This past month has been challenging, especially emotionally. Just after I wrote about my depression, depression came. I put so much my physical, mental, and spiritual energy into writing the piece that I ended up being depleted and exhausted.
Since then, slowly I was collecting my pieces like I was the broken Humpty Dumpty; I was putting pieces together one day at a time.
Then, the news hit my Facebook feed:
The suicide of Kate Spade.
Blank was what I felt. Time stopped. All I heard was just the sound of my breaths. I could not move.
I didn't know why I reacted in the way I reacted. I was sure I heard the news about suicide many times before. But this hit me hard.
Then, the suicide of Anthony Bourdain.
I was not particularly a fan of those celebrities. I knew Kate Spade was a designer whose bags I had seen so many times on a college campus I used to work. I have seen Anthony Bourdain talking to restaurants owners and chefs worldwide on CNN when I caught his show on TV somewhere in the public (as I do not own a TV).
Their life did not make a big impact on my life. And yet their deaths did.
After the initial shock about their suicides, I slowed down. I thought about why I felt the way I did. As I wrote earlier, I know I am not suicidal. I don’t have any plan or idea to commit the act. And yet I felt like someone claimed I was at the risk of suicide and rung the alarm so everyone knows.
It was like as if someone decided to claim I am a DeathEater (from the Harry Potter series. DeathEaters are in short bad guys who side with the villain Lord Voldermort) when I am not, and yet everyone believes I am one of them.
I was afraid.
I was afraid of the possibility. I was afraid of the chance. This chance might be much much slimmer than the chance of me winning the lottery. But I was still afraid of the chance of death claiming my life by making me commit a suicide. I was afraid that something could go wrong somewhere in me.
I have been there. I have been to the dark head space. The space between life and death. I have never attempted nor had any plan to do so in my life. But in the past, I thought about what would be like if I was not here in this world. Emotionally, I have been to the darkness. And not just one time.
And in reality these two celebrities have succeeded.
I was afraid of losing my control. I was afraid of losing my sanity. I was afraid of depleting all the hopes. I was just afraid.
In the midst of fear, during that week of stormy and thundering weather in my head, I heard a voice. A voice that questioned. A voice that came from within.
It said, “Do you even want to?”
I said to the voice, “No. I don’t.”
I don’t want to die. At least before my time is up. When my time comes, I am sure I would say, “I am ready.” But now? No way. I have so much to do. I have so much that I am looking forward to. I want to live.
That was my answer. I do have the voice. I do have my want.
That was my answer. I just needed to remember. Remember that I am powerful.
As much as it has been challenging in the past month, what I went through was a good reminder. I do have power. Power over my life.
It was just like Harry Potter (Just in case you still have not realized I am a big Harry Potter fan).
When Harry (and eventually his son James Sirius Albus Severus) worries about which House at Hogwarts (Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravencraw) he would get sorted by the magical Sorting Hat in his first year, he learns that the Sorting Hat considers what Harry wants. He ended up being in Griffindor, because that is what he wanted.
When Harry worries about his connection with Lord Voldermort getting stronger and worries that he gets angry all the time, Sirius Black (Harry’s Godfather) says that everyone has light and darkness inside and that what matters is which side you decide to act on.
When things around Hogwarts getting dark and dire, and everyone starts worrying, Dumbledore says, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
As Sirius says, everyone has light and darkness. In life, we experience ups and downs. In the life on earth, we have day and night; day gets longer in summer and night gets longer in winter, at least in the northern hemisphere.
I used to think light is good; darkness is bad. I used to believe ups are good; downs are bad. But now what I am learning is good and bad are just our judgments. There is nothing wrong inherently in each category of those opposites.
We can learn from both light and darkness. Only if we want to. Only if we are willing to.
We can accept both light and darkness. Only if we want to. Only if we are willing to.
We can choose who we are in both light and darkness. Only if we want to. Only if we are willing to.
I am me because of both light and darkness.
I am good because that is what I choose to believe.
I live because that is what I want.
I am here because this is what I want.
May you choose freely who you want to be.
May you be fearless to be who you want to be.
May who you want to be leave you in peace.
I love you.