Friday, January 26, 2007

This is self centred, but it's true... It hurts me when i can't say the right things to help someone because i can't fully read, comprehend and understand the pain a friend is going through.

I have long "prided" myself in the ability to see where someone was coming from and therefore give advice that is most relevant and that hits the nail on the head; to speak words that make a friend feel genuinely better, such that they really feel like the load on their shoulders has lifted. I enjoy being able to do that, to be there for others as the listening ear and soggy but firm shoulder. (Hence my chosen major in psychology too, a decision i made in secondary school)

But things have kind of changed and I'm sick of saying "i understand", only to say, in the next moment, something that they don't agree with.

I also find myself always trying to be everyone's best friend, and don't ask me how this came about. I've long given up on the notion of "best friends", since primary school (see how cynical i was already?).

But yeah, i have a tendency to hope that people would share their lives with me, that they would feel comfortable enough to open up and talk about their innermost feelings, thoughts and plans, as well as their struggles. Truly, i do feel sad when i feel like i can't connect with someone at that level.

Honestly and i'll admit that I think that a lot of this "wanting to feel close to and feeling like i can help someone", though is well meaning on my part for the benefit of the other person, is also a lot about trying to fill up a void in me caused by years of feeling rejected.

Strangely, in trying to be someone's best friend, to be someone who's needed by someone else, the tables are turned: it becomes me needing to cling onto someone(s) to have that feeling of security of being wanted.

I can't remember the last time i bared my soul to a friend. It's as though as the years progress, my friends all lie on the same plane. Don't get me wrong, i've got quite a few people i consider good, and very good friends. But somehow no one really gets past the smooth glass floor that separates my soul from them. You can look through it, you can see what's happening beneath, but you can't crash through it to be fully immersed in my life.

So there seems to be two issues at hand here.
1. Feeling that people don't open up - is it something wrong on my part, too high expectations of others? perhaps i'm just not someone they want to speak to after all.
2. Is there something i'm subconsciously holding back on my side?

Obviously, i have no clue about this... And i've just realized that this is a darn honest blog post. Well, it's a "thinking out loud" post after all: More personal, less politically correct and it's got way more sensitive information.

Actually, i've recently decided that apart from my vital stats and where i live and other information, i'm going to allow myself to be more honest and i won't really care too much about how it's all going to sound. I suppose i'm practicing the skill of "getting to the point" when talking about how i truly feel. Hence "thinking out loud".

I guess i could suppose also that the very people who see posts like these from now on do get to see a bit of my soul after all... (i wonder who has stuck around since 2003??? It's been quite boring along the way, i'll be the 1st to confess) You, my thevacuum readers, of whom are friends i see every now and then, others i reckon i'll never see but still leave me comments of which i really appreciate, and better yet, those who will never reveal themselves to me.


From June 13, 2006.

I really should stop taking photos that are simply look-at-camera-and-smile types. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Remembering that i had a memory triggering aid in the form of a CD with a sizeable number of photos of my JC mates, i sifted through my pile of CDs, found it and popped it into the drive.

I'm smiling as i click through and view them one by one. The ones that especially trigger those feelings of nostalgia and that fuzzy warmth are those that capture in a sweet frame our madcap antics, smiles that were caught in a split second without the purposeful bunching of certain muscles for that practiced smile some of us have tried to perfect.

The best pictures are those that allow you to see more than a smile plastered on a face, the kind that reveals to the viewer the reflection of the sentiment(s) of that moment through the body language of the photo's subjects. It's a joy to see us close friends just being ourselves, the way we are.

And then i think, we don't always have to smile for photos, do we? Yeah. We don't.

Think about how different it would be if we took photos of ourselves in times when we are feeling anguish, when our eyes are sore and swollen with prolonged crying, when our faces reflect emptiness, dull from the sapping of all positivity.

If photos are about capturing moments to remember, are not times of unhappiness worthy of being remembered, or captured, too? Thinking back on events past and seasons of our lives need not always have to stir good emotions. Our lives are a collection of far more than that.

Life is equally ugly as it is beautiful.

(and oh how i've been living up to this... haven't graduated to crying pictures yet though)


Anonymous said...

oh darling, when has u becum so sentimental? frends do not really need u to say the "right words", they just need a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on sometimes. The best words are those not spoken

manu0liv1 said...

hi jo

1. ur blog is not boring, it's 1 of the most established, most sophisticated blogs i've ever seen.

2. i've nvr thought u r self-centred. in fact, i think u're a great counsellor. thanks for helping me wif dat issue last yr.

3. how about this: read

GeRmAiNe said...

hey gal..
u've been blogging for THAT long? i've certainly never thought that ur blog's boring. always an insightful read.

GeRmAiNe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pope @ David said...

Yoohoo, I hope Fri's cell "happy/sad-face-list" exercise abt where we base/derive our self-worth on does help you put issues into clearer perspective.

Wrt "the tables are turned", myb look at it this way: Tt the feeling of security of being wanted is healthy in the sense where you desire security in being a positive impact in the lives of those whom you minister to, & the feeling stems ultimately from an even greater desire to please our Master.

Rem when we share in others' sufferings like Christ did, we are in fact sharing in His fellowship too!


On a deeper level, I believe anyone who reads such honesty will be compelled to examine themselves even if they don't share e similar experience as u. Perhaps the only universally-shared experience (apart frm birth, emotions, death) is the search for significance. ;)

There's something empowering about revealing such personal information. Funny thing is that today(day35 of my P-D-L journey), RickWarrens says: Pointto Ponder:"God works best when I admit my weaknesses."
Verse to Rem:"My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness".

I truly believe this honesty with yourself and God will bless others greatly (",)

joline said...


True as well... Adding in the right comforting words would help too. Sometimes it's hard to say something tt is comforting but yet does not seem like they are any run-of-the-mill kind of cliches.


1. Established, perhaps.. :-) Sophisticated? Hahaha, i dunno about that bro. In comparison, i'm pretty much an average Jo, quite literally.

2. Thanks bro. I'm still trying to polish things up in that area.

3. I'll read it. :-)


REALLY.......... you made my day when i read your comment. HAHA. Well, i guess those times when i ranted about nothing but archery scores, it was boring. It was so boring that even i got bored reading about it when i go back to my old posts.

Yup... it's been that long. October 2003 was the month and year that thevacuum was born. :-) And no signs of stopping yet, that's for sure.

pope @ david:

i shall reflect on that for a while more, because when i poked and prodded myself, it sure didn't feel like a very healthy habit/mentality.

Thanks for your input hon, in this. I love your long long comments. ;-D I can't really respond to that, but it speaks to me.