under the cherry blossoms: dream

It might just be because I have watched too many Japanese dramas, but I want to watch cherry blossoms bloom in Japan. Seeing the skies flood with these beautiful pink flowers is a sight to behold and it symbolizes so many different things: new life, a new year, and new opportunities.

When I started Featherlight, it was meant for me to better understand myself post suicide attempt. I used writing to help me cope with so many different kinds of pains and losses inflicted upon me by people who quite frankly were a waste of my time. But this post is not going to focus on that sort of negativity. I made my one jab and I’m moving on from that. I’m here to talk about cherry blossoms and new dreams.

In an ideal world, we can wake up every morning with a big, bright smile on our faces. There would be no need for negativity or bringing others down. When problems arise, we would simply face them and not make bigger deals out of them: situations would never escalate. Life would be simple but pleasant. With the bloom of this year’s cherry blossoms, I can finally say that I see the ugly side to ambition. The stress of taking on too much, it drives us mad with insecurity, exhaustion, and stress. We rub it in to others that we are doing more, as a facade masking how pained or shaken we really are. We are human beings, not robots. Trying to do so much may look good on paper, but it drives away a good portion of our humanity. It wears on our stamina and it makes us unpleasant to be around for a plethora of reasons, namely that we create insecurity and uneasiness with such reckless or bashful behavior.

I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they are not good enough. We all have the privilege of living life, and nobody should ever tell you that you are not good enough or make you feel insignificant in this world. You have been given an inherent purpose by being born a living, sentient being. Use that sentience and allow it to guide you to where you want to go. Don’t be worried if you’re not getting there as quickly as the person next to you. With enough dedication at a pace that befits you, you will arrive at your destination. For me, that is in Japan, owning a bakery, and being able to watch the cherry blossoms every spring. Even if it takes me until the age of 100, so long as I can get there before death, that is all I ask.

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pace: dream 35

When we want different things out of life, we have trouble co-existing. We have trouble involving each other in any aspect, from our daily routines to our deepest confessions. We are growing at different paces, and that is why one of us will outgrow the other. It creates a rift and a dissonance that we will struggle to overcome. And when we fail, the structure that was our relationship, it crumbles. It falls apart and sinks to the wayside. Yeah, that sounds dark, it’s terrifying, but does it really need to be? In every walk of our lives, we will always lose friends, loved ones, family, either to time or unresolved conflict.

What I am astounded by is how long the healing process takes. I really wish that it would be a two-three day process, where we get hurt, we reflect, we confront, and we move on. Unfortunately, that is not possible with every human being. We are all maturing at different rates, and we get into arguments because we miscommunicate, misinterpret, and misalign our values, perspectives, and morals. We are all at different stages in our lives. Some of us are bright-eyed interns who are eager to work, while others are jaded executives who want to find something else to be excited about. Because we are all were raised in different environments, it affects the pace at which we mature and live.

Obviously, I would wish for everyone to be at the same stage, moving at the same pace in their lives. But again, that’s not possible. Standardizing a way of living, especially across so many different countries, cultures, households, genders, and age groups, it is simply impossible. You cannot expect an 80 year old woman to have the same amount of enthusiasm as an eight year old boy about the new Spiderman movie or for a 45 year old woman and her 15 year old son to have an exciting conversation about Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, at least I hope. The second one would be pretty creepy. I know I would not want to talk with my mother or my potential child about that book. But it shows, case in point, that generational gaps is another reason why we cannot all be or act at the same stage mentally and emotionally. There are expectations with all of those barriers I listed.

I would say that in a world of my feather-light dreams, we would all still be at different emotional stages moving at different emotional paces. But I would wish that the conflicts that come from these differences will be easily overcome; I do not want conflict to go away, simply because it drives people to work more efficiently together when it is dealt with. I would also wish that everyone, regardless of where they are at emotionally or what pace they are moving, would be willing to mend their conflict and confront the issues, rather than running away. I want that to be the benchmark: nobody is so immature that they are non-confrontational cowards. In the world of my feather-light dreams, we would all at the least, be mature enough to respect each other’s time, and just work towards understanding each other’s perspectives, as opposed to slapping on labels and calling it a day.

Environment: realization 30

I’m not referring to anything relate to global warming or going green. I’m a Buddhist, not a hippie. That being said, I’m talking about the environment in the same context of Lewin’s Equation, where behavior is the function of an individual and the environment. It basically means that you can control your own behavior, but you cannot control the behavior of the environment around you; in short, there’s no guarantee that you can change the environment. There’s two options in this case: run away or change your outlook. Running away, I think it’s the easier option. It’s also the one that hurts you more in the long run. When you leave something behind, unresolved, you leave extra burdens in your heart, unfinished chapters in your life, and it will come back to haunt you. But when you learn to adapt to the environment, you might be able to enjoy it more.

I’m not saying that running away or giving up on your current environment is something frowned upon. Sometimes, you only have that option; you’ve attempted to adapt, and you failed repeatedly. In those cases, you only can leave and cut your losses. The environment you surround yourself in, it will affect your psyche. For example, I used to be an introvert when I had a person who constantly frustrated me; because of how routinely my energy was being wasted on those one or two individuals, I found myself needing time alone to recharge. But once I cut those people out of my life, I found myself becoming an extrovert. It was because my environment, specifically the people and places I had in my daily routine, changed that I found myself changing as well to adapt.

Adaptability is a completely different topic, but I think it’s worth discussing here, even though I mentioned it in my previous post about panicking. Specifically the pace and methods we use in face of changes in our environment. If you can thrive in an environment where it is high-pressure, high-demand, and intense, then that’s a good environment to stay in. If you cannot, then get the hell out of there if you cannot even swim in there. Do not let yourself stay in an environment where you feel like you are drowning in doubt and fear. Your environment helps you grow as a person, so find the right environment for you.

For me, I am learning that I prefer company who are open-minded, ambitious in their careers, but prefer a routine or a schedule. That creates a sort of environment where I myself can be career-oriented, have norms that do not surprise me, but I can be as weird or awkward as I want and not feel like I am being judged. It helps me feel a need to advance my own career, while I can spend time with the people I love on a constant basis, but ultimately, I can love myself for who I am or become a person who I can love continuously and constantly. Obviously, each person has a different environment that is ideal for them. Some people would rather not have the pressure of finding a career. Others may not love themselves and would rather be surrounded by people who they want to be like. It is ultimately up to the individual what they want. The environment that is suitable changes constantly, to match our personalities, goals, and interests.