Toast to The Future
I’ve contemplated what to call this piece, and initially I wanted to call this “Eulogy to Childhood.” But it really isn’t.
Summer of 2016 has been quite eventful for me. Besides the fact that I’m going off to college, I’ve been roaming the States, not quite freely, but free enough to know myself a little better.
I learned that I never quite unpacked, but I definitely packed five times these past five weeks. Now that I think of it, eleven years at ‘home’ has been a mantra of “I will leave when I graduate from high school.” I never quite settled, and I don’t think I ever will. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that.
I learned that friends are still friends even if it has been four years and the only contact you’ve had is from infrequent (six-month intervals) greeting messages on Facebook. When you get together it’s like so much time and no time at all has passed. I remember instinctively how she was like and how easy it is to be with her, yet so much has changed and we aren’t the same as we used to be. Change isn’t bad, and with the right people, it feels even more right.
I learned that being an adult is a lot of organization and bills and phone calls and being polite. It’s so much busy work. I feel like I’m in a class and the teacher keeps on handing useless homework that is allegedly important. It is, for the sake of my grade, but not for my learning. Adulting is important for my livelihood, but it’s not my life.
I’ve learned that death is so close to everyone. It comes in the form of a zero slope line and pain; it also comes in the form of apathy and nothingness. Things happen, and the best line I’ve ever heard about death comes from Tumblr. Classic, I know, but hear me out. They said that when you feel pain and cry about someone’s death (or anything else for that matter), you’re hurting over losing what they gave you. And that’s intensely selfish — at least that’s what I think. Call me coldhearted. I accept it.
I’ve learned that I don’t understand anything about romantic relationships. I don’t get the appeal, and perhaps I never will. When I’m told “I like you,” I don’t know how to feel except, “Yeah, I’d like you around.” No sparks or butterflies like the movies and books. I’ll learn more about this in college. It’s also okay to be alone.
I’ve learned that you can get tired of being “nice.” Some people are naturally nice, but others just aren’t. I’m part of the latter. It makes me feel like an asshole, but I thrive on cynicism and banter. I love talking about dreams and butterflies, but not when everything about them is idealistic. Call it mean if you want.
I’ve learned that I love helping people. Not in a “I want to cure world hunger and pick up trash” way, but in a “I can solve that problem that’s been driving you nuts” way. There’s something satisfying with knowing that you’ve made an impact. A tangible effect on another person, which will in turn benefit more people directly or indirectly. It’s a purely selfish, self-satisfying motive.
I’ve learned that you don’t need to talk about your problems or why you’re feeling down. Sometimes it’s inexplicable; at other times, you know exactly why. But there are times where talking doesn’t help, and distracting yourself instead is the best solution. Or maybe I’m just too immature to deal with my problems.
I’ve learned that encouragement means a lot. Maybe living in an Asian household meant that compliments and positive reinforcement wasn’t a thing. Something as simple as “Thank you” or “Have a nice day” can have the most profound effects on one’s morale. I’ll try to be more liberal in expressing my gratitude and happiness.
Nevertheless, after 12 years of mandatory education, I still spell piece as “peice.” Some things never change. Knowing that my spelling skills will be atrocious forever reminds me that I’m still the same me no matter what will happen in The Future. (Yes, it deserves a capital “The.”)