I agree with John Donne (24 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) that no man is an island. No man can be an island. That is the truth about life. For me, anyway.
However, the fact that we have many relationships with people with different personalities is what makes life complicated. Being with other people adds color to life. Our interaction with fellow humans makes life interesting and exciting. But, the unpredictability that comes with relationships brings complexity to one’s life.
I don’t think I’m a ‘drama queen’. I am naturally comedic and I live my life accordingly. I may have a volatile temperament. I may have the tendency to be easily depressed, although in the absence of clinical depression or manic depression (bipolar disorder).
The Mayo Clinic website lists the signs and symptoms of clinical depression.
- Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful
- Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities
- Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite
- Insomnia or increased desire to sleep
- Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt
I may be unreasonably tearful all the time, even from watching the Commemorative DVD of the Soccer World Cup 2010 in South Africa, but I am not sad. I do like my sleep but only on weekends because I sleep very little on weekdays because of following my passion while keeping a demanding day job. This, of course, causes fatigue and/or loss of energy.
I am my own person who feels no inclination to follow the pack like sheep would. This can be because I’m too old to be bothered by others. I do what I enjoy so there are only few activities that I find pleasurable – reading, writing, watching movies, satisfying my sense of taste with fine food, leisurely travels, being enchanted by breath-taking beauties of the world (natural or man-made), luxury treats, and more. (I guess there are more than a few activities that I find pleasurable.)
Similarly, I say what I think and/or feel. I understand tactfulness and I accept that there is always a good way to say what I want to say. Perhaps I have no filter system, like Daniel in the movie, “P.S. I love you”. I find it a little exhausting having to be ‘considerate’ because overly sensitive people exist. I know, no man is an island! But when you have been always accommodating, kind and generous, to the extent of being a pushover, and you have been taken advantage of, you stop caring about being considerate for the sole sake of being considerate.
That’s the other truth about life. We do our utmost to lead a life unaffected by external factors, current circumstances and past decisions, but the reality is it is not a walk in the park. We cannot help but be shaken by other people, yet we don’t give them up because we cannot be alone. When we realize that we are in fact affected by elements outside of ourselves, we find a way to not only cope with whatever predicament in which we find ourselves but also feel triumphant about it. I say “feel” because I am cognizant of the possibility that we may only think we win when we don’t really conquer the situation. After all, what is true victory?
I find in my life that despite my sunny disposition – which could be a defense mechanism I have learned to survive, hopefully with grace – which allows me an almost constant happiness on a daily basis, every day is a perpetual battle to have a good, rewarding day. A ‘successful’ day does not come naturally. It calls for a consistent attention life. I find that I need to be attentive, truly see the mundane, honestly accept it, have the humility to admit my wrongs, and be courageous enough to correct them.
I still remain unassured that each day will be positively gratifying. I am merely left certain that, as I go about my life which I believe I lead authentically and true to myself, I might offend someone and my mood and day will be consequently altered.
At least, I don’t feel worthless and I am able to make decisions, even for those who report to me and/or who are my responsibility.
And no, I won’t be thinking of killing myself. Not anymore.
That’s the truth about my life and I am fine with it. I think that it is a good start.