Just move on

February 19th, 2021


43 days until deadline

I found it fascinating that our emotional lives have a course of their own and are not controlled by conscious awareness. Simply being aware of the turbulence is not enough to control it. I don’t know if we ever have the power to control it in the first place.

We had a presentation today for one of the classes. There were six of us in one group for a ten-minute presentation, but the teacher asked a few questions in the process. I got the last slide and was told by her to hurry up and finish because we were overtime. I was livid. Had she not asked questions and waited for the Q&A afterward, we would be on time. But I think I took it personally, particularly when I did not leave a good impression on her during the last semester, and I think she is holding a grudge against me. These are speculations of course. As I said, my emotional self took the liberty of feeling mistreated and angry first before my rational self intervened.

The funny thing is, based on the content of her class alone, she is one of the handfuls of good teachers in my school. I enjoyed the lectures, learned some very helpful concepts that are not fluffy cliches to pass the time. Yet somehow her dispositions just made me resist listening to her lectures. She had this quiet yet self-assured arrogance and only showed a hint of softness to students who took an active interest in her as if liking her is the prerequisite of being liked by her, and heaven forbid you ever crossed her, then you are eternally doomed in her personal prison of unworthiness, which is where I am in right now.

I don’t know what propelled me to raise my hand on Zoom and answered one of her questions, but I did, and she asked me to answer it. It wasn’t good or bad, but It made me feel brave. I am using my actions to say, I am not scared of you. Perhaps it was all in my head. Either way, I need to let go of my obsessions when someone “mistreated” me, because I believe no one would intentionally hurt and belittle anyone else. That sounds like a recipe for future disappointments.

I also quite uncharacteristically told someone off on WeChat for someone who is not particularly close to me. Without getting into details, I thought he was being rude, because he would always phrase requests with a mockery kind of tone, making the other person feel small. He would post belittling comments on my wall to show that he was not impressed. Granted that he is older and thus probably wiser than me, but that does not give him the excuse to be an asshole. In the past, I would have just ignored it, but today I told him that he is being rude, and if he ever wants me to talk to him again he needs to cut this bullshit of putting other people down with his quirky tone. I have not received a reply yet. I was strangely proud of myself for setting boundaries. But I was also scared. Then I realized I am not a child anymore. You no longer need to compulsively make everyone like you just to feel safe. In the grownup world, we don’t owe each other anything. If things don’t work out, just say it and move on.

We should always try to find those things which do not separate us from other people but which unite us. To work against each other, to be angry and turn your back on each other, is to work against nature.

– Marcus Aurelius

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