Monday, April 09, 2012

The prettiest smiles hide the deepest secrets
The brightest eyes have cried the most tears
The kindest hears have felt the most pain

I came across this quote photo while going through a person's Tumblr, and it really made me stop and think. We live in a world where we are judged from the outside. Our actions, emotions, conversations, and body language are constantly being interpreted and criticized. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong. But no matter what their opinions are, you are the only person who knows the most about the situation, your feelings, your problems, etc. And when you seemingly have a string of great stuff that happens to you, even if it's as small as getting a free $5 Starbucks gift card or as significant as working on Wall Street, most people can't help but feel jealous or envious of your life.

But they only know half of the story. Only people who are you are very close knows what you've had to go through. That "back story", the one that you keep to yourself except to a few special people because it's very personal, is what ends up dragging you down when others think you're the greatest person ever.

This is where I come in. For most of my life, mainly in high school, I didn't really appreciate what I should have, such as a great family, my musical and artistic talent, my seemingly over-caring mom, good friends, etc. I was just trying to survive day by day in school, dodging angry lectures from my mom at home, diligently practicing piano and violin everyday (lol at least I tried to), staying up late to study, and all sorts of typical Asian high school things. In college, I always feel that I work too hard but I don't necessarily get the results that I aim for. Doesn't matter if it's in homework, tests, or public speaking, there's always someone better. I've been told a few times to "stop freaking out" because I act like it's almost the end of the world when I'm stressing over a project, homework, or test.

Why do I complain about my life so much? It's the usual - stress, lack of sleep, procrastination, living up to parent's expectations...the list goes on. Well, I know I shouldn't live up to anyone's expectations, but I will admit that right now in college, much of the pressure I get to do exceptionally well is from myself. And I struggle with my emotions quite a lot. As a realist, I over think situations and get too caught up in the past and future.

But when I saw this quote, I realized that...maybe my life is worth something. I realized that if look at my life from my friends' point-of-view, then yes, in some ways my life is amazing. I've traveled to twice as many places as most people my age, I get to visit NYC once every year or two, I play piano and violin better than the average bear, I have an artistic eye, and I work hard. I don't have many friends, but the few that I have are my best friends and mean the world to me. Is my life amazing? Yes and no. When you look at my "shell", the stuff that other people notice, it is. When you look inside the shell...well, it's not. I think the only person who really understands me is my mom. She knows about the struggles I've had to go through to get to where I am today. Even though I'm really close to her, even she doesn't know the internal battles I face on a day to day basis (unless there's no school).

I think this goes the same for everyone. We admire and develop envy over people who have great things happen to them, but we don't understand how much the person has to work in order to get there. And then we start comparing out life with theirs, which of course leads to us not being happy with our life. Like people say, "Life isn't always fair". BUT just stop and think about this for a minute - no matter what, there is something in your life that makes it amazing.

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