One thing school taught me was the impertinence of being steps ahead. To complete assignments way before the due date, to read up a little before a lecture, to order Mexican Fried Rice under the table in the middle of a lecture to save waiting time. It’s the idea of being prepared and being efficient.
That lesson was engraved deeply within me. I suppose I have been, in some ways, trying to emulate the seemingly flawless Andrea Sachs from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. She is someone who constantly thinks ahead, someone who somehow manage to fortuitously survive under great pressure, and definitely someone who is good at adapting. In other words, I tried to be smart. I tried to be more adapting. I tried to have prescience.
I’d like to think that I have been doing a fine job. At work, at home and in life in general. But, the cold hard truth, like a dead carcass in the water, will always surface. I think I fucked up.
Firstly, there is an issue of avoidance. I avoid things. Of course, it goes without saying that we are all individuals with imperfections and loopholes. It is ingrained in us to want to avoid the things we deem undesirable. And that is perfectly fine. Well no, not for me. It is not fine because I am stagnating. I have yet submitted my university applications. I have yet completed my Japanese homework. I have yet finished drinking that box of Sencha I bought 2 years ago. I have yet finalised the scripts. I have not done the resolutions that I promised to do at the start of 2016, which happen to be from 2015 and in turn from 2014, and so on. I am stuck and I am getting comfortable, and I hate it. I hate not seeing change, I hate not improving.
Next, the issue of interactions. It irks me, greatly, that I suck at dealing with people. I am horrible at hiding my emotions and equally pathetic at letting my thoughts be heard.
No, you are not pretty, and that dress looks horrible on you.
No, I so do not wish to call for your referral appointment, but since I have no choice I shall probably do it later.
No, I don’t want that thing you put in the burger, give me something else.
No, I’m not interested, go bother someone else…..
You get it, my responses are bad. I find it hysterical that I am still surviving.
Lastly, the most inevitable of them all – people. I don’t get it why some people are so stubborn, so irresponsible and so annoying. I don’t get why you cannot wait in line to see the doctor. I don’t get why you would refuse to look at this patient after office hours. I don’t get how you need to dictate a single attire solely for your concert and not the rest. I don’t get why is it guys must have the balls to ask a girl out. I don’t get why you should be concerned with my schedule when you’d most probably forget about it later. The list goes on and on, and on, and on. Most importantly, I don’t get why I let myself get bothered by all these things.
Because people are difficult, because I try so hard to please so many people at the same time, because of this, because of that, I hardly get things done. I spend most of my time considering and making contingency plans to try contain all the water in the bucket. What’s absurd is that if a little is spilt, all eyes are on me, but if I miraculously manage to ensure zero spillages I get nothing.
And I think I learnt something.
One thing school never taught me was that no matter how hard you persevere, no matter how well you do your job, no matter how dedicated you are, you are still human – you are vulnerable. And that cracks will undoubtedly appear somewhere in life. And that there is nothing we can do about it except to whine, then move on.