Because I am a plant in the desert of being unloved

Dearest Friend,

Here is a very important lesson I learned today, not only about myself, but about the world as a whole: People have a need to be validated. People must constantly be reminded of the good they have in them. I suppose this is something that I have been told, in countless other variations of speech, many times. One of the few things I still remember from four years of studying Economics is that people respond to incentives. And my mother, in one of her most memorable emails to me, once wrote that the way of handling all living creatures should be a matter of common sense: You treat plants, animals or people with kindness, attention, and nourishment, and they will flourish.

The problem with being me, however, is that sometimes I am possessed with wild imaginations that the world will understand what I am doing without prior explanation. It never occurred to me, to make the long story short, that people might need more positive reinforcement than I do. The most vivid takeaways of the past four years are all constructive criticism on things I need to improve on or harsh judgment on things I am not doing right. They came from all sorts of influences around me: feedback from people I work with, arguments with friends, even internal debates with myself. I made the mistake of forgetting that just because I am used to not being appreciated – if only because there are not very many things I have done of late that are worth lauding – does not mean that other persons can function whilst being unappreciated as well.

This realization makes the conversation I had with my thesis adviser earlier even more heartwarming. She told me – and she told me twice, in a way that let me know she was speaking from the bottom of her heart, and in as objective a way as her position allowed her to – that she was proud of my presentation during my thesis defense. Aside from birthday greetings, it has been a very long time since I have received a compliment of the sort. It is embarrassing to admit that a single statement could make me feel so worthy of being a person. Discounting friends and family, who have always been and will always be my support system, I have not experienced this much appreciation from a practical stranger in a very long time. For that single sentence alone, for those five short words, I will be eternally grateful. (And yes, I cried over this.)

To cap off this realization, and a day of very hugot-like emotions, I give you the cover song that will be my LSS in the next few days. I am hoping your days are full of realizations as well, although hopefully of a less teary kind.

A.

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7 thoughts on “Because I am a plant in the desert of being unloved

  1. Hello there! I just want to react to what you said above:

    …sometimes I am possessed with wild imaginations that the world will understand what I am doing without prior explanation.

    This is so true, and I also learned my lessons – both the hard and easy ways. I also told myself, it’s about time I realize something – that people are not aware of what’s happening to you unless you tell them. In doing so, you get to know your real friends.

    I think the essence of friendship is that those who know you will feel that something is wrong but are waiting for you to tell them first. I don’t know if you call that respect or giving you space, but some people are lucky because they have at least 1 or 2 who will do that.

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    1. That last paragraph made me think because I’ve lost a couple of friends over the years who I couldn’t hold on to because I couldn’t explain that I needed time alone to pull myself together. It really sucks being a plant sometimes, since the emotional functions that come so naturally to others require so much effort from you. I guess the good thing about this though is that the effort you give towards relationships ensure that you don’t take them for granted. So meh. My bottomline: Relationships are complicated. HAHAHA.

      Thank you so much for dropping by! I love your hitlists!

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      1. Yes, and that complications make the friendship more exciting. I think since we are all different, it takes some effort to make a friendship grow. Sometimes, its hard to accept someone completely but then again, that someone maybe in need of change or perhaps it is we who has to change.

        Thanks for enjoying the hitlist, always love to hear feedback since it’s these kinds of responses that allow me to look at the list from another POV and I think it’s about time I incorporate these feedback. I like blogging a lot! 🙂

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      2. I’m so looking forward to your actresses for 2015 list. I have a hunch who’ll be among the top – because ehem, some of them really stand out – and I’m looking forward to reading your comments on their recent work. Thanks to your blog, I’ve re-developed my interest in Japanese movies. I was happy in idol land, but now I’m expanding my viewing horizons as well. Thank you for that!

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  2. Congratulations on defending your thesis (Master’s?). Your committee members are always the harshest critics; so when they praise your work, it feels so good. I remember a critical comment one of my dissertation advisors made just before I finished my write-up. I almost gave up. Luckily, I didn’t and after my defense, she nominated me for Best Dissertation Award.
    Friends – they come and go. As we develop ourselves, old friends sometimes can’t come along anymore (or vice versa). But the ones that stick around over the years, no matter what – they are truly precious!
    Thank you for visiting and following my blog.

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    1. Undergrad thesis. At this point, I’m just happy to have survived. 🙂

      I love the pictures you have on your blog! Your flora and fauna are very different from the ones I’m used to seeing, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Please keep up the lovely posts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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