It’s almost been 4 years since everything fell apart. I want to talk about what happened then and what happens next.

4 years ago, I was a pessimist. Today I am an optimist.

To be frank, I don’t absolutely love the ways things have ended up today. Maybe that will change by tomorrow. It most likely it won’t. And honestly, it’ll probably get a lot worse. I can’t say for sure.

I spent the last 4 years finding myself until I finally began to realize that I can overcome any problem I face if I work hard enough.

Optimism, right?

I really believe it though. I still have all these problems to work on, but today, I can proudly stand here and say that I will never let the same fear control me ever again.

This is my favourite scene in all mangas I’ve read. It’s from the manga Chihayafuru, a series about the board game Karuta and how it connects 3 childhood friends.

The scene reminds me of how easily the world can lose its colour and magic.

One day, something you thought was the absolute truth will become absolutely wrong, and all the feelings that you remember about it will disappear.

4 years ago, I first felt what it meant to be human. And it sucked bad.

When you repress your feelings your entire life, you develop a really unhealthy view of life and the world and your relationships with people. You think your life is so important, and the world is mean and out to get you, and people are meaningless and relationships are a pain.

So learning about what it means to be an actual person and an actual friend has been the weirdest and hardest part of my life. I’ve picked up a lot of really strange (uhh, bad) habits and thoughts and ideas about how I think people and friendships work that it’s been a really journey figuring out what’s wrong and work on fixing it.

For example, understanding that friendship is a two-way street took a really long time for me to grasp. In high school, it was so easy to just reciprocate friendship by working with my friends, since we see each other every day. So I never learned how to keep it up in real life. In university, there is a lot more independence to do other things that my friendships would suffer. Nowadays, I understand that it takes effort on both sides to maintain a friendship, meaning that it takes effort on my side just as much. So I try to specifically make an effort to keep in contact with close friends on Facebook or Twitter or Viber or Skype or in person, and I invest some of my energy in the day to remember them if they’ve done something for me, and I actively try to look for meaningful ways to contribute something to their lives. I understand that effort doesn’t have to be balanced, so even if they don’t spend as much effort as I do, it’s totally okay as long as it’s still going strong.

I can now lift myself out of the really dark places I’ve put myself in, because I’ve developed systems to understand my feelings, and strategies to move forward, even despite how easy it would be to crawl back into my shell. I’ve tried different approaches to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and now I have a mix of friends to confide in, hobbies to distract me, videos to make me laugh, songs to sing along to, blogs to understand my emotions, drinks to forget the past with, that all keep me alive. Individually they are not enough, but together they can push me over hurdles I couldn’t imagine getting over 4 years ago.

Today, I know that the world is full of magic and beauty and wonder, and all the setbacks I experience only make the world more magical and beautiful and wonderful in the future, as long as I try my best to overcome them.

I hope that’s progress.


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