Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Little Hindsight

Looking back at the semester that has just passed, it is easy and almost expected of me to say that I am thankful for it all -- all the funks I'd been in and the obstacles that had made me feel so small and just plain scared -- because all these are the things that have made me grown as a person and into who I am today.

So cliched, I say.

The annoying thing is, cliches work and they continue to be alive today because they help set an atmosphere of pretense that is just so socially acceptable, don't they? Not that I'm saying people who use cliches are definitely pretending. It's just that, things so real that are said out loud can sound so trite after a while. Not that the cliche of saying I was thankful for all that I'd gone through the final quarter of last year for bringing me here today was real either.

Personally, I think I could have done without some of the phases, especially the ones of major self-doubts that kept haunting me and reminding me of my many shortcomings the whole time I was trying to pave my steps. I questioned myself and my capability all too much. If I could rewind time and live it again, I should have known that throughout my whole life, I've always given myself less credit than I deserve, and that I should have learnt to ignore that by now. But I guess whether you rewind time or throw me into the future, I'm still going to sort of end up in the same rut of inferiority complex that I go through every now and then. It sucks to know that some mistakes never seem to light a bulb in my head of the lesson to be learnt even after numerous reruns.

I'm even sounding negative right now, like a grumpy old person with no more passion in life. But no, I'm brimming with excitement today because I've not just survived an emotionally draining semester in college, but God has actually shown himself never forsaking through the many big and small ways that I didn't even realize until the whole ordeal was over. Funny how problems that seemed so big and unsolvable, that drew tears out of my eyes just a month ago, can now seem so far away and feel like things that I can do nothing else but to laugh at. Does time change the intensity and scale of a problem?

Wait, it's not that. I think it's actually being in the problem, crying and feeling hopeless about it, having friends who sat beside you to pray with you and say it is okay, and finally finding the strength in God, not myself, to overcome those mountains that make the problem something I can look back at now and smile. I'm thankful after all, because I know I am better off today than I would have been without the things that once upon a time made me feel lousy about myself. Time itself didn't lessen the scale of a problem, but it gave me the space to face the scary monster and mature as I defeat it.

It's the semester break now -- a cool-off time when I mostly face myself, my family, house chores and the random little passions I have at the moment (like making little paper stars and colorful bracelets) instead of having to face people and things in college that are sometimes just plain terrifying. But I actually do look forward to next semester, because defeating the monsters in my life -- and sometimes, in me -- and claiming victory over them, can become so addictive.

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