Tag Archives: reflection

Best Friend

My last post was about needing time to be alone. This one is the opposite it’s about friendship. I’m so complex.

I’ve given the label of “best friend” to several people in my life because at one point or other those people were my confidants. Sometimes I had multiple “best friends” at a time. That is, until one of them changed my view on the title. He told me that a person could only really have one best friend because that person is the best. The top among the rest, and the one you count on no matter what. The one that’s got you and you will undeniably be there for, too. So, it made me think and relabel those others as close friends. I only gave one person the title of “best friend” and he kept it for a long time. Then we parted ways, and I had no best friend.

I went a few years without considering any sole person as my best friend. There wasn’t only one person I relied on anymore, I’d grown to have a web of very close friends. There was not one person that outshine the rest because they all had different attributes that were invaluable to me. Then, I gave my current best friend the title because she did stand out from everyone else. She’s great, and she’s been with me through a lot, and I know she’ll be there for me for a long time coming. I confide in her, I enjoy her company, and she really is the best friend someone could have. She makes the effort and tries even when she doesn’t have the energy, and I appreciate that.

Except… she’s not really my best friend.

My best friend is still the one I gave the title to ten years ago, the one I deemed worth enough to designate as such. The same one that left me behind in a pursuit to live his own life, and I used to be so angry at that, but now I’m not. I understand that people change and in order to grow we have to go separate ways sometimes. He and I ended on really bad terms, but it doesn’t change that I will always consider him my best friend. Why? Why would I still consider someone who is no longer in my life my best friend?

Because of the impact he made in my life when he was. He was in my life during my most formative years of adolescence. He was there when I first had my debilitating episodes with depression and anxiety, and he was there to help me through them. He was the first person to put me first. He was the first person that I ever felt comfortable enough with to confide in and be vulnerable with. And that’s not something that’s replaceable. He will always be my best friend because I believe he was what’s best for me. The good times and the bad, the laughter and the pain, all of it. He helped me grow and learn about myself and others. He made me more compassionate and understanding of others because of how poorly I treated him. And as wonderful and amazing as my current “best friend” is, she can’t do all those things because they’ve been done.

I used to hate that I couldn’t replace him. That after all the conflict and craziness, I still miss him and think of him as the best friend I ever had. But, I’ve come to accept it. People aren’t expendable to me, and he’s unique. There will be others that remind me of him, but there’s only one of him in this world. And I know that if he ever came back into my life, I’d feel the same way about him as I did before. That he is someone I feel a deep comfort with and someone who I can be vulnerable toward. And that’s okay with me now. I don’t need a replacement. I just need to allow others the opportunity to be different types of friends, and maybe I’ll find one that usurps his throne.

I know that I will have many people enter and leave my life. Some will be acquaintances, some will be friends, some will be close friends, and they’ll all make an impact on my life. But like I said, the best friend is the one that is above the rest. And until I find someone that can outshine my former best friend, he’ll always be the best.

 

-Ling

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Dreams and Aspirations

As part of my Self Discovery segment I have decided to tackle the question:
What are your dreams and aspirations?

I know, you’re probably expecting some grandiose, “world peace” kind of post, but this is not it. Yeah, world peace would be great and I support the efforts in achieving that, but it’s not my dream and aspiration. I’ve learned the hard way that setting impossible standards and unrealistic expectations only lead to disappointment, so my answer is pretty simple… or at least, achievable.

My dream and aspiration is to make a difference or lasting impression in at least one person’s life. I would like to reach more people, but the goal is at least a single person. I want to be able to bestow upon people a genuine kindness and caring that we don’t see very often in our world of violence and brutality. I don’t expect a chain reaction or to make waves, but I want to make at least one person feel like there’s hope.

I know what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless, and if I can, I would like to make sure that at least one other person doesn’t have to feel that way. I want to be able to reach just one single person and them feel better about themselves, feel that they can dream big and meet their goals.

Yes, my dream and aspiration is tiny, but hopefully, it will be repaid in a big way. I believe that everyone deserves to feel like they belong and are understood, and I want to have the effect on someone. I may have already achieved my goal, but if I have, then I want to reach more people. How? Either through my writing, through conversations, and through in-person interactions. I am trying to influence as many people as I can with positivity and optimism. But the main goal is just at least a single person. That’s all.

What are your dreams and aspirations? Feel free to share in a comment!

 

-Ling

Who am I? A Road to Self-Discovery

Remember in elementary school when teachers gave us prompts for independent writing? Almost every year I had to answer the question, “Who am I?” Back then, it was a lot easier for me. I would talk about my family and my grade level, etc. My answer was superficial and it was always in relation to other people. I described myself in terms of the people in my life. Or, I described myself in terms of how society viewed me. As a kid, no big deal. As an adult now, it makes me shudder to think that as I was forming my identity at that age, most of it was reliant on how others perceived me–a figment of your imagination and a victim of your perception.

If you asked me to answer the question now, I would honestly answer, “I don’t know.” Seems like a cop out answer, but it’s not because it’s true. I don’t know who I am at this particular moment in time. A lot has happened in my life to make me rethink and reconsider how I view myself. So, I genuinely do not know who I am. It bothers me that I can’t answer the question, but it also gives me a journey to go on. Thus, introducing the first segment to the soon to be remodeled blog: Road to Self-Discovery. Cliche, I know, but I think it’ll be interesting. At least, for me it will. I don’t know if you’ll care all too much about me finding myself.

Anyway, the idea of this particular segment is that each week, probably on a Friday or over the weekend, I will choose a topic or prompt that will require deep introspection and reflection. As I answer them, I hope to slowly learn new things about myself. After every five entries, I will return to the question, “Who am I?” And slowly piece the response together. Once I feel like I have a pretty solid idea of who I am, I will compile it into a single entry to answer the big question.

I would like for you to take the time and think about the topic, too. Share a little bit about yourself if you feel so inclined and maybe start a journey of your own. Identity changes, so who you think you are might not be the reality anymore.

– Ling 

Honesty

Growing up, we are taught, “Honesty is the best policy.”

Ironically, as we grow older and garner more experiences, we realize that people lie. People lie all the time, and there isn’t a single person who is completely honest or truthful to anybody, not even him or herself. But why do we lie?

As a child, we may lie to get out of trouble. To avoid punishment, we may dishonestly accuse another person.
Spilled milk? Nooo my imaginary friend or younger sister did it!

Another possibility might be to reap rewards that we don’t deserve.
Did you clean you room?
Yes.
Okay, you can have a cookie before dinner.

Even in our childhood innocence, lying is a natural thing for us to do. Is it a learned behavior or is it innate? Do we lie because we want to, or because we are simply incapable of being honest?

Then as we get older, we realize that the truth might not be the best thing to tell someone. It can come off as brutal or insensitive. And now we have to be conscious of how we express our opinions and feelings without hurting the other party. Sometimes we phrase our thoughts different, sometimes we stretch the truth, or tell a “white” lie.

No matter how small, or how good the intention, a lie is a lie. Period. You don’t get away with saying it was his or her own good. That’s his or her decision, you can’t make those choices and you can’t coddle someone from the harsh reality. If you’re not the one to be honest, someone else will be, and in the end the person who asked for honesty in the first place will feel betrayed.

Does this dress make me look fat?
No, it makes you look curvier.
Not to be rude, but the dress makes you look a little frumpy.

Then we become more cynical and jaded as life continues forward. We may not be lying because of malicious intent, but we start to lie to manipulate and get ahead in our careers, success, life. People always tell me to bolster my resume, to “sell myself” on cover letters. They tell me it’s okay, everyone does it and that employers know this too. But why would I want to get a job or acquire an interview on something that is not my actual merit? Why would I do that to myself, and to the person that hires me?

Moreover, there are people who play mind games to get what they want. They use their knowledge about you, what makes you tick and uses it against you. Those liars are the worst. Those are the ones that leave the scars behind from which you need to learn to heal. We’ve all dealt with one of those people, and if you haven’t, one day you will.

Liars are everywhere.

I admit that I’m a liar. I lie to people I care about, I lie to people I barely know, and I lie to myself all the time. I am dishonest as a way to keep myself safe, to set up a barrier to keep those who can hurt me out. I may not tell the truth to try not to hurt other people’s feelings, but lately I’ve been more honest and open. Sure, they may be mad at me now, and yeah they may leave, but don’t ask for my opinion if you can’t handle my response. I lie to myself to keep myself from falling into the depths of depression, and to build my self-esteem. It’s not as much lying as it is staying in denial (which I guess is a form of dishonesty).

I don’t like lying, it makes me feel rotten. It makes me angry at myself because I didn’t have the courage to express my true opinion. I’m working on honesty, and I wish others would too. I am sick of people lying to my face, and then turn their backs and do something contradicting their words. If you don’t want to be my friend, just say so. I won’t force you to stay. Don’t say that you’ll be there for me when I need you and be MIA when the time comes. Don’t tell me you care about me, when you don’t even bother texting or calling to check up on me. Don’t tell me you miss me and not make the effort to see me.

I just want honest people in my life. Open communication, honesty, trust, and respect. They all go hand in hand, and I don’t want anything less. I deserve at least as much as I give. And if I’m willing to give that much to you, then I expect the same in return.

Those are my honest thoughts.

 

Making Decisions, SUNY Geneseo

When applying for college, I had no intention of applying to Geneseo. I hadn’t even heard of the school until my senior year of high school. The only reason I applied was because I wanted to apply to New Paltz, and my friend suggested I apply to Geneseo instead. His exact words were, “It’s like New Paltz, but better. You should try for it.” So, I did. (For some reason, I did not apply to New Paltz at all.)

The hardest decision I made was between Buffalo and Geneseo. Buffalo was farther away, it was a very big school (like my high school on a larger scale), and a lot of my friends would be going there. Geneseo was the exact opposite. I knew only two other people who would be attending Geneseo, and it was much smaller.

I’m sure the deciding factors of my choosing Geneseo over Buffalo were: 1) I wouldn’t know anyone attending the school, so I would have the opportunity to meet new people. 2) I was still indecisive as to whether I wanted to pursue a psychology or an education major, and Geneseo had great programs for both of the choices.

So, in the end I chose Geneseo–a choice I had doubts about, but never regretted.