Playing the Victim

I am back! And I didn’t want to come back without having been inspired by something to write and share to my readers.

Once again, I am fixated by a recurring theme in my acting class that resonates so much in my own twenty-something life.

I was given a monologue where my character goes on about a fun, light-hearted memory of her and her brother, as kids, playing a prank on their mother. My character jokingly tells her mother that her brother died from a bad car accident while her brother hid in the backyard. When the prank was done, her mother cried not knowing it was just a joke. My character’s innocence at the young age didn’t understand her mother’s cry until years later, when her brother ultimately passed away and was never coming back.

My initial performance of this monologue was what my instructor deemed as “playing the victim”: feeling guilt, remorse, sad, and nothing more. He said that playing the victim makes the scene “boring” because the character has given up and that there is no sense of hope. Whether the character should use her loss as a fight of frustration or hope that things get better, makes it all the more entertaining than just to “give up”.

Take Gladiator for example. In the very last fight scene, Russell Crowe’s character was stabbed right before he entered the Colliseum. Did he show a sign of loss hope in his last battle? No, he fought until he won before he fell upon his death.

Sadly, I do “play the victim” in my life on my lowest days, whether it be at work, relationships, etc. I let things get to me, and hold on to it with no sense that things will get better or accept that it’s for my own good. It’s not that I’m pesstimistic about life, I just surrender and accept that things are the way they are, and I have no control over it.

But that’s not at all true. I do have control of my life!

I know this sounds like my typical inspirational blurb, maybe moreso to reassure myself more than anything. But the truth is, two random strangers confronted me at two separate clubbing events about this in the past three months. The first person (female), intoxicated as ever can be, walked up to me and held her hands on the sides of my cheeks and said, “You are so beautiful, you should not be sad”. I didn’t even realize I had a frown on my face before she came up to me. I do admit, though that I was not having as much fun as I should because I ended up submerging myself into thoughts of loneliness even though I was accompanied by a group of friends.

The second person (male) that confronted me actually walked by me twice and stared at me. I couldn’t tell if he was drunk, but I think he was fed up with my sad face that as we passed by each other again, he said to me “You need to smile”.

And that’s when I had it – not with these people – but with myself.

I’m playing the victim where I have found myself to not think I’m worthy enough of being in a relationship, that no one would ever want to date me, and that I should give up and accept the fact that I’m going to be single for awhile.

And because of that, I think I actually push away guys from approaching me.

Playing the victim is not only boring, but it’s unattractive.

I know I am more worthy than I come off to be, but I’m still in search of defining who I am. That’s all it really comes down too.


Dear Journal

Last night, something agitated me that I couldn’t exactly put myself to bed until I vented. So I took a piece of legal paper and started writing by hand. I began with the words “Dear Journal” because it was meant to be a personal journal post to myself in hopes that I would read it again in the future – and hopefully laugh at it then than how I really feel right now. It wasn’t my intention to publish this on my blog but I felt it was fitting for my theme of my blog (re: I hope my female young professionals can relate:

Dear Journal,

I haven’t written one [journal] in a long time but I just needed to vent. I’ve always been the girl who set expectations with guys I allow in my life. They have to be funny, attractive, smart and little bit of dorky. And after a year and five months of no involvement with any guy, I have found him. He’s not “the one” so to speak. But he is the guy I would love to just have fun with. But my thoughts wander off to the point of insecurity and frustration when he doesn’t message me like I message him. To him, I’m probably just another girl. And I get that, I see it. But why do I want more? Realistically, we’re not a perfect couple [if we ever were]. We have such different tastes and we see life differently right now. I wish I could let go of these thoughts of insecurities. I know I am attractive enough to find the guy for me who wants me as much as I want him – but part of me isn’t ready for that. And yet, part of me isn’t ready for the fling I have going right now. Here I am again alone in my thoughts just going back and forth to what I really want. I wish everything in life just fell perfectly for me. Enough with these thoughts already…

Good girl, gone bad

Generally speaking, I’ve always been a “good girl”. I don’t even recall a time where I pushed or tested my parents’ limits such that they lost full control of disciplining me. There were obviously times where I yelled back at my parents when they were completely unreasonable. But at the end of the day, I listened to what they had to say and gave in.

But somehow, I remember a definitive point in my life where my rebellious stage kicked in. I was visiting my aunt (mom’s sister) in Sydney, Australia for the first time when I was 12 years old. My mom and aunt looked so much alike, but they were very two different people. My aunt was young and hip. My mom, on the other hand, was, and still is, conservative and traditional. I was shopping with my aunt at a department store and she pulled out the shortest denim booty shorts ever and forced me to go try them on. I was embarassed and shy. But I couldn’t be rude to her and say no. I got into the changeroom, threw on the shorts, and felt nervous, exposed, and shaken. I opened the door and my aunt’s jaw drops. The next thing I know, she spanks my butt and admires how cute these daisy duke shorts make my booty stand out. I smiled nervously back to her and told her “My mom would kill me if she saw me wear this” but my aunt didn’t hear a single word of it. All she did was asked if she could buy it for me as a gift from her. I kindly said no knowing what my mom would think. But just the concept of exposure of those short shorts made me feel different, like I was deviating from the norm and taking risks. Who’d knew that a pair of short shorts would symbolize something in my life?

I was still a good girl even after this event. My style was conservative; I wore no make up; I never did my hair – or even knew how to; I was just plain Jane even well into most of university. Towards the end of university, things started to change faster than I could even keep up.

I ended my three year relationship because I couldn’t grasp the idea of settling into a serious relationship in my 20s. I felt I played it safe all my life and I couldn’t live not knowing what it would be like to meet new people and expose myself to new and exciting things in life. I didn’t know what these things were, but I just knew that that long-term relationship was not fit for where I saw myself at this stage in life.

As soon as that relationship ended, I opened up a lot to new people and became friends with many. Then I did the unthinkable. I had my first hookup. The guy involved was a good friend of mine for months prior to the event. There was always the intention and attraction, so it was really just a matter of time. But I couldn’t believe I did what I did. My friends didn’t either. But what I did I had no regrets.

It lasted for three months until I started to have feelings for him that he did not share. So I had to end our “friendship”. It hurts me then, and it sometimes still hurts me now. But for the most part, I moved on.

As it stands now, work has consumed my life. I rarely am able to see my friends and family because of the amount of commitment and hours that are involved in the nature of my mundane job. I felt like I wasn’t taking any risks and there was no longer any excitement in my life. As I began to lose sight as to why I was here, I wanted to feel something again.

Three weeks ago, I went to my first rave. I was nervous, yet excited. I knew the risks of exposing myself to such an environment would require some caution. Let’s face it, it’s obvious the “illegal activities” that go around in raves. But from the moment I got there, I was excited. Dark rooms, laser-type lights, insane dance beats, I just felt like I was on a high without any drugs or alcohol. My mind, body and soul was hypnotized by the dance music and I let it take over me. I began to feel again.

Since then, I’ve been pushing my own limits to feel more and more and it’s taken over me this past week. It was 10PM last Monday and my friend and I were the very few last people in the office still working. He says to me “I need a drink.” and I responded “Let’s do it”. My friend was like “Seriously!?” And I wanted to say the same thing to myself. Did I really just agree to drinking on a Monday night knowing we had work the next day? The next thing you know, we eventually found a cute Irish Bar just five minutes from our office. What ended up supposed to be one drink, ended up with several more drinks. We talked about life like we were 50 and wise and stayed up until 2AM. I had to wake up four hours later to get ready for work. It was insane but I had so much fun.

I’ve just been driving myself down this road and I don’t know where it’s taking me but it’s almost like an addiction. I don’t know if I can stop but I know there has to be a limit to these things or else consequences will follow. I am a little concerned at the state I’m in but I feel as though my career right now is limiting to what I really am passionate about. So I compensate the emptiness by wanting to feel, do, experience something different every time. Have I really lost control or am I overreacting?

Here and Now

As I think back to how I came down this road, it almost feels like I never really defined my own path. I guess it’s only fair to bring you into my shoes of how I came to be where I am today:

I was Grade 10 and I had:

  • no sense of style (I only changed my shoes once a year, until university)
  • no make up (I wore this blue eyeshadow that my best friend made fun of me for wearing back in Grade 8 and that tease haunted me then… and now)
  • nothing that made me stand out from the crowd

I wasn’t smart at all either. I took Grade 11 biology class thinking I knew I wanted to be a doctor. I don’t know why I chose this path but it must be some Asian-genetic thing where you naturally feel an obligation to become one. That path was cut short after I was caught copying off lab assignments from a friend in the library by the librarian who just so happens to also be my biology teacher. Not only did she take away my assignment, but she humiliated me in front of the class citing that cheating is never right. And it never is. I deserve what I got. In the end, I ended up barely passing that course and crying to my biology teacher that my “career as a doctor” was ruined. Her response:

“I think you should be in business. You’re talkative”

My response: Do I really have a choice?

Grade 11 came around and evidently enough, all my electives were business-related. My parents weren’t happy but I knew what was best for me at the time. Of all the business electives I had, accounting came naturally to me. I was so good at it that I strived to work at the bank behind the counters and dealing with customers bank accounts. At least that’s what I thought the dream was. But the dream was actually bigger. The dream was to be a Chartered Accountant (US: CPA equivalent). I didn’t know what that entailed until a guest speaker came into our accounting class and discussed the fame and the fortune. Of course, naive teens fall for anything that can bring them “fame and fortune.”

By the time I arrived in university, being a professional accountant for one of the big four accounting firms was a bigger dream to a lot of people in my business program. So here I was back again, following that cycle of running with the masses striving to be what everyone else wants to be. Unlike high school, I was different in university. I knew I had something that made me stand out from the rest of my competition: my social skills.

I wasn’t the best public speaker, presenter, or anything of that sort. But I know how to connect to people. As much as accounting required you to be competent and knowledgable, you had to be just as social – if not more. And that’s what I had. So with that said, I among 50 other candidates out of thousands of applicants, landed a summer internship with one of the largest accounting firms. It was a celebratory moment.

My summer internship was fun. To be honest, I felt like half the time we were fooling around and not actually working. But in the end, I did enough to impress because I eventually received a full-time offer. And here I am now:

  • more style
  • more make up, and
  • a career that many envies, especially those who don’t even have real jobs to this day

My parents were even proud of me. It took them awhile to understand what the heck my job was – but they were happy. And I was happy because they were happy.

Once work started, days became weeks, and weeks became months. I continued to lose sight as to why I am here. Is it possible to progressively lose faith in a career that I dreamed of having since Grade 11? After all the time and money that has been invested into already? And did I really define this path? Or was this path defined for me because it was safe?

This is where I am now in life. Can you relate?