After a SOOOPAH long hiatus, I am reZOOMing this blog in honour of this fine day that has a special place in my heart - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!! :) Without further ado, I shall dive straight into an amalgamation of my thoughts that will hopefully be interesting, or at least entertaining! :)
The other day, I was reading a piece from one of my favourite classes this semester, "Women and modern Chinese culture" and I came across a few key ideas in Ding Ling's "Thoughts on March 8" that particularly resonated with me: Women must find their strength - specifically, be healthy and happy when pursuing their revolutionary aims. While I don't agree with all her ideas and proposals, I did strongly connect to these ideas - that every woman become involved in the process of self-strengthening - of feeling healthy and happy regardless of what society tells us.
There are two different ways to pursue happiness - changing others to fit our agendas, or changing ourselves to fit our own. It's easy to lean towards the former option - changing society's glaring faults and building a shining new home is everyone's dream. Unfortunately, the sheer number of divergent opinions, goals and desires of the bajazillion people around us make this a faraway goal - not impossible, but one that often results in a buildup of unhappiness and hatred.
I'm not here to tell you to give up the fight because it is hard - in fact, I'm telling you to do something that's potentially even harder. I'm suggesting that we save the fire we possess to light our own hearts, rather than desperately try to light the hearts of everyone we know with a one-person serving of fire. It is only with our personal flames alight that we can create change that is motivated by and that involves everyone.
So what does finding your flame mean? It's not just learning what makes you happy, but about learning what makes you happy AMIDST ADVERSITY. On the days that the mirror sneers at you, where the media mocks you, when the world around you is unforgiving - what keeps your flame alive? What is your way of saying, "I am more than a victim of your judgments, and I AM ENOUGH"?
I've learned time and time again that the world will never stop trying to get us down, and that this is especially the case for women living in a society that incessantly tries to dictate how we should look, that never stops finding new ways to limit how we can be. There will inevitably be someone or something that tells us that we are imperfect, that happiness can only come when we have changed something about ourselves. The key is not to get angry and tell them that they're wrong - it is to SHOW THEM that they're wrong with our proudly lit flames and our happiness. Fighting towards a better world doesn't need to involve any form of fighting - not with others or yourself. On this beautiful March 8, join me in finding our flame, in celebrating the energies of women who fight back by building up within.