Recently, I had an interview for an oral history project at my school (basically, they put a camera in your face and you tell your life stories). One story that I told was about my secondary school experience (not the best) and how I often secluded myself because I felt unsatisfied about the situations at that time and my existence in such situations. I carried this attitude of separating myself into A'level (pre-college/university program) with the hope that in the time I spent alone, I will find something that will make me want myself or like myself as much as other people liked me. I never found it being alone because I spent that time criticizing myself.
This year, I was surrounded with people who were capable of showing me my own potentials in a loving and less invasive way. What stood out to me the most was that they did not try to change me or fix me (as if I were one broken thing), instead, they made use of who I was at that moment (and it made me feel like I was actually worth being). They taught me to appreciate myself more than I judge myself. They did not seclude me from whatever made me sad or angry, rather, they equipped me to be bold enough to face my emotions, physical struggles and myself if needed. I learned how to experience myself without perfection but graciously.
After all these years I realized that the key to finding myself was not in being alone (although I am still an introvert) but being with people who love themselves enough to love and treat me right. This picture has my exact words at the oral history project.
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