“If given the opportunity, would you like to go back and change the past? If so, when?”
I guess the starting point to move on to the next level of becoming a better person is to admit that I am mediocre. Or at least, I felt that I started as one.
The ambition to become someone who is not mediocre I think still persists to this day. My decision to enroll in the Minikino Hybrid Internship for Film Festival Writers also started from the ambition to upgrade my writing skill. I wanted to be at least a level above mediocre. My first checklist was ticked. I got accepted into the six months program starting April 2022. After one month, I had two articles, one published (check it out!), one in the editor room, and this is my third article!
Thursday, May 27th, 2022 was the first Guest Speaker session in this program. The virtual meeting with Kelly Lui is an eye-opener about how to appreciate and know myself. Maybe I’m just being too hard on myself and not enjoying each and every process I’m going through or maybe it’s actually okay to be mediocre and not be extraordinary like other people. Kelly taught me how to sit, breathe, and slowly enjoy everything around me.
I reflect on moments some time ago when I was living in kos-kosan (not exactly a boarding house, this is one of the words where the culture of renting a room in a building was probably different in those native English speaker cultures), I often spent long nights hanging out with friends. Around midnight, someone will start a conversation topic that will continue to be a deep talk. I don’t know if there are studies that explain the relationship between late nights and the quality of conversation, but it is at such crucial times that contemplative questions about going back in time often arise.
At that time, I simply went against the idea of going back in time. I believe the past shaped me into who I am today, who I am I’m grateful for. However, later on, on the sidelines of toilet activities, I’ve been thinking a lot. The question is not just a question, there are options and opportunities there. I was wondering, where would I go back to, if I could go back in time? I started thinking about the happiest times of my life. I found no specific moment, but I will choose high school time, year 12.
It was the times when I was free to get to be close with anyone, had the courage to cut my uniform to make it shorter, didn’t bring a textbook to school, had the courage to come late, and even spent almost all of the time hanging out with friends. The moments where everything was a first for me. First love, first boyfriend, first hangout late at night, and a lot of other firsts that happened back then. Maybe that’s when I wanted to go back. A time when life was once so light and free.
I remembered Kelly said, “It’s nice to see where we began.” The words ignited feelings when I first started to write. I’ve loved writing since I was in 4th grade. The thing that made me fall in love with writing for the first time was a simple poem I made titled “Lautku” (in English: My Sea). The poem was read in front of the class and I was very happy. Now I can write other types of writings besides poetry. However, I also realized that my lack of knowledge often hindered the writing process. Sometimes, despite the setbacks, I often forced to learn quickly. I realized when Kelly mentioned, “It’s actually better to admit you don’t know and learn to sit with that discomfort”. Those words made me think, “Why is it so hard for me to admit that I don’t know?”
I spent a long time trying to answer that question. The simplest answer I can come up with is a tendency to teach readers through my writing. However, not knowing everything is okay and certainly is not a problem.
Whatever it is, last week’s virtual meeting with Kelly has opened my heart to be more accepting of my flaws and learning to slowly enjoy the whole process. Be patient, maybe not all questions have the answers right away. I think one of the most important is how to go through the process that makes space for learning and growth. I think I started my journey one level up to not being so mediocre as I once felt before I even started writing this article. What do you think?