How I learned to be like water and how it drastically improved my life

by thefanggirl

It’s 9:22 AM on a Thursday morning and I’m sitting on our white barstool chair. A couple weeks ago, I was perusing the apartment complex online community and another girl was selling two stools for $10. Great steal, am I right?

Today, I feel prompted to write. It’s been so long—I used to write more back in Singapore, as well as journal. Words would pour of my fingertips, pressing down on the keyboards, giving me that satisfaction of hearing the clacks of words come from just typing. It’s therapy for me, yet I’ve not done it for a while. I put this exercise in the back of my mind because the act of it was too time consuming sometimes.

The reason why I felt inclined to write today was because I watched Memoirs of a Geisha yesterday night.

Sayuri, the main character, is characterized as water. Each person is likened to an element, such as earth, fire, water, wind, and water. “Like water shifting to fit the shape of its container, people with a lot of water in their personality have a tendency towards adaptability and flexibility,” quotes LitCharts.

I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about -- the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box. There's no doubt it's the most versatile of the five elements.

This quote reminded me of my friend Zhen in Singapore. She told me her life was like water, flowing and ebbing into the path that was built for her. She said she was rarely met with hard times, just ease and things worked out for her. She was rarely defiant or rushed things, and life seemed to work out well. I laughed and said my life was always met with resistance, sometimes too uncanny, like things would get hard at every point.

At some point, she mentioned I was like fire, blazing, shining brightly, but also sometimes scorching and destructing things in my past when I didn’t get my way. I guess I agreed with her to some extent, as I was obvious when I didn’t like someone, when I wanted to change a process to work better, and when I quickly wanted to change a path for myself. I was destructive sometimes, and would blaze a city on fire without looking back. After that conversation, it changed a few things.

It included biting my tongue more when I wanted to lash out (especially at my people close to me) when we got into petty arguments, not sending out angry or long-winded text messages to people about what I really thought, and taking the time to digest details before responding back to someone.

I would write things into my notes messages first, rather than dump my thoughts onto someone. I started taking better care of myself, stretching more at the gym and doing light workouts from time to time, rather than HIIT and hard impact running. I incorporated living a slow life, which meant enjoying my breakfast rather than running off to the next thing. I am sometimes afraid I will let my fire burn out, but instead of setting it ablaze, I feel more at peace moving and thinking slower than usual.

This included:

not showing my distaste at things immediately and biting my tongue to check if this was constructive or harsh feedback

not feeling the need to respond to every text message immediately, especially if i was in the middle of something and it wasn’t an emergency

Keeping certain news on the down-low until they are confirmed. there’s no need to rush into telling everyone everything

identifying my own triggers and insecurities rather than lashing out at other people

You can watch the movie on YouTube free (with ads):

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