Letters by Kenny Mah

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The gift

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December 31, 2008

Hey you,

Other people know nuts about how you should lead your life

That’s the most useful, most illuminating thing I learned this year.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Traditionally, this is a time to wax lyrical on the seasons passed, to ponder on loves lost and found, on friendships renewed and bonds strengthened, on one’s many achievements or on resolutions that have fallen short twelve months after they were made.

It’s traditional.

I’m having none of that today, almost.

This thought came to me today after a barrage of activities and events and running around (and I’m speaking of what ought to be my break from work — who knew bowling, karaoke and a movie on a public holiday could be so fun and so tiring?) I’m happy and satisfied, as close to being content as I have ever been, and it suddenly hit me: I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do. And I was feeling good. Heck, I was feeling great!

I wasn’t doing anything other people have said I should be doing. I wasn’t following the rules anymore. Well, not their rules anyway.

Don’t quite have my own rules yet, no I don’t. I’m still learning as I go along. But it’s such an amazing relief to know I don’t have to do it that way. Or this way. I just have to be. Myself.

As utterly fucked up as I may be, I’m still me. Such a release to know I don’t ever have to be anybody else. (And somewhere deep inside of me is a voice that whines, “Hey how come I didn’t realize this before?” No matter. Never too late. Never.)

And it all arose from an argument I had with my better half. Some need for me to be validated, to be affirmed, to… and then I realize I have gone through this shit before. With my ex. With my parents. My friends. My former bosses. And guess what? I don’t need your validation to be comfortable with who I am. All I need is to ask myself am I happy with who I am? Am I happy when we are together. Details? That’s all stuff you can choose to take or leave it. Really, you can. And if it doesn’t contribute to something positive in our lives, I choose to leave it. I mean, do I really need to hear from you or anyone else how you appreciate what I do 24/7 when I instinctively know it?

So. Most of my friends would assume the greatest gift I received this year would be the gift of love. Oh, and a mighty great gift it is too. A blessing. But the gift that matters the most may well be the wisdom to deal with this gift and other gifts we keep receiving. Love is love till it’s lost. As with our lives. I want to nurture my blessings and keep them close to my heart and shower them with gratitude daily.

Give me the gift of love, but also teach me how to keep it. Teach me how to share it and how to make it grow. Let us teach each other how to grow together. We are all beginners at Life, but we don’t have to go at it alone. Other people may know nuts about how you should lead your life but they sure make for good company.

Have a happy new year.

The Gift

Yours always and always,

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