Empathy

It is much easier to get busy than get to know myself most days. Because when busy, I do have the legitimate reason to delay the inevitable. It’s facing the self, my most formidable opponent.

I am getting in the way of my dreams. And this is a realization of adulthood.

That I tried struggling against the ropes that bind but find that it is still me holding the other end that is keeping me tied.

It’s a hard lesson but I am happy to learn and think about that now. A chief weakness of this illness is self-absorption lack of empathy. Because it’s the trait that requires an enormous amount of compassion reserves. And when sick, it is far much easier for me to be hard on myself than take things in strides.

Sometimes, we are all so fragile and we bruise others just by being our very own selves. We do a thousand good things but get remembered for the one bad thing. This world is starving for empathy. Often, we see things in the distorted lens of our prejudice and experience. Truth is, we cannot pass judgment on another because we don’t really know them no matter how many years you’ve been together. There will always be a mystery, a blind spot, an elusive piece of the puzzle that will keep us from finding out enough to judge anyone.

It is a very good realization. There are people who nurture, and those who don’t nurture inflict pain but still teach a hard lesson. Nurturing or not, it was all necessary for certain things. It was necessary to live, refine the cycle of the lifestyle chosen, and have the courage to live again in spite of what you find in others, and what you find in yourself.

I used to think that life is linear and unmoving. But it’s more of a series of abstract swirls that go different ways. TherE is no pedictability. Your old allies end up being your enemies. Enemies can become friends. Friendship can wither. Support can be withdrawn. Connections that used to be your lifeline can fail. It just happens. Acceptance is necessary to have a tree of empathy growing inside, big enough for the self and for others to happily take shade under. 🙂

The Friendless Feast

Life has been a huge Bermuda triangle recently, all mystery and no sense. Then I had to make crucial and drastic choices that are quite life-changing in the midst of it.

So let’s add more senseless mystery to my universe, shall we?

I had to make one more major decision about my wedding preparation: to make it into a friendless feast.

Yep. No friends on the guest list. Not even a single best friend from the outside world. Just the relatives. Acquaintances will have to be really in a dream-like state to consider inviting themselves over because I even had to chuck out friends I have known for decades. Yep. Shit, right? Even family friends or friends of mom are not in.

To be quite honest, I am absolutely devastated with the decision. But given personal circumstances and some unexpected turn of events, it has to be done. I have 5 slots for friends and I can’t play favorites. I love all of them.

It’s just like one of those painful surgical incisions of life. My friends will probably disown me after I sent the email this morning. I don’t know what else to do. It’s 4am and my eyes are all puffy from crying yesterday. Now I know what “Shit happens” really means this time. Everything just went wrong. I even have to remove bridesmaid friends on the list.

Yeah, yeah, I am a bad friend. Totally. I’m a bad bride, probably.

Fortunately, I do not have Facebook so I won’t have people popping in my chat window to ask about my preparations. It’s just not going as well as I had hoped. I don’t know if those other brides are on steroids but I am not happy with having to worry about plates and guest table arrangements.  What bride DNA do other people have that I don’t? I just don’t seem to be enjoying this detailed preparation set.

I know that other people have bigger problems than this (e.g. famine in Africa and all that crap), but it’s still a crappy situation to be in.

I never imagined getting married and walking down the aisle and painting my face without my BFFs.  But here we are anyway. I count this as my contribution to the bucket of silent global suffering. Why I amassed such a number of BFFs eludes me. I will probably be losing most of them after this, anyway. I should start getting cats after the wedding because I am going to be one busy cat lady.

Some people actually make LOANS in the bank for their weddings. But we are definitely not doing that. I can’t do that to our future, much as I wanted to take in more people in my guest list. We still have to save up for buying a house. Anyway, I refuse to think about mortgage because I am still thinking about catering and wedding gowns now. And the money we refused to loan will later go to our kids.

Because I want to give my kids a nice wedding present: the gift of financial security, where they can afford to invite whoever they want.

I hope some of them will still be my friend after I change surnames.

I was actually okay with an affordable wedding ceremony. It’s still the sacrament of marriage that matters.

All I initially wanted was pizza takeout reception and a tiny church wearing a simple RTW white dress. Contrary to what most people think, I was actually rooting for a simple and affordable ceremony. But we’re not the only ones deciding and massive forces in this Universe have a different idea of what a good wedding looks like. I just had to comply, me being the citizen of the outside world.

Now it’s a long aisle, a caterer, a midlevel designer gown, and a large classic church. But none of my friends on the guest list.

It’s just meaningless to a certain extent. Instead of focusing on the sacrament and the magic of sharing the moment with the people who matter, it’s now about the things that the world prescribes as an ideal wedding.

But I do know that marriage is actually about giving up yourself and making the other person happy. Go figure.

I’m going to be out on a silent retreat next week to think of what to do after I lost all my friends from this morning’s email.

Jobless and friendless, I now start praying again to the one God I am subscribed to.

Senseless and mysterious as it may sound, I’ll have to be okay with that for now. I cannot pretty much do anything else.