Thursday, December 3, 2009

Out Of Character

I’ve had lengthy discussions about how I feel about people doing stuff only to please. Things that people do, just to please or make someone happy were seen to me as something false and condescending on occasion. My underlying thought was that people went out of character and were essentially someone else whenever they carried out that action or whatever it was, just to please someone. The more I tell myself that and the more I bring thing topic about with Jam, the less I believe my words.

Out of character, the underlying implication that I believed to be behind this ‘people pleasing’. Personally, I deter people from acting as someone else, someone that may not define who they are, then again, especially in this materialistic economic imperial world, defining oneself proves to be the challenge of the century. I cherish differentness, may it be outwardly obvious, or only exposed to the trusted few. With all that in mind, my personal values are in complete contrast with this underlying implication of “Out of Character” and so gave reason to my dislike of a notion of ‘people pleasing’.

To further the case, this “Out of Character” denotes some act, coerced most definitely. There then leaves room for doubt in my mind: whether or not everything was a complete act trying to genuinely make someone happy or just to make someone happy because you don’t like seeing them happy. That’s what my cognition says each time I think of people pleasing and its subsequent trait of being an act. Putting that thought in words literally showed to me my bias. Essentially, my cognition uses two courses of argument, pros and cons. I usually side with the cons because it puts more of a legit case, speaking personally of course. Yet looking over that thought there be no cons, yet I believed there to be one, the latter one. That suggests to me that it is not the motive behind people pleasing that dissuades me, but rather the connotation of it being an act and all concomitants to that contrast with my personal values. In support of this, I’ve been told profusely that I always see the negative. I thought I was beginning to see both sides of the coin and make my judgement based on both perspectives, what I didn’t realise is that I saw both sides as negative. It’s taking me a while to rid myself of that negativity and I guess I was getting ahead of myself, but I am getting there.

Jam’s constant argument against this whole debate about the genuineness of doing stuff to make people happy, is that it shows how much they care for you. I see where he comes from, but I stood against it believing that going out of ones way to make someone happy is unnatural. Making someone happy shouldn’t have the need for effort to be put in. It should be as natural as it can be, thus it can be seen as pure, untarnished, genuine and true. That in my opinion is an irrefutable action of the depth of how much one cares. On the other hand, acting out of character repelled me due to my values and so I disregarded on principle everything that denoted itself to people pleasing. However, looking over it again, written down, I see it in a different light.

Acting out of character needs effort to be put in. To act out of character is something no person can do easily. So an action out of character purely carried out to make someone smile is something I now see differently to as I once saw it. To be honest, it now seems to me that such this effort may even show more strongly about how someone cares for you, that said however, there still remains the purity of motive and naturalness of the action. Despite that, either way, both the natural action and the out of character ones now stand on par with each other in my eyes. I stood against people pleasing because it went against naturalness, and I did not want any of my relations to have anything coerced within them. I wanted them to be as natural as possible that way you could truly be yourself, who you are, and free to speak your mind. Naturalness is paramount in all my relations; if it isn’t present I think otherwise about the genuineness of the relation, then again that is based on my values and not the other party of the relation. The unnaturalness of actions and its coercion went against my values, but now I think I’ve finally overcome my disdain for people pleasing, however people pleasing in excess is something I cannot stand, it is as if the whole relation were based on someone’s ‘coerced’ character.

You need to appreciate both sides of the coin to fully appreciate one side.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exaggerated Affirmations

An expression of my emotion and affection for people is something that I have always kept dear to my heart. It was something that I loved doing, something that released the emotions within me making them seem even more real.

People know me to be that clingy, attached, sweet guy. Emotionally high strung and sensitive were part of the package. Most people would see that feminine, but you got to be different, no, you’ve got to be yourself. I learned to define my identity accordingly to such this avant-garde trait of mine, those that failed to recognise it, or despise it were people that I could not totally befriend.

Moving on, emotions held for my friends from year 6 were always high strung, some more than others. The commonalities between all are when I actually profess them. Every person that I was close to from year 6 (Jameson, Julia), year 7 – 12 (Phil, Kevin, Kaye, Faye, Dulce, Shaun, Carlos) and now (Jam) I’ve told them how I feel about them, their friendship and how much it means to me. Looking back, the early stages, remembering what I’ve said to them, Jameson at the end of primary I gave a card, Julia talks and hanging out a lot, Phil, Kevin, Shaun, Faye, Dulce, Shaun, Carlos on msn and social networks, and now Jam Part I and Part II, I have come to the realisation thanks to Jam that those words, Affirmations as I so name them have been exaggerated to a large extent. Some of them more so than others, Jam, Kevin, and Shaun being the highest in descending order. Rereading such Affirmations I can see why. I admit they are. In my defence I have but two things to say. The exaggerations to be honest, considering my high-strung emotions, should have been expected I suppose? That’s the first, the second is that exaggerations cannot be made without some basis of truth. That said, looking behind the flowery words, the verbose sentences, the affirmations are not exaggerated. In spite of all else though, omit content and look past construction right into the eye of motive.

Thereafter the early times, I’ve noticed I tone down a bit, with some it takes longer, some others it doesn’t, but then I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter how long it has taken to tone down, each time it was for a different reason, a different purpose, a different revelation. I tried to evoke emotion, intense emotion, similar to what I feel, in the words I write. Romantic writers, The Classics all could do this, and so I tried to follow I guess, but failed miserably. I rethought something.

The truth is what many fear. They fear it cause it hurts. They fear it because it’s unbiased. They fear it cause it cannot be changed. I thought about Truth, about its conceptualisations and noticed something. My words may have been exaggerated to the extent of bias, (undoubtedly), by my emotions held true. If the truth be spoken, and if that truth will eradicate fears, that above all is the ultimate Affirmation.

Telling the truth is a hard thing to do. In recent months, the past 6 to be precise, I’ve been in a relationship that had made me come to many realisations. Jam made me indirectly face my self. I began to take more responsibility for my actions. I began to mature. Within this one relation, fears and boundaries dissipated. The truth was always told, or eventually anyway. Time past, and as each day waxed and waned speaking the truth brought us closer with each passing moment. I lost the urge to embroider and gained the lust to speak only in sooth.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How&Why

People change.

As I reflect and reminisce about years past I cannot help to smile. Smile at what I’ve been through. Smile at what I’ve experienced and above all, smile at who I’ve got =).

I entered senior years emotionally alone and with no fall back as I once use to have for reasons that to me seemed viable at the time. In hindsight and with new ideals cemented in my mind those reasons are understated to assessed as inadequate. Nevertheless, I managed to retain some form of a social life. What actually happened last year and part of this year I cannot remember definitively, as if it has been repressed. Remnants of my emotional being of the year past hint to what exactly took place, yet such these records are never laid down in stone. Even with previous blogs I cannot even remember what I was referring to when I wrote. I never referenced an event directly, or an evoked emotion and its source. The main reason was because I thought I was ever trapped in that state of mind that I need not be direct for I assumed I would always remember how made me feel that way I felt in the records, and as per usual, I assumed wrongly.

The earliest defining memory I can recall is one I referred to as the Three Front War. My whole life literally was in ruins. Whenever something detrimental was happening in my life, (often than not by my own doings) I’d always have a safe house to return to. If my social school life was in turmoil I could find refugee in my family social life, and vice versa. If both theses lives were repulsive I’d always have my family household to return to. This year, each life took a downward spiral, one after the other.

My family social life has already been discussed in my previous blog The War of Pride Part II and The War of Pride Part II. In short, a new addition to the group severed friendships and even familial ties with her possessive, arrogant and need for dominance demeanor.

My school social life had similar ramifications. Everyday was a struggle to get up and walk through the gates of De La Salle College Ashfield. My last year in the school, one I was hoping to enjoy but proved at that time quite the opposite. Each day we’d be lectured on our overall poor behaviour, our disregard for uniform attire and our lack of motivation to study. Over and over it’d be the same lecture, the same comeuppance, the same negativity. The year group was turning out to be worse that its forerunners. Classes were being disrupted with pupil teacher quarrels to the point that nothing was being taught. On top of that, I was isolating myself somewhat from the year I despised. I was not fearful of saying that I did not like the form and I totally believed the words that left my tongue: “I have no friends”. This school disposition even made me contemplate about dropping out of school.

Now, my family life was in an unwanted situation. I was not talking to my sister for sometime because she inadvertently lied to me based on some deep ‘younger sister’ fear. What people do not realise about me, even my own family at times, is that honesty truly goes far with me. That said, any twisting of the truth, any holding back important information, anything like that fuels my anger to a point that I feel betrayed, which in fact in my eyes is a betrayal. A betrayal of trust. No relationship can survive without trust. No matter how bad the news, how critical your judgment of me may be or how inappropriate the information may be, I will and have always looked past contents and seen the action as its own. It has happened, within my family and especially with a previous confidant, that they’ve chosen not to disclose such information until a later date but have already disclosed it with other people. Simply put, trust was not present.

Three lives that essentially make my whole life were all in disarray. I come home to an atmosphere filled only with tension and monotonous one worded conversations. I go to school and get lectured about something some other pupils committed and lose a lesson because of some pointless pupil teacher quarrel. I go to a family friend gathering and am literally walked past without taken notice of by my own aunt. To tie things all together one demented relationship with Carlos that also was in a state of disarray showed to me my exceedingly negative affect I have on others. My agonizing outwardly depressive demeanor, my dark melancholic conversations, my love for the life to come all seeped into the lives that I wanted to be full of joy. Carlos even said he hated all the sadness, all the death and despair, even said he hated me. After that, I took it upon myself to not talk to him. I could not handle a dysfunctional relationship and a Three Front War at the same time.

How I survived is a feat that I am yet to reconcile with. Despite my clinical diagnosis of major depression, I’ve always have had hope deep within me. In the darkest of times, at the untimely hours, that glimmer yet faint gleam of hope was ever omnipresent. Hope prevailed. That was to be my last downward spiral into oblivion and out again.

This overwhelming resolve, some new found strength that I found within me made me push forward, endure the days, with friends or without. Simultaneously the melancholy of loneliness was never alleviated, instead I learned it to become my friend and ally.

Eventually I was again on speaking terms with Carlos. Debating season was about, and I became good friends with the year Elevens. I saw my fragmented social life being pieced together ever so slowly. Kenneth’s birthday, one of the first I’ve attended knowing that I literally was the odd one out. My weariness about feelings like that makes me cynical about such gatherings. Despite preconceptions based upon my own irrational fears, that gathering was one to remember. Following week made way for another gathering and the beginning of a new life for me.

People that I haven’t seen in a while, years in some cases, attended. We caught up and it felt as if the last time we saw each other was the day before. Culmination of the night was awkward. Fumes that lingered around the birthday boy, reminded me of a figure in my past that I have yet to come to terms with, David. Even what Kevin said, the occasion and the hug were reminiscent of David, if not exact. On that note, the night ended in reflective introspection leading to the inevitable sadness. However, unlike other times, the sadness dissipated faster than usual.

A few days later, words still ring clear as a bell in my ears:
“Tell me what not to do so I don’t make the same mistakes…” Jameson Chan uttered those words to me. When I first heard them, I took them lightly because the context of the situation was light hearted as per usual was any context with him. It was period four, in a Modern History class on a Tuesday if my memory serves right, most probably the 26th of May. The room was shaded; no light seeped through the windows for we were watching a film. When I got home, those words rung through my ears once more. Then again. And again. Weary. Jubilant. Emotions were running amuck. I could not determine the truth behind the words as of yet, however, my emotions were telling me otherwise. The first time in my life I did not follow my emotions first, knowing wholeheartedly how easily I am fooled by words and phrases that appeal ever so much to my heart. To third parties I asked for their opinion about the meaning of the words. I made as objective as I could. The third parties however merely emphasized my emotional response; the situation called not for objectivity, but subjectivity. I learned the truth behind the words. A day past, and mID was established. From then on my life has never been the same.

I have always thought that I had a keen eye, observing those around me, their reactions to actions and other people. How they interact, their FRS (refer to Time and Time and Time) all the sort. I was arrogant as I thought that nothing got past me; as if “it was right in front of your eyes” did not apply to me. How wrong I was about that.

Meanings of words were established. Falsity of figures was realized. I had irrevocability and irreversibly changed. One person, a few words, an everlasting friendship was all I needed. The difficult task now, is how to return the favour.