I think the great thing about long trips on the way home is that you get to see so many things—you witness how different lives transpire around you, what other people’s everydays seem like, and how everyone go about living their lives.
And sometimes you just realize how good you already have it.
How completely fortunate you had life, with pangs of guilt striking you from all directions. You get a wider view of life and you can only be grateful of how blessed you are.
Unlike when you’re just meters away from your place. It’s a lot different in a smaller world. I always had short trips on my way to my boarding house, so I hardly witness anything. The only cool thing I’m always fortunate to do is gaze up at the dim sky while walking, looking for the moon, wondering about the same inconsequential things.
Like how it’d be like walking with you on the same road, side by side, talking about what transpired through the day.
Like how it’d be like listening as you go about grumbling over every wrong thing going on in your life.
Like how it’d be like to laugh with you at the same old jokes, at the same trivial instances, for the same lame reasons.
Like how it’d be like knowing you’re gazing up at the same sky, thinking about these things too.
I know, I know. You’re probably the voice at the back of my mind telling me how disgusting I sound right now.
But that doesn’t make it less true—especially when you’re a sentimental being used to your reclusive world. When you’re alone, and when you’re hardly reminded of how good you already have it, you’re a lot more disposed into thinking about how wrong you’re having it.
Walking is something I really like doing, because it’s always a good opportunity to mull over and reflect on myself and my attitude towards life. But the small world I’m trapped in forces me contemplate about what I don’t have, what I can’t have, what I should have said, what I should have done, what I could have been, what I shouldn’t have been, and the list goes on.
I keep on looking for loopholes that I forget to be happy and grateful with how things are going for me right now.
Why is it so easy for us to find reasons to think we have it all wrong when we have it all too well?
Trapped would come off as a negative way of looking at it, but sometimes that’s how I feel inside this four cornered room. Ironically though, I somehow feel some sort of peacefulness dominating my entirety. But instead of pondering on how to better my life, how to maintain a good disposition, how to make good use of my fortunes, I can’t help but slip into the dark side of my life. I hate people. I think of the various inconsequential things that people say and do and criticize them. I think about the people who open up to me and their problems, and wonder why I act like the receptacle that I am right now.
People opening up to me was not something I was never used to. But lately I’ve been thinking about how this whole advising thing is working for me. To understand these people and to give them the most appropriate advice, I try to put myself on their shoes. Take their feelings all in. Let their negativities sink in me. And tadah—I understand.
And that’s the problem. I always understand.
To quote from Ernest Hemingway’s Winner Takes Nothing:
I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially all night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.
Somehow this puts me under a lot of pressure, stress and coercion. I UNDERSTAND. I needed to. And even without the necessity, I always end up understanding. I gather up a mountainous load of things to reconsider and reflect on, and sometimes I either end up being consumed by their emotions, or being numbed. Because I understand. I understand. I understand.
Listening and understanding became my always. And somehow it required me being empty. So no biases. No prejudice.
I wanted to fix broken people. Broken hearts. Broken self esteems. But they said you cannot save people, you can only love them. But I didn’t have the latter to offer, so I tried to save them anyway.
I didn’t know why I wanted to do that. Why I was so passionate to help people about things I completely have nothing to do about. I never thought of it as altruism because I don’t conceive of myself that way. Gross. And then I thought, maybe it has something to do with my pain, with my own wretched soul, with my own dreadful existence.
And then at one point it hit me.
I thought trying to fix broken people can heal my brokenness
… but I ended up breaking myself further.
The realization crept up on me while I was walking the dark, silent roads in my university, and tears started dripping down my cheeks.
What a ridiculous train of thought. How could I have thought of things this way? How the hell did it boil down to this utter moronity?
I looked around me and thought, maybe it’s this four cornered room. Maybe my world is too small. Maybe I’m not seeing enough people and enough things. I keep on looking at how wrong I have it when I have it all too well.
Understanding, brokenness… Good way to sum it all up, self.
I should probably just get the fuck up.