought, WHY does it have to be normal? Just because everyone else is screwing up and we're all happy with it, doesn't mean I CAN'T be good at Calculus. That's when I took out my underused textbook and started familiarizing myself with the hows of all those equations and stuff. I went home and took out scrap paper, tried out some questions, compared to answers, and kept trying whenever I got one wrong. Then suddenly I realized I was doing it flawlessly, and with ease. Suddenly -just because I tried- I was good at Calculus. I still remember my teacher's face the day he handed out the next weeks test papers marked. He came down the aisle and called out my name, and was midway to handing it to me when he FROZE and looked at the mark and looked at me, and goes "What? This is yours?" I shrugged and then took the paper from him, confused at his comment, then saw my paper - an A. 

These are two of many MANY examples of what I've learnt to do well, things which I do now, and don't realize I actually am good at, but others think I am. I've learnt to cook very well, and often I get remarks from people that its restaurant-quality food. I taught myself. Completely taught myself. I still don't think I'm really that exceptional a writer, and yet when people do let me know it, I'm so amazed at the idea that I AM. I simply enjoy it....so I don't think it's really that big a deal. You probably think you're not good at a ton of stuff, but you know what, you are; you just gotta tell yourself so too.


Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable

Sight: Poverty, animal slaughter, mistreatment of both humans and animals, witnessing an argument or fight.

Hearing: Raised voices, anger, dissonance. Noise. So much silence, it comes with that piercing high pitch frequency cutting through uncomfortably.

Taste: Spoilage, over-saltiness. The taste of something in my mouth that brings to mind some remembrance of animal-ism, of violence, slaughter, death.

Smell: Really bad body odour, the smell of stale and unwashed person. The smell of cooking meat, makes me feel sick to my stomach. Rancid and abnormal bad smells in general. Bad cologne, overdosed, soaked in fake perfumery

Touch: Pervs sitting too close to me on the public transit, trying to lean legs against mine, crossing arms so as to get closer to the torso. Random strangers simply getting too close, passing the personal space boundary.

5 comments:

  1. Day 1:

    "My first lesson was a smile" :) *hats off*


    Day 2:

    As far as I've seen, you are very good at everything, really EVERYTHING. As shocking as it does seems that IQ would hate English class, I am for some reason not shocked. Maybe because the same thing happened to me. English was probably my worst class for the past four years, my mark always rested right at the verge of a B, and now it's my favourite ♥.

    Day 3:

    Exactly, all of those things also make me uncomfortable. Seeing poverty especially makes me feel uncomfortable in who I am. Just the feeling that it's my duty to make sure these people aren't in poverty.

    General:

    I'm so happy that you've decided to do the May Challenge. It made my day! The entire time I was thinking about how much more exciting it would be if YOU joined. I guess because you are YOU. So thank youuuuuuuu!

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  2. I loved your first part - just amazing writing :D

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  3. I'm still blinking...... in a good way :D

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  4. Total thing is nice. First part awesome...

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