Tag Archive | friendship

Becoming the monster I abhor

Plato quoteA friend introduced me to her colleagues who were visiting Bangkok over the weekend. One of my joys being away from home is to meet old and new friends visiting Bangkok. Touring them around is also my way of getting to know Thailand better.

All of them –my friend’s colleagues—were nice and fun to be with. But one of them is just extra warm, it’s like her heart is full of kindness which radiates from her sweet smile and soft voice. She’s the oldest among the group, much like our mother. But really, I felt so at ease around her that I couldn’t help but mention it to my friend. That’s when I heard an interesting story.

My friend said that she has never really spoken to that lady except for work-related matters. “People say her personality used to be like that, kind and loving. But she suddenly changed about two years ago. They say she suddenly became aloof. She doesn’t talk to people anymore except for work. Even after meetings, she doesn’t join her colleagues for a cup of coffee. She became strict and unfriendly, very opposite to what she used to be. Even people who have been so close to her, who have worked with her for over 10 years couldn’t understand what has gone wrong with her. She was like that for two years and now she is back to how she used to be, kind and friendly.

I got curious. I told my friend; maybe that lady has gone through very challenging trials in her life. And tough times always bring out the worst in us. And I smiled at the thought that I had my own share of unleashing the monster in me.

I hate confrontations. Whenever I encounter misunderstandings with people, I would opt to stay quiet and not defend myself even if that means I have to take the blame. I could not speak out for myself because sometimes it would mean revealing the other person’s mistake and I could not stand that a person is humiliated or hurt because of me.

My colleague once told me, “nobody can stand up for you except yourself. You can’t just let people abuse you.” I also read somewhere that staying silent and suppressing your emotions is not good. It will eventually take its toll on your health. But I was stubborn. Until one day, I just lose it.


I was overly stressed at work and was facing a lot of problems in my personal life too. I had been suffering from insomnia and I couldn’t eat well. I just don’t have the appetite for any food. I knew something was wrong with me. I was aware that I was not being myself. I just don’t know how to stop the negativities. I cannot decide whether I have obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder (see, I have already made my own psychological diagnosis hahaha). Kidding aside, I knew now that I could have been better if I had enough sleep then.

But anyway, in that not-so-good episode of my life, I turned into the monster I abhor. I made this stupid argument with someone and ended up saying words I could not imagine coming out from me. Now that I’m over those dark hours of my life, whenever I think about it, I would regret why I had not dealt with the negative situation positively. But regrets don’t come first and feeling it would not help either.

I believe that the first step to move on is to forgive ourselves and accept that we are just humans; we are not perfect and we are bound to commit mistakes. Like what Rahim Khan said in the book The Kite Runner, “there’s a way to be good again”.

People who we see as bad, people who are cruel and unkind are people who are hurting inside. They need our understanding and love, not our hatred and scrutiny. And when this happens to us, let us not forget to appreciate those people who stayed by our side, the people who never gave up believing in us when the rest of the world slummed its doors.

Withering plants and relationships taken for granted

 

My weekend was spent mostly cleaning my room, doing the laundry and reorganizing some stuff. Little did I know it will lead me to a more profound lesson.

While mopping my veranda, I noticed that one of my potted plants died. The other three were wilting. It must be because they don’t have enough soil and the weather is too hot these days. To keep the rest from dying, I uprooted the dead one and put its soil unto the other pots then watered the plants.

This is not the first time I had a plant die because I did not have time to nurture them. I always forget to water them even if I can see them every time I go out of my room. Whenever I remember, I just pour water on them without really giving it extra care like sprinkling the water and cultivating the soil.

While I was filling the other plants with soil, I realized that it is actually a good analogy of how we sometimes treat our relationships be it with a lover, family or friends.

Sometimes, we take people and relationships for granted because we know they are just there. Sometimes we don’t make that extra effort to reach out to them because we are too busy with other things. And when we do, we do it just for the sake of doing it — talk for the sake of talking — without really giving our all. And we may not be aware but they do notice it. They know when we are not paying attention or we are distracted.

Like plants, relationships should be nurtured and cared for it to thrive. If we continue to take it for granted, it will gradually wither and eventually die. If you see it withering you are lucky, you still have the chance to save it. But what if it’s already dead?

Missing someone

Sometimes, traveling and other forms of entertainment can never fill an emptiness and all that’s left to do is stare at the horizon hoping that the wings of time will take us to a road that crosses theirs; thinking that they’re never really gone as long as we keep them in our hearts.