A couple of nights ago, Albert, Jenny and I went to Denny’s after Albert gave us a nice tour around his new office in downtown. Albert noticed that something had recently changed with me. It’s nice to know that he recognized it. Except that I didn’t want anyone to actually confront me with it.

People change gradually over time – though some may change drastically due to some life changing events. I had thought if my ‘change’ was subtle enough, no one will really notice enough and even if they did, it would be more of a hunch than an actual confrontation.

I explained a little bit about my dilemma before we reached the restaurant and when we sat down, I explained a little bit more. One thing Jenny brought up was, “What can you do to change it?”

My answer was quite simple and blunt. To reiterate what I said to her: Change is something that happens regardless. However, what exactly is there to change? Change your outlook and seek happiness? For simple minded people, that may be something achievable, but I call that blatant ignorance and inconsideration for oneself.

As a person grows older, a series of mentalities gradually settles. I am completely aware of this fact. The thing is, what is there to change? Do you change your ambitions, your responsibilities to your job, your duties to your family, your deep alliances with your friends, your stance in the world, your dignity, pride, ego?

My mom often says to people, “Be more humble and you will feel easier and lighter. When you are easier and lighter, you will be happier.” Simple minded people whom are ignorant to personal truth can choose to think that way, but I cannot.

I cannot force myself to drop my ambitions. I cannot force myself to be completely and utterly unaware of myself and my perception of others who affiliate themselves with me. I cannot force myself to ignore the intertwining of social politics. I cannot force myself to pretend that my responsibilities and duties are fun. I cannot change my engraved dignity towards my friends/family. I cannot force myself to believe I am “just because”. I cannot force myself to lose pride for what I do and what I am passionate about. I cannot force myself to wipe away whatever ego I may have.

I cannot be fake and insincere with myself.

Do not get me wrong. My mom may be simple minded, but she isn’t a simple person. She has her own series of woes and worries. This is apparent in her forced superstition and anxiety. I want my mom to be simple minded because I find that my mind is a curse. The only major things she ever really cares about is the welfare of those in her family and being healthy herself.

I would not ask for another mom.

Do I want to be happy? Honestly, I don’t know what that means. Laughing, enjoying a moment, being satisfied – these things do not equate to happiness. I don’t know what happiness really means. I may say, “I am happy because…” but in reality, that phrase is a common social phrase used to express something that I know other people can relate to but I cannot relate to it myself. I don’t know what happiness means.

All I know is responsibility, duty, dignity, pride, security and welfare. To me, the definition of happiness does not exist. Only responsibility, duty, dignity, pride, security and welfare exist.

When someone asks, “Li, are you happy?” To make it simple, I usually answer, “Sure” or “Yeah, happy enough” but I honestly and sincerely do not know what “happy” means. Though there had been times in my past that I had glimpses of it but those are quite rare.

I am never at ease. I am constantly in a state of being on-guard. Constantly. Constantly being 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. 60 seconds per minute constant. It’s not something that I have to do. It is something that just happens. I am constantly aware. I am constantly perceiving. I am constantly ultra sensitive to every tidbit of a person’s voice, words, text, sound, expression, body posture, movement, interaction, action, reaction, etc, etc, etc, etc.

I simply and utterly notice these things.

I am 29.5 years old and I gained this awareness when I was coming out of my teens. I gained a part of this awareness when I was a toddler. I lost a bit of it through elementary school, but coming out of my teens, I regained it quite profoundly. I wonder what my awareness will be like ten years from now and beyond.

Will I be able to live with it? To be constantly aware of everything around me? To be constantly in sync with the world around me. To be constantly aware of how others see me.

It is a curse. A curse I’ve lived with for more than 20 years.

I know that Albert genuinely cares and so does Jenny and most of you, but I don’t want to tell you my thoughts – the thoughts beyond ‘tier 4’ because it’s difficult. Know that I do appreciate that you want to try to ‘help’ me, but the only one in existence that can help me is me, and the only refuge in the entirety of the universal force that will truly listen and grasp every speckle of my heart and my mind are the spiritual shores of the voice beyond simple logic and reasoning. It’s that raw calm voice that only I can understand. You can use me as a sounding board and I may give my opinion, ask my questions and even offer assistance but I don’t need a sounding board. I’m simply not that type of person. If I want someone to hear me out, I would call you. If I don’t, let me deal with it on my own terms.

When I say, “If I can’t even deal with them, then trust me when I say that you sure as hell won’t be able to deal with it.”

In short, just leave me alone.


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