I finally realized where it’s coming from.
It’s been a long time since I have made my empathy as an excuse. My perception of things has been way too distorted. Anything that goes a wee bit out of my comfort zone is considered “hard.” Heading to the market under the noonday sun, plowing through the rain, walking through the flood, doing something out of your way for people you don’t really liked. In most occasions, I quietly freaked out, complained, then did everything with snark; sighing about being left with no choice, or not choosing the alternative, if I had any.
Writing, despite the many worlds it opened to me, the vast opportunities that beckoned me with the stories I could create, has made me a lazy, complaining, comfort-zoned bum. I could remember walking an entire kilometer with the 38 C° sun beating on my head when I was in college. That was because I didn’t want anyone to see me ride a jeep. Which was because I didn’t want them to laugh at me if ever the jeep would reject me.
Babe, the world is not watching you.
My social anxiety has made me afraid. True, it was such a relief to close the door and get all my headspace for myself, but living like this felt so selfish. And scared. When I realized I had other issues that social panic, it was too late. I have become too afraid. Afraid of things breaking down, cracking, foundations moving, walls giving way. The impermanent things. The things that really exist.
I’m the type of person who’d put a band-aid on you just before you have gotten any wound. I would internally scream to watch you head out into the heavy rain with a thin umbrella. I have protected myself from many things, and my initial response is to overprotect too, if not over-worry.
Worrying has been a part of my life for the past, what? 10 years?
But I am able. I’ve got two hands and feet. I’m not a pair of hands and a brain carved out of a chair. I can move.
Let me repeat that: I can move.
Lately, there have been changes going on. Bright changes. Small ones, but these specks of light are better than seeing in darkness. These tweets are proofs:
God, set me free from my mind
— Caris Cruz (@hellocaris) June 16, 2018
Yes. “It’s all in the mind” might be some cliche my dad would keep repeating, but mine has been cluttered and murky and saturated like a decade-old sewer, and it will take more than a water pump to clean it again. But, fortunately, pinpointing the problem is the beginning of loosening up those dirt. Next comes the unraveling.
I, on the other hand, only knew how to panic and complain when things get rough. I'm so sorry for this version of me.
I want to do better. Be more kind. Be more resilient. Be less snappy. Things have to be done, and they have to be done with good cheer.
— Caris Cruz (@hellocaris) June 20, 2018
BOOM. There we go, sunshine. You know your faults. I am also self-talking (writing?) here, but damn, it feels good to vent out that disappointing fact and finally be done with it. I’m done with myself being helpless and whining. I’m done with Myself V.52. I’m sure some are, too.
Here’s an update: I’m getting a reboot.
As for now, I’m holding onto small wins: getting out of my way to do something nice for another, be ready to walk through the flood, and complain less. I’ve done those three things this week, and I feel so accomplished. Back then, I used to think I don’t have much time, I can’t squeeze in another errand! But now, I think my hours stretched further to give way to more significant tasks that would serve not only me, but other people too.
I still remember when our water tank broke for an entire week and my dad and brother, who were both working, would head to my uncle’s house before the sun rises to gather drums of h20. Where was I during those times? Sleeping. And when I wake up, my dad would tell me, “There’s water in the bathroom, if you need it.” They’d do this for many days straight before our water tank got fixed.
All those times, I slept on them. I wasn’t available. I was selfish.
Now, that part is going to change. Screw me for being this privileged, comfort-zone-loving bitch.
I’m going to get out of my way. I’m going to be in places where there’s less of myself, more of another. God help me.