This August 15th, I will be 34 years old. And still, I think of the world like this:
Me: “Guys, I don’t think this is right. I did this and that and I am still not happy. I tried to hide my feelings, manipulate my mood, change my course, put my self on others’ shoes, wake up earlier, sleep longer, opened myself to someone, read more books, used my brain while using my heart, ate vegetable, reduced my calorie intake, be positive. But I am still not happy. I know that there are things I could control and there are things I cannot. I tried to focus on what I could control. But I am still not happy. Something must be off right? How do you do things? Where did I get wrong?”
Others: “Try do this and that”
Me: “I did. Not working.”
Others: “Have you tried asking for God’s hands?”
Me: “Uhhh… not working. Not for me.”
Others: “Yes, we did try everything, we’re not happy too.”
Me: “What? So?”
Others: “We accept.”
Me: “And you’re happy?”
Others: “We accept.”
I think, for 34 years of my life, I could still count by two hands, all the things that I am sure about myself. But of all the things that I kept as my character, my dream, my pet peeve, my hope, my fear – knowing myself too well, I still think that some of it weren’t true, it’s just me trying to trick myself to think that I have it under control.
When the truth is, I am not.
How awful is that? To not be able to realize which one of you is true, and which one of you is just a mask for you to be able to say to yourself that you are happy.
I read a lot about this thing. Some said that happiness is a mental disorder. Something that should not be pursued. It’s illogical, toxic, non-existent. It’s a brain disease. Without sadness there will be no joy – that movie Inside Out taught me that.
But who am I kidding. I wake up everyday and thinking “I am not happy”. But then I know that if I say this out loud to everyone, they will think that I am this negative person, and I will remind them of their own sorrow. So I just pretend that everything was okay. So I post other things instead: I eat healthy fruit and vegetable guys, read a very mind-intriguing books, I follow trend – watched all the amazing series in the Netflix (let’s talk about it!), I build a healthy boundaries between me and my work (yay me), I have dreams too, I write novels. I learn new skill everyday. I adore cats. I eat instant noodle. I lazy out my day. Just like you all. Just like you all. Just like you all. Just like you all.
That’s a strong statement: I am just like you all. I am no different than you all.
Oh, the adaptive nature of human. It’s embarrassing.
It’s like selling myself for nothing. Yet, I still do it everyday because otherwise, the emptiness would eat me from the inside out.
That words hang around in my brain a lot: “What’s the point?”
And that song by Queen: “Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters. Nothing really matters to me.” that I adopted as my mantra since my first great depression after university graduation.
I whisper it a lot. To myself. When I got rejected from a company. When a person cut my pay and put it in his pocket. When someone that I like didn’t like me back. When a friend is no longer a friend anymore. When I had to let go part of me that define me as a woman in community. When my dad died. I took a deep breath and whispered to myself: “Nothing really matters anyway, Amanda. They are all dead at one point. You will lose them at one point. What’s the point in being anxious and angry?”
But it matters. It matters to me. It’s not okay. I am not okay. I am anxious, afraid, angry, betrayed, hurt, and I am not okay.
Yet every teachers, elders, good people, teach us about patience. They also teach us about hope.
Keep hoping. Don’t lose hope.
I think everyone is just living in hell. I am coming to the conclusion that live is about keeping a notion that you are happy when the truth is you are not. It’s about learning the art of smiling so wide while your butt is blazing with fire.
Death ensue, but patience and hope, everyone. Don’t forget.
And so I ask, everyday: this couldn’t be it, right? There’s another way of living, right? Well, okay, if I’m about to accept that happiness and sadness will always exist in my life, but how about the emptiness?
The emptiness is normal too?
Tell me, that’s not how this is going to be. Years from now. I will have to deal with this also too?
The hole. It never goes away.
For me is like a hole so big deep in my chest that I couldn’t fill it with anything. The question pop up in my brain every morning: “What’s the point in waking up today?” and before sleep it will go like “another unimpressive day scratched from the list.”
My hope goes like: “Just one more day. One more day, Amanda.”
I believe that I have manipulated myself so far and so long, that I am not able to voice the real thing inside myself. I just realized that I need to learn to be more honest, at least to myself. What I really want, what I really feel, what I really need.
I want connection with other humans. A real one. If I am about to continue to live, I want to live without burdens and constraints. I want to explore ideas, possibilities, places, stories, books, and food. I want to be able to trust myself more.
And I have an emotional hole. Inside my chest. It sucks.
I am not okay. But I still live to this day.