I’ve been wanting to write this for quite some time now but I didn’t quite feel I needed to publish it, or let people know about it until really today.
The rather important announcement I have to make, which I began to feel the impetus, an unshakable obligation, is that *drum rolls please*……
I have changed.
Ena Teo, more commonly known as Teo Jia En in real life, offline, has irrevocably changed.
I wrote a pretty long personal reflection at the end of last year, now shelved somewhere in a folder on my desktop that the people I’ve met last year has changed me more than I’ve changed them. I’ve been changed more than what I think we collectively can imagine.
Like it or not, people have an insidious influence on others.
So how have I changed? You may ask.
I have changed from bring a naive, trusting, innocent, un-beguiling girl to an aware, skeptical, doubtful, assuming person.
I’ve become more like those who made me this way.
I’ve become less of who I was – that purity and innocence that I embodied were taken for granted, mocked, despised, spat on, ripped out and apart.
And people will look at the change in me and wonder. Not that they have actually done so, but I imagine. “What has happened to the Jia En of the past? What has happened to you? You were never quite so mean or bitchy. Why are you like that now?”
You want to know what happened?
I find it even more ironic that a close friend, whom I trust very much, told me not to lose that purity and innocence. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her heart. But coming from another like the who I am now, where is the validity of that statement?
Essentially, how can you expect another to be pure and innocent when you also are no longer, in this dark and tainted world?
In case you are wondering at this point about purity and innocence, I refer to mental and spiritual, not physical or sexual.
I debated within myself for months. I was evasive. I evaded having to face, how to reconcile the fact of others mocking my “nice-ness” to them by lying quite blatantly and repeatedly in my face. The saying in mandarin “Good people have no good returns” still ring quite soundly in my ears. To say I’m used to being taken for granted, or my kind actions to be taken for granted is an understatement.
So I did make a decision, not quite decisively, but rather naturally, logically. That I was never going to be the stupid fool giving out free love and care to the “un-deserving”. Not especially if I’ve come to see that she doesn’t appreciate it.
Yes everyone deserves a chance. Yes I still choose to see the world as a half full cup and people I meet at the first time as a 10/10 before negative experiences with them diminish the invisible count.
But I’ve become harsher, stricter with the people around me. If you use me, and I know it, for the second time after, I’ve said good bye to you in my heart. I’m just not going to initiate communication with you.
If you are giving me excuse, and expecting me to be the Jia En of the past, the nice one, the giving in one, the weak, the pushover.
This is the announcement I’m here to make. She’s gone.
This week made me grow up.
Made me really realize this change is here to stay.
Made me realize I’m no longer around to serve everyone, make their day and earn their smiles.
I still will, as a Christian, it is my pleasure to be of service to others.
But I’ve begun to draw a difference from those who are sincere. And those who are not.
People who are not sincere and out to exploit my niceness, please get out. You are not welcomed. You can say your good bye.
And now where I am, I have realized I’ve grown guts to say. No wait, I haven’t actually grown guts per se, they were always there, just hidden. Now I acknowledge I have the guts to say, if you are doing something wrong, to me, to the world, whatever, just something wrong, I’ll just state it as it is.
This rationale is flawed. I acknowledge that I am flawed. So yes you might have recognized by now that I’ve become like one of those defensive, oversensitive types. Perhaps over thinking and thinking the worse of others in order not to be taken advantage of. I doth agree.
Yes, I’ve become more self aware, selfish. Whatever happened to the biblical saying that if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn over the left to him? What about the, forgive your brother up to 7×7 (meaning forever) times?
Id like to bring up that the bible also teaches one to be as gentle as doves but as cunning as snakes. You certainly have to lose some battles to win some battles but you certainly DON’T consistently let another play you like a fool when you know you are played.
Christianity is about love, receiving God’s love and showing God’s love to others. It is not about allowing others to take advantage of your pure and kind nature for their own agenda. It is not. Christians are not pushovers. In fact we are anything but that. I do humbly think if you have offended a Christian you should be thankful he or she is one and able to forgive and let go, simple because we recognize that God has forgiven our sins and remember them no more.
I am not going to harp on this topic any longer than I should. I am going end with a few thoughts.
Firstly, I speak up for all who can relate to how I feel. For those who can’t, stop assuming your nice friends will always forever be nice to you and you gawk and wonder whatever in heavens happened to them when they are nice no more one day.
Secondly if you know one of these nice people, stop exploiting them and I mean it. Start appreciating them and asking them how you can offer them any help back in return. Stop mocking them behind their backs and say “omg why is he or she so dumb by being so nice?” You are the dumber one who is receiving help from this supposedly dumb person. And if you hear such talk, don’t participate in it, say you think otherwise, thank and compliment the nice person instead! We have to learn to stand up against negative talk and stand up for what’s right!
Lastly, if you are reading this and you can totally relate, please comment and tell me about what you’ve been through, how you are coping or you’ve coped and if you think you’re still nice to all or nice with a differentiation (like me).
I’ve not stopped being nice. I don’t think you should either. I just think people should stop exploiting nice people. Nice people should stop letting others exploit them. Stand up for what’s right.