A word of caution beforehand. The post below is very personal, and in fact it may sound very sentimental and cliché. But still, this is the way I feel, and sometimes I need to write crap like this to make myself feel better. Oh well, go ahead if you still want to read it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I always get into a reflective mood at the end of the year and this year is no exception. 2010 was… well, an interesting year emotionally.
It was a year of self-denial and of self-awareness.
It was a year of expectations and of acceptance.
It was a year of inner turmoil and of inner peace.
It was a year of hope lost and of hope regained.
It was a year of loneliness and of… wait a minute… of… umm… I’ll get back to you if I ever start feeling whatever the hell the opposite of feeling lonely is.
In short, 2010 was a year of conflicting emotions, with the negative and the positive alternating each other in rapid succession.
Now, the negative emotions are nothing new to me. They have been my companions for as long as I can remember. And honestly? I can’t even imagine life without them anymore. One of my greatest fears throughout my life is that I might one day turn into an uncaring and heartless person, and so I have come to appreciate or even cherish these negative emotions. No matter what the outside world thinks about me, I know I have not become heartless when I still have these emotions. They make me feel more real; they make me feel like I actually exist. If they would one day disappear entirely from my life, I feel that I will somehow become less of a person. Of course, the irony is that the more I cherish my negative emotions, the less I exist to the outside world or the outside world will exist to me. It is precisely that these negative emotions are present in my life that I am less of a person than I can be. They have become a major obstacle for me to live my life.
But 2010 was also the year when I have become more aware of my negative thoughts and emotions. The Self-Management training I followed last year definitely helped me in that, as well as lots of reading about other INFPs. I have always been struggling against these emotions of course, to avoid them from overwhelming me, or I think I would have suffered from depression already long before this. But I feel for the first time that I can actually overcome these emotions, instead of just holding them off. Being aware of them is huge. I am aware that these negative emotions will always be a part of me. I have even accepted that they will always be a part of me. But I am also aware now that I have a choice in how to deal with them, and that they don’t have to dictate the way I have to live my life. Just because I feel like a loser doesn’t mean that I am a loser and that I have to act like a loser. I’m not saying I have magically transformed into a better person overnight. I still think I am a loser every single day and probably still act like one very often. It is a long and difficult process, and I am still very, very far away from where I want to be. In fact, my negative emotions seem to have grown a lot in strength and intensity lately. But it’s like what Alfred said in the Dark Knight: “Things were always going to get worse before they got better.” I like to believe that this year I have planted the first seeds of true change.
So how will I look back upon 2010 in the future? Will I look back upon 2010 as the year when I failed miserably despite giving my best shot? Or will I look back upon 2010 as the year when I gave my best shot despite failing miserably?* Only time will tell, but despite all my self-negativity, all my self-loathing, all my self-inflicted failings, I am still very much a romantic and optimist at heart, and I believe that things will turn out for the best eventually as long as I keep on fighting against myself.
* Giving my best shot being relative of course. I know that my best shot at the moment is still atrocious. But I guess that’s the whole point, isn’t it, not to be deterred by that?