on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

at my core

I’ve been keeping journals and blogs for a long time now, and sometimes I still get upset with myself for not doing it religiously. I only have records of my life from the early 2000s, which may explain why my life prior to that has existed as a continuum of misery and pain.

I realised some time ago that I was predisposed to only remembering sadness, so henceforth I was obsessed about keeping records – even if I didn’t have time to journal, I still kept notes of my thoughts, feelings and observations through other channels, mostly social media.

I don’t go through my old blogs often, because I am often embarrassed at my own naivety and idealism in my younger days. Yesterday, while I was having a particularly difficult moment, my consciousness surfaced a thought, that I had been through this before. I went through some of my older blog entries, picking them by intuition (or some deep filing cabinet in my subconscious) and I was surprised by my younger self.

These are some snippets from a entry about power (2010):

Power struggles are everywhere. It exists between spouses (honey, please do the housework), between colleagues, of course the ones between economic/political parties. Artists fight for the power to create, advocates fight for the power to change. Don’t misunderstand that Gandhi was giving up his power when he gave up his riches and went on his peaceful protest. That’s demonstration of true power – power that doesn’t require brute force or making others fear.

I realised that the most important one I have to win, is the one that exists within myself. The power struggle between my mind and my soul.

People depend on external sources of power (authority, money) because of human insecurity. If you ever find that unwavering belief of who you are and what you’re meant to do, the power comes from within. Money becomes your tool and not your master. Power becomes a form of energy and not gratification.

The above surprised me because I thought I had formed these realisations in recently, not five long years ago. For someone that undergoes through a deep transformation every quarter, five years are like eons to me. I started to question if I actually forgot myself in the process of the past few years.

Then I re-read this entry regarding the power of my choice (2011):

There and then, I asked myself. If right at this moment, I could choose to stop ‘suffering’ and exchange my current life for a life that is full of peace, stability and comfort, how would I make that choice?

I realised that I would still choose this life. No matter how tiring, how difficult things can get, how broken it has made me feel sometimes. I still want my life.

At that very split-second, it all returned to me. The power of my choice.

And most tellingly, in two separate entries from 2011 and 2013, I wrote about what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. Both entries had the same overlap:

  1. Education reform
  2. Mental health awareness
  3. Support people in their journeys to be themselves

I completely forgot about the entry in 2011, and it astounded me to see the overlap in both entries. That I knew this in 2011, still cared about it in 2013, and I still feel and think the same way in 2015. They look like three separate areas, but they are intrinsically interconnected. That if we raise our kids to be capable of critical thought and to have empathy – for themselves, their peers and all living species – all other issues will resolve by themselves (if we do not implode the planet meanwhile). I really, truly, believe in a fairer distribution of the world.

I have no idea how am I going to do all of that, especially with my broken body now, but I want to build that faith that if I continued to make choices that honor the core of myself, I will figure it out as I go along. But at the very least, I can keep on doing what I have done for years – to keep on sharing my despair and joy in my own journey to become myself, in hope that somehow it will create the space for some others to become themselves.

I have found so much shared strength in people, living or dead, who have persisted on their life paths, no matter how seemingly obscure they are to society, and unfortunately, for many of them, value is not being realized until posthumously. But value creation should not be the driver still – does a flower or a bee know its value to the ecosystem?

In a period where I am going through so much change, I find tremendous comfort that the core of myself has been the same: that I believe true power comes from within, that I am still willing to make difficult choices, that I still cared deeply about the same issues.

I see myself as a longitudinal experiment, that since I am not typically invested in living some time ago I have already committed metaphorical suicide (I am in great company I realised), that apart from trying to assure my family I am really not insane and they shouldn’t worry about me I have no other commitments to fulfill (for now) – hence I am free to live the way I believe I should, and all the more I feel morally obligated to do this, to at least try to be a living example of the values and philosophy I espouse.

One thought on “at my core”

  1. Vinh Nguyen says:

    Upon reading this, I’m in utter shock to see the resemblance of our interests. The
    more I read your posts the wierder it gets. I’m still in disbelief, but in a good sense. The three core interest that you were talking about I have mentioned them in my
    own blog titled “rough draft of ideas.” from

    Anyways… I was a bit confused as to how I would go about with these core interests of mine. At least for me, I believe at the end of the day we are in the business to empower others. And that starts with a foundation in education. I believe it’s about connecting, sharing and engaging with others useful, reIevant, and digestable information so that they gain the skills to help them reach their full potential. After some years of searching , just recently I think I found my break in how I could merge all these ideas and interests into one harmonious fusion. It’s called knowledge visualization! It’s a field I believe you have some experience in.I think you’ll find it very interesting and useful in your own self learning project.

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