Recently, I read a book that shifted the way I view myself tremendously.
Most of the times, when a book ends up having a reflective message, I always try to absorb whatever message I learned because adding a new philosophy to life isn't always bad. Depending on what it is.
However, the name of the book is Nekomonogatari (White). It's a Japanese light novel, that when translated to English, reads as Cat Tale (or story) White.
The story follows the life of Hanekawa Tsubasa, a school president among school presidents. A girl known as a saint to many others. A girl feared by many others. A girl who doesn't know everything, only what she knows. I originally found out about this story from an anime adaptation that a friend showed to me. And it wasn't until April, when we went to a bookstore in Little Tokyo that I decided to buy the book.
Despite the fact that I was drowning in papers and midterms, I found smallest of times to read a chapter or at least five pages. I'd read on the bus, between class breaks — you name it. It took me almost a month to read the book, and the end delivered such an impact that I still can't get over it.
Hanekawa Tsubasa is a girl who comes from a really broken household. She doesn't remember the faces of her birth parents, and her current family barely pays attention to her. Despite her background, she is a girl wjho stands out in her academics, and she's friendly caring with everybody.
The only problem with her is that she ignores every bad aspect of her life and everybody else's. She's called too pure, too white — naive to evil and darkness. And in doing so, she set loose pieces of her heart that became “aberrations" that mirrored some of her darkest and deepest emotions.
This story was a journey of self- acceptance. This was a story where the main character had to learn to love herself in order to save herself and those she loved. She realized that in the end, it was up to her. She had to open her eyes — her heart — and bring acceptance to the darkest parts of her.
So here's what I learned from this 300-page book: loving and accepting yourself is never an easy process.
It is a process we all have to go through life at one point, because if we don't learn to do so, life will be a huge gigantic mess.
You are your best friend.
You are the only person you can rely on in times of hardship.
Nobody knows you the way you do.
It is good to know that there's people out there who are there to support you, but that doesn't mean you should always drop your burden on them.
I'm aware of the catatrophic mess being alive can be, but by loving yourself and accepting yourself, you can make being alive a little bit more easier.