I honestly don't really give a crap about posting pretty pictures of me looking stoically out into the landscape during my trip to [insert so-called exotic place here]. What are those people trying to prove anyway? For popularity? Admiration? To create envy? I rarely talk about my travels unless I have to, like right now. Maybe I still have a bitter taste in my mouth after having traveled a good bunch, only to have one of previous girlfriends absolutely hate me for having so much fun ... without her. How selfish of me, right?
Well, now for the sake of preserving harmony, I won't say anything. How about that? I won't tell you about my highs. But I also won't tell you about my lows. I'll just tell you what's safe. Like how I went to do yoga today – no pictures of course, that would be mean. New restaurants? I've tried them all, but you won't know that.
Eventually we'll reach cruising altitude. Not much shutters from the lift off, no more troublesome pre-cautionary requirements. Just cruising, and maybe the subtle hum of time going past, but that'll be all. Then one day, out of the blue, you'll ask, "How come we don't talk anymore?" I'll play it nice, I'll say, "I don't know, I guess that's what happens when people are together for a long time." When what I wanted to say was, "Because I can't tell you anything without you getting pissed off." After a delayed pause, you'll fail to think of a contributing response, and we'll fall silent again. Hmm ... Cruising is so nice ... Isn't it?
The calm before the storm...
"Do you love me?" She asks. "I don't know," You reply. Sobbing. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" You think to yourself, should I tell her now? Or later? But fuck it, I can't take it anymore either. "Because you criticize every little thing that I say or do."
Shock, met with confusion.
You realize to yourself, that wow … she had no idea. She had no idea what she has been putting you through. She's just being herself.
You start to feel the slight pinch of being mistaken. Because, for all you know, she was doing all these things knowingly, consciously, just like you.
Then you realize ... How stupid of me to actually believe that everybody behaves the same way I do. Too late to abort mission now. You continue.
"I feel like I can't be myself around you. It's like I'm constantly being watched, you're constantly commenting on every little thing I do, and there is always something wrong."
She makes you feel inadequate. The worst pain a man can feel with a woman.
You make her feel unwanted ... But it's her fault, you convince yourself. Accept her criticism as part of the pain that comes with the love? No thanks. I'll just huddle up in my protective shell. She can't hurt what she can't see.
The devastation after the storm.
You can't stay huddled up any longer. Life is calling, and you have to answer. You come out of your shell – this protective alcove you've created for yourself your entire life and you realize you’ve played as much of a part in this mess you created as she did.
Where you went wrong was not going out and living the life that you wanted and doing all the things you ever wished to do. Where you went wrong was deciding to live a lesser version of yourself for the sake of preserving the harmony around you, even if it meant a false perception of harmony.
You said “Sorry,” when you should've said, “So what?” or better yet, “Fuck You.”
You need to stop apologizing for being who you are. You need to ruffle some feathers and you're going to piss some people off. And if your friends and lovers aren’t down with that, then it's on to the next one. Better to live a life with a pack of haters if it means you can find some true lovers.
Forget about cruising. Aim too high. Fall way too low. Instead of saying “Sorry,” say “Fuck you.” Because while pleasing everybody means a life with no haters, it also means a life in which no one loves you. Be yourself. Be more of yourself. Polarize those around you. Make them fight. Piss them off. At least in that way, you know who stands by your side. Because there's nothing more terrifying than a life with a lot of friends without a single clue about whom you can count on.
by Jason Lam