My grandmother passed away in March this year.
Throughout the time when she was fighting, and after we said goodbye to her, I often thought about my life – what I want to be like as a person, and how I want to live my life – in the way I had never done before.
The time I spend time with her and our whole family made me feel and realize the importance of caring about other people, and treating them with love.
Hiding my flaws and being perfect suddenly begun to look so meaningless, so I started to show more of who I really am to others, and by doing that I’ve been trying to change what I always wanted to change about myself.
To be honest, being honest about my weakness and faults was not easy, but this time, I made myself ignore the fears and be more brave.
It turned out that I didn’t have to be so afraid about other people’s opinion in the first place – since I was already surrounded by people who are caring, supportive, encouraging, and treat me with big love.
Surprisingly, everyone in my life this year was just like that.
There were no enemies. Except for – myself.
That was always me who was judging, criticizing, insulting myself, out of my lack of confidence and low self esteem.
Looking back my memories with my grandmother, I remember she always told me “Go at you own pace.”
I am basically a clumsy person. I don’t really have a charisma.
But once I decided, I can be a very committed, hardworking person. Sometimes even I get surprised by how productive and tireless I can be.
Just like that, I can only go at my own pace, whether I am at the top speed, or the slowest.
I have no idea if she knew that when she told me “Go at your own pace”.
I have chubby cheeks probably sine I was born, and I always hated them.
One day when I visited her, my grandmother said, “Your cheeks look so soft and pretty.”
I was a little surprised because my cheeks always looked like this but she had never told me something like that before, so I hugged her and let her touch my cheeks. She looked very happy, and I was very happy too.
The sun was softly shining into the room, and that made the flowers I brought for her look even more beautiful. That was an unforgettable moment.
We never lived together so we couldn’t meet very often, but she always said positive things about me, even about things I felt insecure or didn’t like.
This year I experienced so many emotional moments.
I think I have a quite happy and peaceful life, without any fatal problem or particular traumatic experiences.
Nevertheless, there seems to be some tiny voids in my hearts, even before I know,
and all the love I felt through what people did or said to me this year, gradually filled the holes.
There were some moments when I felt like as if I heard the sound of my heart being filled with kindness and love people gave me.
We never know what other people is going through. Even someone who looks completely healthy and super happy, probably has some missing part of his or her heart.
I believe, that is why kindness is important.
That’s why we should never forget being kind to others.
Of course we can be stronger, healthier, happier if we try, but there might be some parts we can’t heal by ourselves. I think we all are giving each other love, so that we can fill the small voids in each other’s hearts.
If we could do everything by ourselves, there might be less arguments, stresses, and problems.
But since we can’t and we need other people to live with, we sometimes face problems, but we sometimes experience unexpectedly amazing things, and that’s why our lives are beautiful.
Perhaps nobody is really selfish, as long as we don’t forget kindness.
When a group of people is trying to do something together, they argue, fight, and maybe hurt each other sometimes, and then they maybe fail, but they can also be thoughtful, positive, and creative again, and then that could lead them to finally achieving their goal.
I didn’t understand that at all in the past, so every time when I needed to ask for someone’s help, or when I had to be a leader of a group of people, I always couldn’t help being afraid if I was being selfish or making them to do something they didn’t really like.
However that attitude can be completely wrong.
Maybe they are also enjoying doing it, maybe they learn something great from it, and the time we spend together could be a their good memory which they are happy to look back in the future.
We’ll never be able to realize what good is going on, as long as we are seeing situations in a negative way.
Now at the end of this year, thinking and writing about these things, I remember the time I spend with my grandmother, and say this to her in my head.
“I’ll keep working hard next year so that it can be the best one.”
But she will probably say,
“Go at your own pace, Risa.”