One of the many grade school English lessons I enjoyed learning about were idiomatic expressions. This is weird but I love the way simple and absurd things get to have such in-depth meanings.
Who would have thought that “break a leg” would actually mean “good luck”, right?
What I consider my favorite idiomatic expressions are those that I think have no chance of occuring such as crying over spilled milk; going on a wild goose chase; stealing someone’s thunder; having your head on the clouds; occuring when pigs fly; and of course, weeping tears of joy.
You read that right.
Weeping tears of joy has always been something I saw as one of those absurd idiomatic expressions. I once read online that tears is our response to the intense emotions we are feeling. Because of that, I saw crying due to happiness as something that is not feasible simply because the feeling of being happy is not intense enough.
Even though being happy is a positive feeling, like any other emotion, it is just a fleeting passerby. Its effect is not actually as strong as that of the emotion of sadness that has the tendency of creeping within you.
Ever since I read that tears is our response to intense emotions, I have deemed sadness as the emotion that holds the most intensity. The thing about sadness is that it is not a fleeting passerby. It stays in your life but it gets shadowed by other emotions that come your way.
Like a beggar in the street, it waits for you to succumb to it hoping that if you notice its existence, you would let yourself be drowned by it.
Now if you think about it, how can someone cry due to happiness when the feeling of being happy is not as strong as the feeling of being sad? It just does not make sense for me so I started deeming “tears of joy” as one of those absurd idiomatic expressions I always found myself drawn to.
Although that was the case, my belief was proven to be wrong last October 9, 2020.
Last October 9, Christian Foremost sent a message via Facebook Messenger to tell me that he had featured me in one of his posts. After I read his post, I replied to him with utter gratitude.
In the middle of telling my mom about it, the thought sank in my mind and I found myself with tears running down my face not because of sadness but because of intense happiness.
In the blog post written by Christian Foremost, he made me feel like I was some sort of a promising writer; like my posts are worthy of being checked out. He made me see that my posts are not just some ramblings but actually holds depth.
As someone who has the toxic trait of always seeking validation from other people, seeing as how someone I do not know have built me up to people, makes me feel really delighted and touched.
The thing is, I thought the only way I will get noticed in this vast world is through prioritizing my education. Since I was young, the importance of education was instilled in my mind. Although I am not the best student out there, the fear of getting grades that are lower than my parents’ expectations has always been one of my greatest fears.
Because of that, I saw being good in my studies as the only way I can attain validation. I never thought that actually being included in a blog post would satisfy my lack of validation.
I know the wrongness of seeking validation from others. Although that is the case, I always find myself craving for it because I feel like other people’s words are more genuine.
One thing you probably do not know about me is that I love drenching myself with my own fake compliments and blinded positivity. I always tell myself I am beautiful and great at things but in reality, I do not really feel that way. I feel like I am always inferior when it comes to other people.
That is why whenever the things I created or me, in general, gets noticed and complimented by other people, I feel like I am not really the mess that I think I am.
Maybe that was the reason I cried when I saw Christian’s post. The way he described the depth of how I write in this blog transcended my belief of me being a mess. It broke the barrier I have put between myself and the validation I long for.
Through his post, I realized how my belief has always been twisted when it comes to validation. All my life, I have believed that I can only satisfy my craving for validation if someone would actually hand it to me. The truth is, that is not the case.
Rather than people giving you validation, what they can do is inspire you to validate your own self.
The thing is, we are the ones who give meanings to abstract terms such as love, success, and validation. Whatever definition you give these terms, it stays with you until you decide to perceive another definition.
Before, I saw validation as the thing I can only acquire through studying my hardest, and letting my parents walk on the school’s stage with pride like what my sister has been letting them do for a couple of years now. When that did not happen during my two years in senior high school, I felt like a disgrace.
Now, I am starting to believe that validation is a continuous process of accepting yourself for who you are, and letting yourself indulge in things that make you happy.
Do not get me wrong. I still want to let my parents walk on the school’s stage with pride once I finish college but now I am starting to learn that that should not be when I decide to give myself validation.
Instead, I should choose to validate myself day by day starting today.
We do not know. Maybe by doing that, pigs will actually grow wings and fly.