We all have those things and thoughts that we hold onto for dear life, like pleasant memories.
Memories of being a kid in the front passenger seat of the car with my father driving, pretending that we're in a fighter jet or spaceship, engaging in combat with imaginary enemies. Me as his co-pilot pressing buttons and turning knobs to fire missiles and engaging boosters.
Memories of my family driving down Chagrin Boulevard passing a giant tree that looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex about to chomp down on the cars and street below it.
Memories of driving with friends to the only mall with an arcade and playing Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken Tag Tournament, and the Simpsons arcade game, eating dinner at Friendly's or TGI Fridays, then going to the used CD/record store to buy random CDs from the $1.00 bin to listen to on the way back home and finding gems like Goldo's Assoline (see video below).
Memories of playing basketball drunk with my freshman year roommates.
Memories of creating a 24-themed webcomic that I made using photoshop. Something I was oddly proud of yet incredibly embarrased about.
Memories of jam sessions and writing/recording songs with my best friend in college.
Memories of playing FIFA with said best friend on Playstation 2 for hours on end, sometimes ending up on not-speaking terms for a few games, until we both begrudgingly realize we're hungry and then we go eat.
Memories of drunken nights at Woorijp followed by karaoke with my fellow MAIP interns/friends in NYC.
Memories of staying out till 5am in Seoul with my Yonsei KLI classmates on consecutive weekday nights.
I have so many good memories that I keep near and dear to my heart. There are so many more, but this little exercise has taught me that I keep these nice memories deep inside and the ones that are closer to the surface are the memories that have left scars, from little nicks to deep cuts.
Every rejection, whether it was from applying to colleges, friends, crushes, to jobs.
Every time I caught someone lying to me, but never said anything because I used to be anti-confrontational.
Every time I've lied to someone close to me and feeling shitty about it.
Every racist interaction I've encoutered, whether purposeful or a result of unconscious bias.
Every bad relationship I've ever had that didn't work because of fundamental differences in our core values.
Every time I was told I'm not good enough or that I'm too much.
But this isn't abnormal. I know that a lot of people are like this. It's always easier to focus on the negative.
It's so easy to nitpick and poke holes. You can find a flaw in everything because....nothing is flawless.
It's part of the human condition.
I'm personally going to try and focus on all of the good in my life. Which sounds like a painfully obvious thing one should do, but I personally find it incredibly challenging. And it's not that I weigh the "good" less than I do the "bad". It's quite the opposite.
The challenge is to not do the easy thing and dig deeper to find the good stuff. And hopefully, over time, I spend more time reminiscing than I do brooding.