Posts tagged with "understanding"

terminal velocity

The jour­ney lasts an hour, by turns mov­ing and bit­ter­sweet, a mix­tape with­out a name that’s pos­si­bly the most thought­ful col­lec­tion of music any­one has ever given to me. It’s the addic­tion I’ve been wait­ing for. Proof that I can still be under­stood when a feel­ing is shared if not a history.

Yet new songs on repeat don’t define this moment, cause I can’t tell when one moment ends and the next begins any­more. There’s no sense of per­ma­nence in any­thing. I don’t know whether to be scared or relieved to know that every­thing will inevitably change.

view of Mississauga, Ontario

Shawn thinks I’m plum­met­ing towards rock bot­tom cause I need to prove to myself that I can pull myself out. The idea was on the very tip of my con­scious­ness, and it’s get­ting harder to deny how right he is. I’ve always been a per­son who needs to explore the lim­its of the pos­si­ble. I just won­der whether I’ll sur­vive the fall.

a million distractions to keep me warm

Two hours later, I woke up with­out any sense of direction.

Now I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to stay awake so I can be tired enough to fall asleep again. The fatigue isn’t enough to keep me down. I had a big break­fast, some­thing I haven’t done in as long as I can remem­ber, owing to the fact that they used to be the rit­ual of a per­son with week­ends and a need for rituals.

At some point along the way, I real­ized it’s eas­ier to take care of my friends and help them fix their prob­lems. I can’t fig­ure out why I’ve avoided deal­ing with my own, but I decided that as long as my dis­trac­tions are ful­fill­ing and healthy in them­selves, there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Sometimes, there’s noth­ing else one can do.

In turn, they’re help­ing me through this odd pas­sage of time, where I find myself unsure of what to do or feel. I’ve had to open myself up to give them a chance to help me. It always leaves me vul­ner­a­ble at first, but when they lis­ten and under­stand and sup­port me, all my inse­cu­ri­ties go away. It’s a tan­gi­ble love that goes far beyond words and intentions.

A Different Kind of Understanding

The doc­tor told us she has another 5–6 months. Her colon is so enlarged from the tumor that it’s thicker than her spine, and the pro­ce­dure was just a tem­po­rary solu­tion to pre­vent fur­ther blockages.

How strange it is to “know” how much time there is left. I guess that’s why they call it a dead­line. I had already assumed that this would going to be the last time I could see her, but that won’t make it any eas­ier when I have to leave.

I’m grate­ful to the peo­ple who have been send­ing me their regards. It’s a nice com­fort. One of the best pieces of advice came from Charlotte, who told me to “not leave any­thing at all unsaid to her…leave no ques­tions unan­swered, and to not with­hold any affec­tion you feel for her”.

I had come to Hong Kong with the inten­tion of telling my grandma how impor­tant she was to me. Finding the right words in Chinese to express exactly what I wanted to say.

But try­ing to speak with her has made me real­ize that she doesn’t care about any of that. She’s a very prac­ti­cal woman, almost to the point of tact­less­ness. For almost her entire life, mar­ried at 14 and as a sin­gle par­ent of seven kids, she’s had no time for words or feelings.

I’m here, and that’s how she under­stands how I feel.

The Fault of Misunderstanding

There’s a rid­dle that goes:

Two chim­ney sweep­ers are work­ing in a chim­ney when one loses his foot­ing and causes both to fall into the fire­place. One ends up with a black, sooty face, while the other is lucky and stays clean. Both look at each other in aston­ish­ment after the sur­pris­ing fall. The one with the clean face goes to the bath­room to wash his face, while the other con­tin­ues work­ing with his dark­ened com­plex­ion. Logically explain the actions of the two sweepers.

The answer is sim­ple. The one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face, and assumes that his face is clean as well. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face, assumes the oppo­site, and washes up.

And even though I know the answer to the rid­dle, some­times I for­get that such con­fu­sion exists. For exam­ple, if I had a car, I’d be giv­ing peo­ple rides to Tremblent. And since I’d be going there myself, I wouldn’t ask peo­ple for gas money. Other peo­ple, how­ever, see the car ride as part of the cost of going there, and will plan on split­ting the cost of gas when orga­niz­ing the trip. Both ideals are fine, but I pre­fer to not ask peo­ple for money if I’m not going out of my way to do something.

And, being the igno­rant idiot that I am, I will some­times for­get that oth­ers are not like me, that oth­ers assume that gas money will be split. Perhaps it can be said that I’m as much at fault as oth­ers who assume the oppo­site, but that doesn’t really mat­ter to me. The best solu­tion, in such cases, is that an under­stand­ing be reached when things are planned.

An exam­ple like this, which has been taken from per­sonal expe­ri­ence, can be related so many other things in life. That just means that I need to work harder at being con­sid­er­ate of how oth­ers think.

Because some would rather be angry than understanding.

Wavelength

It’s so hard to wit­ness some­one being made fun of, sim­ply because they’re mis­un­der­stood. I get flus­tered and bite my lip, because try­ing to defend them never does a thing. I also get either angry or sad, depend­ing on whether or not I know the per­son who’s doing the mock­ing. In my expe­ri­ence, some­one who’s so quick to come to a con­clu­sion will refuse to see things another way. They have enough pre­con­ceived notions to keep them­selves igno­rant and secure.

Perhaps I’m like this because I can relate to what it’s like to be mis­un­der­stood. As an exper­i­ment in one of my English classes, I wrote an extremely graphic story about a necrophil­iac doc­tor who ends up get­ting raped up the ass, and pre­sented it. I wanted to show that the inten­tions of an artist are irrel­e­vant if he or she is mis­un­der­stood, because oth­ers will con­tinue to care­lessly judge them. The more oddly my class­mates stared at me while I was pre­sent­ing, with­out try­ing to grasp what I was try­ing to do, the more I felt like my point was proved.

The thing is, some­one is usu­ally mis­un­der­stood because they don’t explain them­selves well. A per­son can be extremely provoca­tive, con­tro­ver­sial, or com­plex, but as long as oth­ers see what they’re try­ing to get across then every­thing is fine. Of course, it’s much eas­ier said than done, and some­one is most often mis­un­der­stood because their ideas are harder to grasp. In addi­tion to this, I find that the eccen­tric­ity related to a per­son with such ideas clouds their per­cep­tions as to what they believe oth­ers are capa­ble of comprehending.

Sometimes, I wish the world could see what I see.