Being a 20-something in today’s world, we all have one particular thing that we cling to: Our ego.
I am no different.. except I may just be. No, not because I am of any significance, but because I truly believe that people are just…. different
I believe my ego has been shaped long before I knew what the word meant. I’ve been constantly fighting to hold on to it like a child refusing to let go of her security blanket. I am that child. Even as an adult I think that I will always be that child who wants her own sandbox, her own personal space.. all the while wanting to have another one to share with others.
While growing up, I’d been told that my pride could either take me places, or destroy me. I chose to move with the flow: whatever gets my plane flying, I’d say. Today I realise, the only way I have changed is that I have seen things, lived a little, if not, a lot, even lost things I didn’t know I had and mostly, I’ve come into terms with all of it.
Yet, I managed to remain true to myself, and to my ego, even more so.
Whatever I may have done, whatever choices I made, I convinced myself that even if it affects every damn nerve in my body, it would only be for me to know. That’s my ego at play, yet again, not wanting to ever show any weakness. There are of course a handful of people whom I’d speak to about my struggles, but never have I ever personally opened up so much about any of it all.
Honestly, I think I’d handled every bump I’d gone through in this life better than I could have had my ego not been so massive. Loss, for one thing, is one of my best fortes. I take pride in being able to “take it like a man” and own it: to be able to be so chilled about it, or seemingly, at least. I keep going back to the concept of “whatever happens, happens”. I’ve come to believe that it was my ego that has shaped me into this “braveheart” of a persona that my friends have come to believe I am.
“I’ve never seen you cry, and you’re a girl!”, “Once in a while I’d like for you to be the one that talks about their troubles, and not just listen to me talk about mine”, “I want to be inside your head” are the things I hear most from my friends and/or so-called relationships. There is some truth to those. Because of this misconstrued quality, they’ve come to believe that I’m a cynic. For all I know, that could be true, condisering I’ve built my wall so far up high, I have reason to believe that it’s not impossible that I’ve lost sight of my own weaknesses.
But then again, what little does anyone know of the things that are at play in my mind?
Knowing what my pride has done to me, gave me a better perspective on humankind. Having believed that I have seen the less good in people (myself, in particular), I’ve become content with all of the hard truths thrown in my face, I’ll make excuses for the worst in people, I’ve always believed that there’s always a reason behind all of it, and there is! I’ve also reached a point where I would easily dismiss unexplained betrayals, as a simple misunderstanding, just to show that I couldn’t give a flying f*ck, or merely just to show that despite whatever, I’d go out of my way to still be civilised human being. Whether or not this refusal to deal with drama is a bad thing is open to conception: to what you believe, and I totally respect that. Me, I believe what I believe, and that’s the end of it.
What more it’s given me is that when I manage to care, I truly care. I could love unconditionally, without expectations, without so much of anything but hope. Hope, that they know that I’m always there watching closely, ready to pick them up whenever they trip. Hope, that they see the silent concerns/questions my pride would never let me voice out. Hope, that they see past the worst in me. Hope, that they know I give a damn without having to say that I do. Hope, that they know I am a human being, with as much struggles as they have without asking to explain to them what. Hope, that they would respect my need to stand on my own two feet. Hope, that I value my independence as much as I value their lives. Hope, that despite my palpable pride, I put others before myself.
Expectations and Hope: there’s that thin line between the two, eh? If you can see it, you see it. If you don’t, then maybe some day you will.
That said, making my peace with whatever pain I have to go through is my biggest win in all of this. Being able to live with personal pain without a grudge is what I thank my ego for.
My ultimate loss will always be knowing what it feels like to have endless unanswered unasked questions, constantly consuming my 5 human senses. Questions that even I know can easily be answered if I let my guard down.
It’s ironic really, how ultimately it is our ego that equips us with empathy.. the kind we couldn’t possibly get because of it.