It's officially that time of the year again. That time when Healthy Khanh suddenly gets struck with a sudden illness, except this time it's not a cold. It's a severe allergic reaction that resulted in thousands of whiteheads being formed all across my face, chest, and back. Let's just I've had better days or weeks even. As I am sitting here in my room, alone, with my bathrobe and fuzzy sweats on, I've learned that sick days are reflective days. It's that rare occasion that allows me to reassess what's important (e.g. my body, my health, my diet) and who's important (e.g. my friend circle, loved ones).
Here are some lessons I've learned, thus far.
- You'll have bad days and that's fine.
I find these mysterious whiteheads to be so irritating, itching, and most of all, symbolic to every insecurity I have ever had. Of course, this makes it even more difficult for me to step outside and converse with people. Why? In the back of my head, I'm always thinking, "Is he staring at my flaws right now?" "Does she think I'm hideous?" -Okay, time to go crawl back into my little cave and put on Jane the Virgin-
I know I'm being a little bit dramatic, but you get the picture. It's time like these that makes me further infuriated by the very fact that I can't change a single thing about myself. I can't make these whiteheads go away with a snap of a finger and I sure as heck can't jump into a time capsule and tell me naive ole self to not eat the crab's viscera. Point is, there will be days when I feel far from beautiful, but I'm thankful to have a few people who embrace my imperfections and love me anyway. You know who you are.
- True friends stick around during bad times, not just the good.
It's easy to have people around you. The extrovert me can be around people 24/7 if I wanted to but at the end of the day, all that matters is the quality of friendship, not quantity. Right now, at this very instant, I'm alone. Yes, I could have called someone up and yes, I could have made a different decision and turned my car around, but me being content with myself is a choice I've worked extremely hard for. It's a choice that has allowed me to stand alone even when times get tough. It seems like not many millennials, today, are comfortable with the idea of being alone and I get it. The act of companionship and human to human interaction is what drives so many of us. For me, personally, it's important to fall, get back up, and be your own best friend. As much confidence as you may have on your significant other or your middle school BFFL, I've learned through past experiences that you need to also count on yourself because you can never and will never walk away from you.
Sometimes I feel like I might jeopardize so many of my relationships with my relentless and independent nature but I firmly believe that 'it's in those moments when your circumstances are such that you don’t even want to be around yourself' that your real friends are the one who will stand by you regardless.
- Find someone who bleeds compassion
My mood changes severely when I'm not feeling well. Earlier today, when I called my best friend to tell her what's been going through my mind, I realize how incredible it is to find someone who treats you with so much acceptance and understanding. Her voice was soft and gentle. More importantly, it made me feel reassured to know that it's perfectly normal to experience days where things are looking much darker than most. I am reminded of the notion that while I cannot control my circumstance, I sure can control my attitude. Evidently, it's also simply not fair for me to dispose all of my unstable emotions on others when all I needed was some time to myself to think things through.
Overall, I'm pretty much over these allergic reactions. It's been painful (physically); however, it has somehow pushed me to reach out to my friends for their comfort and solace. Until next time, fight on.