Fears, and a scalpel.

We all have them. It’s even more frustrating for me because of the feeling in my heart is like a wall that I can’t climb. It’s irrational, and I can’t understand it. I can’t dissect it into little pieces to understand it.

Flashback to March when I hit the deck, and I couldn’t ride beside another guy, or hold the wheel in front of me for months. Or when I was 8 and learning how to swim. The fear crippled me. I couldn’t kick off from the wall and swim towards my coach, when he was just half a meter away. I made it across the length of the pool eventually. But it took me close to 30 minutes to get over that fear, when the rest of the kids were already across in a couple of minutes.

I don’t understand why, but I seem to have developed this fear of presenting papers. I’m afraid of doing a crappy job. I’m afraid of being guilty of not noticing certain things. Maybe that’s the reason why reading papers are becoming increasingly hard to stomach and to digest. Brain seems to be defaulting to a mode where it just says: “Don’t understand. This is painful. Stop.” Like my piano lessons. Urgh.

Nearly a decade ago, my table tennis coach once said to me, “今天,你就用小刀斩大树。” Using a small knife to cut down a big tree. It seemed ridiculous to me. And to this day, I still struggle with it. Perhaps I have to take another approach to it. Instead of chopping the tree down at the base of the trunk, I’ll start from the top, taking it off chip by chip, twig by twig, leaf by leaf. With a darn scalpel. As long as I cut down that tree right? It doesn’t still have to be a tree at the end of it right?

Like what you read? Give Everett Koh a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.