Monday, November 29, 2010

Need to Compare?

It's almost December! Around this time, I start getting worried because the year is almost over and it seems like I haven't done half of all the things I set out to achieve in January. I would hope that every month so far has been productive. Maybe some more than others. Then you think- how am I going to really make this year count before 31st of December? But ultimately, I'm thankful to God for keeping me alive, giving me a purpose, and allowing me to grow older and wiser everyday.

Have you ever felt that compared with "everyone else" around you, your own circumstances are the worst? Do you have thoughts like "all my mates have achieved this, done that, have this or have that"? I'm now exploring this phenomenum of measuring myself with another person's yard stick. Where does it come from? Is it parents, peer pressure, the society as a whole or just my own unrealistic expectations?

It's probably a mixture of all four. On one hand, it drives me to want to achieve more and more (sort of like healthy competition) to ensure that I can boast too, but on the other hand, it makes me think "What's the point? That person just had better opportunities than I have". Like when you hear of your classmate in uni who is now a millionaire, or your friend from high school now running her own fashion empire. You are happy for them of course, but you also compare yourself and you end up feeling very small.

I think it starts when we still are young. You are put in a classroom with 15 or so other 3-year olds. There you are expected to all be at the same level, grow at the same speed and learn at the same pace. If for any reason you don't keep up with the rest of the class, then there's a problem with you. This pattern continues throughout life. You want the latest toys because "everybody has one". You want to wear a certain item of clothing because "that's what all the other kids are wearing". You want to feel like you are similar to everyone. You find yourself constantly looking around and checking to see if you are ahead or behind of your peers. Then you grow up and suddenly you realise that some things are outside your control. Your career is progressing very slowly meanwhile your mates have soared far ahead. Or your mates are getting engaged, married, and launching babies while you are still single. Or your friend has just bought a new flat, while you are still renting or living at home. It all adds up to a perfect recipe for frustration.

But why do we compare? Are we all given the same opportunities? Did God give us the same talents? Do we have the same circumstances? Do we all have the same goals? Do we have the same experiences or backgrounds? No, no, no and no. We don't even have the same genes!

So I've decided, from now on, I'm not going to compare myself with anyone else. I am me. I am unique. We all have our time and purpose to fulfil on earth. My time and purpose is not dependent on other people. Only God is in full control. And only God will I give the ability to push me forward.

Have a good week and a blessed month of December!

PS: It's my sister's birthday today! Happy birthday darling! xxx

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Achilles' Heel

Hi folks! It's been a minute on this blog. I've been doing a lot of work and writing behind the scenes, updating my JDTA blog, writing short stories for magazines and working on our fiction series blog too, so I've allowed this blog to slide a bit. But rest assured, I'm doing great! Thanks to my friends who checked on me - I appreciate you guys!

So what's going on Blogville? I can't believe it's November already! For real, when was it June? Summer is now well and truly over, the days are getting shorter while the nights are getting longer, Christmas adverts are already appearing on TV, and I've had to start taking stock of the happenings of 2010. Soon, we would be making plans to welcome 2011 and then 2012... In everything, I can't complain because I've been experiencing God's blessings and favour throughout the year.

It's been a busy time for me in the last two months. Apart from writing, I've had my family coming over, been taking driving lessons, and generally moving into a new phase of my life. I've also been catching up on my reading, as I've got so many books on my to-read list, it's unbelievable. But I still can't stop myself from buying more! In the last month, I've read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (this was quite a strange book, very different from what I would usually pick up, but it was a very good read nonetheless), The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini (I quite enjoyed reading this love story woven around the politics of Zimbabwe), and  Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels (a tale of love, forgiveness and redemption which I thoroughly enjoyed reading) and I'm looking forward to a couple more before the end of the year.

Ever since I saw the movie Troy, I've been fascinated with the main characters in the story, especially Achilles. He was the great hero of the Trojan War and apparently when he was a baby his mother dipped him into a river which made him invincible except for his heel. According to Greek mythology, Achilles grew to become a great warrior and no one could stop him until Paris, a prince of Troy managed to shoot an arrow into his heel. Thus the phrase "Achilles heel" came to mean a weakness or flaw that can lead to a person's downfall in spite of his overall strength. 

This story makes me think that we all have a weakness that can potentially lead to our downfall if we don't deal with it. I can think of many great men who have been destroyed by their lack of self-control when it comes to women. Some people have ended up in prison because of their greed for money. Some people have committed atrocious acts because of anger. And the list goes on. It may seem like it's not a big deal, and just overlook a small flaw in ourselves, but we do need to be careful. I know that I have my weaknesses too, and I have to constantly ask God for grace to overcome them. It can be all too easy to let one thing get out of hand, until we lose control and succumb to negative desires.

If you are struggling with some temptations or something that goes against your principles, please don't ignore it or hope it would go away by itself. You have to take steps to make sure you don't fall. For example, if you know your married boss at work is showing inappropriate interest in you, it would certainly not be wise to go on a dinner date with him. Do what you can to remove yourself from such sticky situations! One little slip of judgement could be all it takes, and before you know it, you are involved in an affair.

Oh well, that's enough sermonising for now, lol. Do head over to our series blog for some news on the In My Dreams It Was Simpler Story and the latest installment. Yours truly is writing this week and I promise it will be a worthy read! 

Make sure you have a very relaxing weekend!

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