You can only see things clearly with
your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
struggled with the society in which I grew up. It’s not that they’re bad
people, just that they’re not accepting. I’ve never quite been able to squeeze
myself into that shape that is societal norm. I feel pressure to constantly be perfect.
Perfect hair. Perfect teeth. Perfect clothes. It’s something that has always
bothered me. I was an extremely shy and anxious child, and it was those
pervasive, cold and rancid feelings that prevented me from blooming. I was
engulfed in an ocean of my own despair.
As a younger
child I struggled to make friends. I always had a few, but not as many as
others seemed to have. I remember lying in bed one night with unease because my
friend had told me that he wasn’t going to be at school the following day. ‘Should
I fake a stomach bug?’ I asked myself as I felt my blood thicken and my heart pounding
against my ribs. My hot, thick blood bolted to my head and took control of my thoughts.
I was uncertain of my own self worth. I had become so insecure that I was
always afraid of my friends leaving me. Even at my gentle age, I was victim to
society’s harsh judgements. It shreds me to my core to know that such young and
impressionable minds are victim to their own peers’ discrimination.
As I grew
up, I remained the shy, fearful fluster that I had always been. I still seemed
to be trapped, though I had my few friends. I walked into school with sweaty
palms, my heart beating faster and faster as I approached my classroom. Cool air
filled my lungs though I remained flustered.
The older I
grew, the more I learnt. I started to realize that I didn’t have to be that
same generic person as everyone else. This was when I was finally set free from
that ocean of despair that was my own consciousness. Now, that’s not to say
that I was anxiety-free, but rather, a new and far more improved anxiety-‘me’.
I learnt to deal with my nervousness and throw it out of my sight, though it
was prickly. I was determined to create a life where my anxiety didn’t control
friends, real friends.
friends who don’t talk about you behind your back or make plans without you
just to spite you for no reason. Just as I had started to think that good, real
people were rare.
finally found people with whom I could be myself. We had the same interests and
would speak for hours about topics that I actually found interesting. I had finally
built up my self-esteem, using my old fears as building blocks and tears as
But I don’t
take this confidence for granted, for if I had not been able to overcome my
anxiety, I would never have had it in the first place. I find it rather unsettling
that many people just like me are going through very similar situations, only
they are not as lucky.
myself an individualist. I don’t thrive on the opinions of society and I don’t seek
the approval of my peers. Over the years I’ve come to learn that someone is
always going to judge you, regardless of how hard you try. So I now try for
myself. I wear what I want to wear, listen to the type of music that I enjoy hearing
and surround myself with company that I love being around.
I’ve come to
terms with the fact that I may not be the handsomest, richest, smartest or even
the kindest person in the world. But that doesn’t matter. I know that I try to
improve myself everyday and that’s what gives me my purpose. I have grown and
become the person I wished I could be as a younger child.
My life so
far, though very brief, has taught me many lessons. I have learnt to see with
my heart, because contrary to society’s beliefs, looks aren’t everything. I
judge people based on who they are inside because those are the qualities that
truly matter in life, as they say: “good looks fade, but a good heart keeps you