What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
In 2012, it was when I stood up for myself.
Previous to this moment, I had discovered that I often let myself fall into a whimper—a rolling ball of self-pity. I let other people bulldoze me. I let people persuade me that I could really like Chinese food and then inside, a tantrum starts and I suddenly feel irrational but I don’t know why.
I was angry at first. Because I realized that I didn’t allow myself to be angry. I rationalized the anger believing that I was at fault, I was always responsible, I was the one who made the mistake. But then I couldn’t bear it anymore. So I was angry.
Being more, my anger came in different ways. Angry tears. But every word I said, I meant it. Sure there were moments later that I regretted what I said. But a few days later, I would agree.
For better or worse, I could never blame those words on anything. Not alcohol. Not exhaustion. My deeply grounded beliefs that the words I say are meaningful even if said awkwardly and without confidence. They do reflect my beliefs.
But the moment started with an im. I saw it criticizing my style of travel and being told how I should behave.
Then the moment went on with another email. I was responding to an email where the only line that remains in my mind was “Have you gone native yet?” I felt no closure from the earlier criticism. In my email, perhaps not in the most friendly way, I pointed out the criticism and bluntly stated how hurt I was. I could not continue the email in a friendly discussion because my anger had already polluted my blood. The black cloud was steaming.
Then the moment ended with an email to a reply. I was in the hot, sweltering room in Manila. In the hotel that I regretted staying in. The ceiling was diagonal. The room was on the top. It was supposed to be Spanish colonial style, but I felt like we were in a cave with dim lights, roaring air conditioner, cold tile floors. The internet wireless was weak and unreliable. And I saw his response. A rightfully upset response. I shuddered lightly. Then I checked my body. I was sad. But the anger remained although it had calmed to an even temperature. I could feel it in my chest, the tightening in my throat and I could see the blackness streaming in and out of my body.
So I wrote a reply.
“I am sorry. Thank you.”