I was having lunch with my dad, and a realization came to me that if I wasn’t doing what I was now doing (living and working at the shop), I wouldn’t have been satisfied with myself. I told my dad what I’d just realized, and added that now that I have experienced what I’ve experienced, I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but instead of feeling anxious like I used to, I feel calm. I think I hesitated to admit this to myself because it seemed to devalue what I’ve experienced in the past, but the truth is that it adds to who I am.
It’s a beautiful day; work’s come in, and Shorty’s relaxing on my lap. I don’t have a Valentine, but I still enjoy flirting with the girls I meet. Aside from the visible outer changes, a big inner change is that the harsh self-judgments I used to dump on myself are gone.
Living with my dad has revealed my shadow. Laotians have a nickname that friends and family use, and ironically mine happens to be Shadow. Maybe I project the traits I try to keep hidden away onto others, and in knowing this, maybe I can use it to realize inner peace.