Yearend Sentiments

TimeIt’s been a bumpy year for me.  This time, last year, I was approaching 2012 with a really big personal obstacle in front of me. Having overcome that at the turn of the year, I entered 2012 with my bit of brazen attitude and said to it that it better have something amazing in store.  Now, at the last month of it all, I look back at the course of this past year to see that I have been greeted with a lot of things to teach me defeat, to give me obstacles, but also to teach me hope, faith, and humility.  In finding myself unemployed, I was given a chance to build from ground zero again. One of my favorite quotations during times where I feel my lowest comes from the renowned J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter.  In a time where she had recently come out of a divorce, with two young children at hand, no job, and all but being a woman kicked out onto the streets if not for still having a roof over her head, she said that rock bottom became the solid foundation on which she rebuilt her life.  She gave this speech to a class of 2008 Harvard graduates, if I recall correctly.  It’s really amazing to hear stories like this, especially behind such an incredible rush of success as she has now attained.  She deserves it.

My time of uncertainty, while nowhere near as deprived or depressing as J. K. Rowling’s, has had its fair share of heartaches, accompanied by the shame of having to ask my parents for financial aid.  And yet, it has merely given me another platform from which to assess myself, the opportunity from which I have a lot of space and time to reflect on whether or not I am where I want to be in life, if I am headed in the right direction.  A direction that will make myself proud, and leave behind the type of legacy that will create the type of difference I am looking to make for others. We don’t always have the chance to look so closely at these things.  It’s really easy to get lost in the rush of an 8 hour day, even more so when you work OT, and then your tedious rush hour commutes of going there and coming back… when your day gets so tiring that your only desire is to sleep enough when you get home so that you can exert that same energy, if not more, during the next 8 hour shift. It becomes a cycle in which time just slips through you.

So here I am, after having had a good dose of that cyclical lifestyle, at a place where I don’t need to do anything and still be in that lucky position where there is a roof over my head, and food on the table.  Where I can get up, just sit at my desk, and think of where my next step should be.  Where I can do something that sounds as silly as typing in “meaningful jobs” into google in my desperate search for inspiration.  I have landed myself back at square 1.  What to do, when starting all over?  How many times in one’s life do we have the opportunity to face our search for meaning with hope, and encouragement from friends and family?

I have often felt pressure in their belief in me. I have so many people who care.  So many people who tell me, “Wherever you end up, you’re going to do great things.”  Or they say, “I am so excited to watch what is going to unfold for you.”  People who are waiting for me to blossom into something.  But into what?  All they want is to encourage me, and give me the positivity from which to find the strength and courage to dig deep and discover myself. It’s like I’m on a stage, and all these people who love me are my audience, and they sit there, and stare.  Hopeful.  Waiting for the show to start.  And they don’t know that I haven’t prepared anything for tonight’s performance, and I don’t know what to show or do for them.  But I don’t want to let them down.

A few nights ago, I was watching a rerun of this week’s Glee episode.  It ended with a song that I felt really lift me and remind me to not lose hope.  It’s the end of the year, I have made it this far in minor accomplishments, a big one is still yet to come.  I just have to not give up, and to keep dreaming.  I think that this song speaks to all those who are feeling discouraged.  The only time it’s over is when we lose hope, isn’t that right?

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3 thoughts on “Yearend Sentiments

  1. Joyce says:

    not to place any more pressure on you, but i think this post reflects very well the title of your blog. i’m imagining the caterpillar on the stage, wandering about, looking at itself with its bumpy body and its many, many legs, wondering how it’s ever going to become beautiful. yet the most beautiful metamorphosis does indeed take place after a turbulent time of being trapped within its self-made cocoon. and as it begins to break free from the cocoon, it is the life-force from within the butterfly slowly pushing fluids into its wings that allows it to take flight. if someone comes along and pulls the butterfly out of its cocoon without the butterfly going through that extremely slow and difficult process, the butterfly forever remains crippled, unable to spread out its wings and fly. so, i will continue to wait for you and with you. something beautiful is happening now, it just might be hidden in the tight cocoon around you.

    2012 has been a time of ups and downs for me too, more recently ending on a painful, sour note. thanks for your reflections.

    • caterpillarintraining says:

      dear joyce, i think that you and i, being people who like words and description, could probably go on for a long time illustrating the process of metamorphosis. this past october, i went to the aquarium and upon entering what we call “the tropics zone”, saw for the first time a small wall of cocoons behind a glass door. stages of transformation happening row after row. new butterflies are released by the batches throughout the day.

      it was a really awe striking moment for me, as i had always felt myself to be of symbolically close relation to these creatures, but had never ever witnessed the sight of a cocoon out in real life dangling off a branch. those cocoons are so small… the caterpillar’s transformation is a humble and inconspicuous one.

      i’m sorry to hear that 2012 is not ending on a strong note for you, joyce. i hope the start of the new year will bring a sense of refreshed anticipation. i will always be here. i am sending my love with two quotations that spoke to me today. one being that “life begins on the other side of despair”, jean paul sartre. and that “things will usually come out all right, but sometimes, it takes strong nerves just to watch”, hedley donovan.

  2. caterpillarintraining says:

    and i almost forgot to say – thank you, joyce, for your endless, endless support. you have been there before my search for any journey began. when it was simply essays, deadlines, drafts, highlighting notes for exams, drilling vocabulary in chinese class, me running into lecture late, and drenched. i miss those days with you. miss you all the time. *hugs.

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