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Monday, May 19, 2014

If I Were To Write My Epitaph.

Before I go ahead with today's Motivation Monday, why not have a listen to the seventh episode of our MOTIVE4CHANGE talk show?  I, along with my friends JOSHUA, CARINE, and JONATHON had a lot of fun recording this one.  We tried a whole bunch of different things this episode, and I hope you like what you hear.

In this case, the major topic was what message we would leave behind in the world if we were to die.  And, well, given that we aired this episode on my birthday, it seemed a bit morbid to talk about death on my birthday.  But such as it is, here's the episode.


But, I do have to mention one thing.  Some of the audio was compromised while we were recording because the final product had some parts that were corrupted.  It was nobody's fault, but we ended up losing some of our recording.  So, just to show you exactly what I really wanted to say, I thought that I would just post a text version of the speech I wrote for this episode.  Enjoy!

I have to admit that when it comes to leaving my epitaph behind, I never really gave it a lot of thought.  For one, although I know that immortality is an impossibility, I also get sort of creeped out talking about death.  It just seems so finite, and I don't want to think about dying until a long time from now.  But one thing that I have learned is that not all of us have the luxury of time, and sometimes the things you leave behind are not necessarily possessions, but words.

So, the question is simply this.  If heaven forbid I end up dying tomorrow, what is it that I would want them to know about me?  What sort of misconceptions about me would I want to clear up with those I left behind?  And, what sorts of secrets would I take to the grave?

Well, okay...I don't have THAT many secrets.  I was just being dramatic.

Okay, so let's begin with the various misconceptions that people that passed through my life have believed about me during the course of my life, shall we?

MISCONCEPTION #1:  People in my life had the belief that I am "damaged goods" or "broken", and that because of that they felt a need to try and "fix me".

Here's a news flash for those people.  I wasn't born broken, but I certainly was made to feel that way by the very people who tried to "fix me" under the guise of friendship and compassion.  Please, let's not beat around the bush.  There is absolutely zero friendship and compassion in telling somebody that they will never amount to anything because they aren't like anybody else.  That goes towards the teachers who sent me out of class and forced me to walk around school hallways with books on my head because my walking on my tiptoes was too "abnormal" for them.  That goes towards the classmates who were ballsy enough to offer me "dieting tips" because they believed that they would like me more if I lost a few pounds.  Truth be told, as I matured, I discovered that I could never sustain a friendship based on superficiality and shallowness!

Though, this does lead to my second point...

MISCONCEPTION #2:  I made self-depreciating comments about myself because I am attention seeking and wanted people to notice me.

In all honesty, the reason I poked fun at myself, and made all sorts of sarcastic jabs towards me wasn't because of attention.  Hell, if I wanted the attention, I'd strip off all my clothes and go running through a crowded shopping mall.  I'm sure that would have gotten people's attention...and me a one-way-ticket to a county jail for a 24-hour accommodation. 

Truth is...I did it because it hurt a lot less when I said it instead of letting other people tease me and belittle me.  It was what I thought to be a really nifty defense mechanism.  The more I belittled myself, the less the comments from other thoughtless people would hurt, and the better I'd feel.

I guess this leads into point number three.

MISCONCEPTION #3:  That plan of action that I just described in MISCONCEPTION #2 was nothing more than a placebo.

In fact, it taught me that of all the enemies that I had in this life, I was probably the worst one.  What was I thinking with that advice?  Certainly not one of my smarter moments.

And, from there, we go on to my fourth point.

MISCONCEPTION #4:  I grew up in a family that didn't have riches, so therefore I was not worth knowing.

I have to state that this is absolutely not true.  In fact, I want to tell you something that I've never actually revealed here.  My childhood was certainly no bed of roses in school, but there were times in my early childhood education in which we endured a lot of hardships which included losing the home that my family was renting and having to move in with my grandparents for a few months, causing a lot of stress within three different generations of families.  I don't remember much about that time, but I do recall that the general mood was glum.  I hate to admit it, but I was secretly a little bit jealous of my classmates who had the big houses and toys filling their bedrooms, and who wore the latest fashions, and all of that jazz.  It didn't dawn on me that their lives could have been filled with a lot of anger, sadness, and pain.  A lot of the kids in my school seemed to judge people based on how much money they had, and since my family didn't have a whole lot, they didn't give me the time of day.  But you know something?  Somehow, I still think that I turned out all right.  At least I know the value of a dollar and at least I know how to save money for a rainy day.  Hell, there have been years in which I have survived monsoons, and still have come out money ahead!  I suppose that my upbringing had a lot to do with it, and I'm proud of my non-materialistic ways.

MISCONCEPTION #5:  I'm socially awkward because I have no people skills.

Actually, I'm socially awkward because of having social anxiety brought on by years of being treated horribly by peers (which unfortunately you'll run into no matter where you are), and by some adult figures in my life (who unfortunately were old enough to know better).  But thanks to those of you judgmental people for continuing to judge me even though you never once made an effort to include me or make me even feel human.  Good to know.

Now, I know what you're saying.  You're thinking that my epitaph is just me venting a lot of frustration over how things went in my life.  You're absolutely right.  I did vent a lot of frustration.  I guess it's because I kept things bottled up for so long that if I were to die tomorrow, leaving this message behind would be a kind of a wake-up call to those people who jumped to the wrong conclusions about me.  It would let them know that I am not the person they thought I was.  That I didn't need fixing.  That I had feelings that were more sensitive than other people's.  That I could be a social butterfly if I were treated like I belonged and that I was worthy of respect.

I guess that after I am gone from this world, I wouldn't want people to associate me with negative memories.  Instead, I want to see seen as sensitive, kind, intuitive, empathetic, and most of all, strong.

After don't have to raise a wall, or push a car down a hill, or lift up a 500 pound barbell to show that you're strong.  You can measure a person's true strength just by measuring just how much they've had to go through in their lives.  And, I think that my legacy will be one of strength.  I may not show it, but I'm a lot stronger than most will ever give me credit for.

Most of all myself.

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