Perspective on Life

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I've always known that a lot of things depend on our perspective and how we view the same thing can greatly affect our feelings and emotions toward it but I guess that attending Physics of Photography Options classes really imprinted this theory on me. You could be taking photographs of the exact same object and yet where your lens point, the distance your lens from the object matters a great deal in the eventual result of your photograph. This same concept applies to life, and somehow I've realized how much my perspective on events and things happening in my life can affect my outlook and my mood, essentially.

Throughout the whole of last week, the school returned our end of year exam scripts, marked and graded. Well, what can I say? Without a doubt, there were plenty of disappointments (as usual) but there were subjects where I felt like I exceeded my expectations. Receiving a bad grade made me upset for a while, but I've learnt to quickly move on because it doesn't really matter to be honest.

For example, what the recent examinations told me was that I am definitely bad at science and instead of thinking something like "why oh why am I not the next Einstein?" and proceeding to stab myself, I've been changing my perspective and having a mindset that said "now you know you're not good at science - you can be sure of your JC subject combination and ace that instead". (To those curious wandering minds, I intend to take HELM - History Econs Lit Math or perhaps English Language & Linguistics in place of Econs) Some people might think that having such a mindset is really just running away from reality and not working on my weaknesses, but honestly, I don't believe such things matter in the long run anymore. I've always been terrible at Science since primary school and I've always been interested in other things like writing and literature and basically more human-subjects. If I know that that's my niche area, all the more I should work on them.

To be honest, I believe that 2013 has been such a great year for me despite it being the year where I perform the worst academically. Because I've truly found myself and I've learnt to accept myself for who I am, which is something I don't think many people have learnt to do. I've grown a lot more confident and I've learnt to appreciate myself for my strengths as well as my shortcomings. I've learnt to live as myself and myself only and I'm so blessed to be able to do that and not live under the shadow of another person. And I love how I credit myself for what I'm good at because it makes me feel good. Call me proud, but I am truly proud of who I am today so far.

Don't get it wrong though, I definitely do still face moments where I'm vulnerable and have self-doubt, times where I question myself if I'm truly good enough, times where I don't feel that happy with who I am but somehow, I'll recover quickly because the rational part of my mind knows that having such a mindset won't get me anywhere - it only serves to make me sad and it doesn't really improve myself in any way. If I'm truly upset with who I am, I should be working on it and not wallowing in self-pity.

But more than that, I think my perspective on life has broadened a lot this year, mainly because I started doing things that I liked more instead of focusing my energy entirely on academics. I may be a student and that's my only job and they all say I've just got to study but no - I've realized how that has made me very reliant on only my grades for happiness. Instead, I now gain joy from not only the results I get from school but results I get from my other interests such as baking, cooking, and writing, just to name a few. And the joy I get from that is so much more worthwhile because it's something that not every student can boast about.

And finally, one of the most important things that define one's perspective on life is the acceptance they receive. Apart from acceptance from myself, I somehow feel like the ones who have created me have grown to learn and accept who I am as a person throughout the course of this year especially. Yes, I feel like I've gained full acceptance from my parents as to who I am. They have come to terms that I'm not like my brother - I'm terrible at science while he's a science genius. He is intellectual while I'm a bit more frivolous. But that's okay - because I have my strengths too, because I'm an entirely different human being as he is. Normally, I don't let my parents read my writing but when I told them I scored full marks for my Literature essay and an eighteen upon twenty for my English essay in the recent EYAs, they wanted to read some of my writing and showed them several. I admit that I write very simply,  it isn't flowery at all and tons of people can write better than me, but I feel like I enjoy it and I'm glad my parents have accepted that.

After reading my English essay, the first piece of writing of mine that my dad has read in many many years, he said "You have convinced me that you are meant to take the humanities subjects instead of the science stream, and I'm very proud of you".

And that truly meant a lot to me, that my parents, usually the old-fashioned Asian kind that has the perception that their children should be doctors, had such a perspective on me and my education. Thank you for the faith and trust, and thank you for the confidence.

If you're feeling upset, change your perspective in the way you view things - it's my way of living at the moment and to be honest, I feel like it works :-) I'm quite a happy person if you know me :-)

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