Your Own Tomato Sauce

Part 1

I have had to say goodbye to more people than I care to count.

It seems that as we grow older, our urge to move keeps growing. We leave the country, hometowns, leave the cities in which we went to college, and leave new homes for new jobs. Constant move. We make friends all over and eventually have to say goodbye, at least for now. Most of us are not good at the entire goodbye thing. When I was young, I used to say goodbye to draw away an annoying person, but now that I’m older, I often tend to forget why I should ever want to say such a thing in the first place.  And if you’re like me, it is okay not to be great at saying goodbye.   

I suck at goodbyes. I choose to go on with my day like nothing ever happened. I don’t say goodbye cause I do not want someone’s’ leaving to be the last memory I have in mind. I settle that tomorrow will be just  like yesterday. When we initiate goodbyes, we tend to focus on the emptiness and sadness we’re left with after we part ways. I flat-out refuse the scheme of goodbye. While others are busy taking photos and keeping promises, I often skip it and go straight to packing up my stuff and hitting the road. For some, there’s no need for all that. Goodbyes aren’t necessary because they will see you soon, and also because long, drawn-out goodbyes might make them realize it might not be so soon, and that would be uncomfortable. Avoiding goodbyes is the easiest way to keep all the feelings intact. Later on, we say the farewell in our heads. That’s all we need, sometimes.

Be kind to yourself. Saying goodbyes can either evoke a sense of relief or a sense of emptiness. Take this time to tune into what you’re feeling and allow it to unfold.

Part 2

The thing about having a favorite dish in a restaurant is that you immediately notice how the serving size varies from time to time. Well, I often experience this and get embarrassed in front of my colleagues when I tell them how a particular dish could feed the entire group, thinking that the serving should be adamant, only to find out that they altered it.  Nonetheless, we frequently find ourselves sitting in the same restaurant time and again. This, needless to say, is favoritism. Why not, I really like their tomato sauce. 

Amidst changes in our lives, we still find ourselves doing the same old routine when faced with emotional crisis. I began to notice, however, that we have naïve- developed favoritism in how much more we value our body than our mind.We’ve all known since we were five years old that we need to maintain good physical hygiene. But how many of us practice emotional hygiene on a regular basis? Has it come to your attention how most teenagers are so fashionable these days? And the increasing number of youth doing yoga? These are all done in the name of physical maintenance. 

After retiring to our systematic routine for the day, some of us go home emotionally tired, packed with our academic requirements, the insensitivity of other people in the grocery store or our insecurities about the future. At the end of the day, we cannot say to someone who is lonely or depressed to “just shake it off, it’s all in your head.” It is parallel to telling a person with a broken leg to “just walk it off, it’s all in your leg.”

Worse than feeling lonely, psychological wounds make us believe that the ones around us care less than they actually do. It leads to keeping our vulnerability to ourselves. When we tend to grow independent and brave amidst broken souls, we build a wall that encloses us and leads to emotional pain. In the intimacy that exposure brings, there is an amazing opportunity: a chance of being loved for who you really are.

Remember to give kindness a chance when you hit rock bottom. When you are hurt, be close to people who love you and who can tolerate your pain without passing judgment or giving you advice. You cannot treat yourself if you are not aware that you are wounded. Feelings are not trust-worthy friends. 

Favoritism- what is your favorite emotional hygiene?