Reality 101: Good stuff happens, to some more than others. Bad stuff happens, to some more than others. Such is life. You’d think I’d have that figured out by now.
Been trawling WordPress again. So many voices of so many people in so many places going through so many things. It’s kind of mind-blowing. Everyone’s just writing and sending out bits of their lives in little glass bottles where it bobs up and down in the sea, waiting for people to pick them up and read.
Some are sad stories. Most are sad stories, actually. Sam supposed that’s because writing is an outlet for some people and they only write when they’re sad. I suppose she’s right. I didn’t want to be those kind of writers but I do get the mentality of therapeutic writing so I get a bit lopsided to writing sad stuff too. Some are hopeful, down-to-earth stories, people trying to find the rainbows in life, trying to be more optimistic than they are now, writing in a bid to recover from something. I didn’t plan for my own bottle to be either very sad or very happy. I don’t want it to be ‘very’ anything. Life has both happy and sad sides, so I want to balance it out, because that’s life anyhow.
If I could choose to be a ‘very’ something though, to blow up one side of life, I would still choose happy. Not because I only want to see and know the good bits of life but to choose joy in the midst of this sad sad world.
Today I thought I’d write on something a little more down to earth compared to the abstract and mostly strange stuff I usually write. Not to say this won’t be strange…muhahaha. Yea, but seriously though, today I wanted to touch on my real life and the happy in it, stuff that touches me.
NO don’t run away because I’m going to talk about my life. It’s not going to be boring! I think. Hopefully.
So I used to have a list I keep on my phone. It’s called the “Thank God” list where I recorded the smallest things that happened when it happened which made me very thankful. I can’t honestly remembered why I started it but I enjoyed reading through the list from time to time. Most of the stuff on it would seem pretty lame to people that are not me aka everyone else but it was surprisingly effective in encouraging me and strengthening me.
The list was a little repetitive. (Think people, grades and public transportation. In my defence, that’s really all you think about when you’re 18) Things like “the bus came 5 minutes within each other” when I missed the first bus and “figuring out how to get where I’m supposed to be” when I met a bus detour usually made up half my list. When school ends that late and you’re bone-tired and all, getting home quick and the essence of time becomes very very important. One quarter constituted grade improvements like “I didn’t fail every subject!” and “improved by 5 marks!”Yes, in case you haven’t yet realised, I had been struggling with my academics majorly then. Passing was a BIG DEAL for me. Mother would literally launch into the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah if I came back with a D (since my average grade was around U…which means ungraded hoho). Such a supportive family. The remaining quarter featured “awesome lunch with friends”, positive feedback from teachers and smooth going lessons.
Allow me to deviate from here just a little on the subject of teachers. I’m the kind of kid who really wants to do well in their subjects and be the good student. It’s hard to do that if simply have no inkling towards a certain subject. I also don’t like the whole communicating with teachers aspect. It’s so…greyyy. How do I know if I’m being too overtly polite or not enough? I actually had to google ‘how to email a teacher’ to email a teacher. These things don’t come easy for me. Which makes me very thankful that in university, the teachers are twenty-somethings and they’re more about learning (learning, that is, not memorising) than people etiquette. It helps me learn better to be able to talk to them as friends than panicking if I’m overstepping my bounds as a student. So yes, having a smooth lesson was also worthy to be thankful for.
I started the “Thank God” list in one of the most trying periods of my life. It had a lot more than the aforementioned few (things like ‘I got a mini- karaoke machine!’) and it made me real happy to read it, especially in the dark and gloomy ages known as the months leading up to the A-levels. It’s different, I guess, to just be like ‘Thank God!’ out loud for a few moments compared to taking a minute to type it down and save it. With the former, it gets lost almost as soon as it’s over. I think I actually recorded those stuff down to built alters of thanks in my life. It’s something I read somewhere, about praising and thanking God so that in hard times when it’s hard to have faith, you look back on all the times He got your back and you know He’s not really that far away after all. It’s a little different from just being thankful and grateful for good stuff that happens from time to time. I see it as blessings from Him so I thank Him, the giver of the gifts. If it’s just a list to record happy stuff, it begs the question “What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful to?” Just the general universe? Some people do it to gain a positive mindset and it does inculcate that, in a way. But they are just meaningless happenings which I suppose no one had any real control over, to a certain extent, not even yourself. It’ll just be one of those the stars in the ‘universe lined up for me’ passing moment.
The list helped because I could be panicking and struggling over something for a long time in a personal anguish which other people won’t understand (not that I want them to be burdened by me anyway) and be delivered from it, having things work out better than expected. And it’s like “Omg, yessss thankyouthankyouthankyou” tears of joy. I am definitely very weak. I can be very cowardly and dread talking to people, let alone teachers whom I had to talk to plenty because of my grades. When I’m within a five metre radius from teachers I get paralysed and tongue-tied and talk in squeaks such that I have to repeat myself a million times but then I’ll be talking rubbish anyway because my brain has melted into mush. I can imagine the worst possible situations and scare myself to death over nothing. I have zero common sense. So people definitely may not understand my irrational fears of everything. They may think that it’s no big deal and I’m just being a wuss. And maybe I am. But God understands me and I always feel the blessings He gives me shows me His patience with me, to build my confidence so that I can see it for myself that it’s not all that scary and be able to grow.
That’s not to say I didn’t have rough times. I did, which contributed to my fear of everything. I was poor in my studies which gave me a serious inferiority complex and just crippled me in attempting to contribute to class discussions and all because I always think that I’ll be wrong, even if I knew the answer to something. So that whole experience gave me a bit of teacher phobia. Just afraid to present my ideas which could be too silly and stuff like that. Still, God was and is very patient with me. He helped me trust my teachers and gave me help in friends who really didn’t laugh at me for being so far behind in work. (YES THANK YOU SAM FOR THE CHEM TUITION.) Ha, Sam was one of the sweeties who bugged me to ask questions when we studied together to make sure I understood everything and gave me notes she made herself without me asking (since I was too lost to the point of knowing what I didn’t know to ask). Other mates of mine helped me out too and after a while, I kind of fixed my concentration on understanding stuff instead of what people will think of me.
I don’t know how I got here. Ramble ramble. Moving on.
I haven’t started a Thank God list for this year which kind of surprised me even though I was so happy making it last year. It’s the funny contradiction bone I have. When life gets smooth sailing for me, I just go ‘Hey God, thanks for helping me out last year. I can take it from here.” and I stopped needing the Thank God list to support me. I mentally reposition myself to the helm of my ship and shelf God away. But I think that makes me a little hypocritical. Like, did I just follow God to be helped out of trouble? Now that I don’t have major problems, I just up and leave? That’s mean, girl. Tsk, tsk.
I have since continued walking with God and have been trying to die to myself more. I do think I need to cut back on my vanity and on myself. I don’t blame God for hard times. I see it now, as clear as day, that I’m the kind of person who needs to constantly struggle to learn to lean on God. I haven’t reached the stage where I can rely on God in both good and bad. So far, I just go to Him in bad times. When it gets good, I still tend to want to walk by myself and on my own strength. Hard times tear all that away to show me and to continually remind me who really is in charge, who gave me good times and can deliver me from the bad. And anyways, good and bad times are just means to an end to being the person He wants me to be and that’s what I’m living life for. So.
What’s been happy for me lately?
1. Well, I didn’t knock any curbs today in driving and I think I drove relatively okay-ish. I SEE A DRIVER’S LICENSE COMING.
2. Had a swell time driving because a string of lovely songs came on. I love it when a good song comes on the radio. It’s a happy thing when your favourite song comes on. It’s a happier thing when a string of them come on and you don’t have to get off the car. It’s the happiest thing to have a string of your favourite songs come on and you can sing along with it and not be judged by your fellow car mates.
The songs that made me so happy were Death on the Orient Express, The Piano Guys’ The Mission/How Great Thou Art and Piazzolla’s very sexy Libertango. The Libertango I caught was played by the strings but I couldn’t find the one I thought I heard. Still, here’s the Anderson and Roe four hands one and I found an amazing acapella version by the Swingle Singers!
A couple of other lovely ones came on but I couldn’t catch their very foreign sounding names. But it’s alright. Music on the radio is a bit like pieces of passing dreams, especially when you have the time to sit down and listen to them while driving. You probably won’t enjoy it in another time and place.
3. Smooth sailing consultations with my twenty-something tutors hohoho. It’s really nice to talk to them on the almost-same level.
I know there are many other things to be thankful for which I have sadly let slip from me but I’ll catch as many as I can before 2014 ends anyhow.
For today’s picture, I googled ‘message in a bottle’, ‘a bit of happy’ and finally decided on ‘thank God’. So I picked this one out of the many ‘Thank God’ quotes because it’s new idea for me aaand I think it’s a cool one.
Lots of love 🙂