April 16, 2014

To Undo our own Undoings

The downfall started in English, my last class of the day. We had to pick a subject for an oral presentation, but I just couldn't find one that pleased me. Ukraine was too complicated, climate change seemed way beyond my hands. And so when the bell rang, I left with a mind full of empty ideas, while my classmates shared their carefully thought out subjects with each other. The preoccupation followed me throughout badminton practice, and before I knew it, I had lost one, two, three games. Including one against the-girl-i-never-lose-to. Naturally, I blamed my poor performance on my English class woes as I sat on the bench, drenched in my bitter attitude.

Now, in normal circumstances my attitude would stay bitter until the day ended, or in more rarer occasions, a person would cheer me up to the extent I trashed away my gloom. But today, I decided to change my plan of action. I honestly don't know what caused me to do so, but it happened none the less. So as I sat on the bench with a sour face, hating the girl that I always won against, I suddenly had an epiphany. At least, a really modest, small epiphany that made me realize I was addressing my bitterness to all the wrong people and things; in fact, I didn't even have a cohesive reason for my mood. I was sulking cause I felt the need to sulk. So following my absolutely riveting epiphany, I asked the girl that I lost but always won against if she wanted to do a rematch. I had a feeling that to change my attitude I had to face its creator. She accepted, we played, and I lost. I lost again but this time it was different. This time I shook her hand with more sympathy, and asked her if she wanted to practice some specific shots. 

I thought I would leave that practice with a sour taste, but instead, I left the practice feeling lighter than I felt after my English class. There was something so healing about the rematch, in part because it was I who suggested it. I played my bitterness away, one stroke at a time (I missed half of them). I chose to change my attitude. By now this post probably feels like the pivotal scene of a coming of age novel, but bare with me with the gooey cheesiness. 

I guess what I want to say is that it's possible to choose your state of mind. Of course, as situations get more complicated, it's harder to tangle yourself out of the mess, but when it's smaller situations like the one I experienced today, change can be made. You can always let time or others make the change for you, but making it yourself is the one you can always rely on. Now, that doesn't mean that every time I'm in a gloomy mood, I'll get myself out of it, but it does mean that I know I'm strong enough to make it happen. As I'm typing this, I think of how great it was that I left the practice feeling good, and how great it is that as humans, we have the strength to undo our own undoings. Everyday is a page from a feel-good novel, as long as we choose to dedicate ourselves in its writing.

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-Grace :)


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