Read a draft entry from last year, I was going to write an account on how things went during my long leave for last year's CNY in my hometown. Especially the part where things were not particularly smooth between me and my siblings.
I was home for 17 days for CNY last year. Whilst it wasn't really that rosy from the beginning, my parents left me pretty much to myself despite a tendency to lock myself in my room and a host of unhealthy routines such as sleeping late, showering late into the night, getting up late, not helping much around the house.. The likes. Of which I was kinda grateful for as I really wanted the privacy to figure things out for myself.
My parents got that. My siblings, on the other hand, didn't. They were really unhappy with me and some of them are not exactly the patient kind. The unforgiving attitude continued even after I flew back to the big city. I was depressed, but I wasn't about to give up on wanting to be a better person.
That continuous longing of becoming a better person saved me from a continuous deteriorating sense of worth. It doesn't show much on the surface, but in my heart, things were already starting to be different. Slowly, but surely.
Within a year, I have done a load of things which I would never in my life thought that I would do. I went out of my comfort zone so many times, I've totally lost count. With the help of a very, very good mentor who truly believes in me, I finally began to realize the treasures that God has planted deep within me.
This year's CNY, I was home for 19 days. While He allowed me my privacy last year by letting the sister who shares the same room with me at home decide not to go home for CNY last year, God made sure that I don't keep to myself this time by letting her decide to go home for CNY this year on the EXACT SAME FLIGHTS as mine. We didn't coordinate anything between us at all, it just happened, serious.
Will wonders ever cease.
All in all, it was a blessing in disguise. I still very much yearned for my own private space, but being at home for CNY this round was a priceless lesson in tolerance. I managed to keep my temper in check, basically allowing my siblings to lash out on me or show their disapproval of me from time to time without me lashing back at them in return. Rather, I made myself tune in to the pleads and needs in their voices and actions, which I am surprisingly getting more apt at lately, not only with my siblings.
It's a constant struggle between the white guy and the red guy in me, I tell you. Not easy, but seriously worth it when the white guy wins.
Also a lesson in self-control, a tougher battle within me that I had all too often lost in the past. Lazy and the procrastinator and homebody that I was, I made myself take initiative to do some of the chores, shower early, organize gatherings, contact or visit new friends and old friends.. To just get out of the house. I visited my secondary school, of which I graduated from some 16 years ago.. Man, it's been THAT long!
I find going out and connecting with people drives loads of my anxieties away, rather than staying at home ALL the time. Really, no man is an island.
I'm still working on sleeping early *smiles sheepishly*
I do not blame my siblings for treating me the way they do. You know how people tend to remember the kind of person you used to be, even though you're actually already changing for the better, step by step? Yeah, that's how it is with them too. I was definitely not the kind of older sister that younger siblings would long for.
Nevertheless, some love and patience would be a much more powerful encouragement compared to complaints and acts of disapproval. Just saying. But to give my siblings, my parents and some of my friends credit, they themselves have been changing for the better too, all of them, to my delight.
The change in how I chose to respond to myself and to the people around me did not happen overnight. I wish it did, but it didn't. It was a slow, painstaking process of stripping away my old habits and replacing them with new ones that will finally allow me to fulfill what God had sent me into this world for. I'm still searching for that seemingly elusive life purpose of mine, but I believe I'm very, very close.
The struggles will always be there, simply because I'm an imperfect human being learning to be a perfect one, which is kinda impossible but the joy is in the journey, no? =)
I've never felt so at peace with myself before. For the first time in my more than 3 decades of life, I'm happy that I'm me.