Staying Focused

By Shivan Sivakumaran

thank you





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thank you
By Shivan Sivakumaran • Issue #85 • View online
yes, thank YOU.

Kia ora e hoa,
When I was young, I really want to be good at something.
I would enviously applaud those we celebrated walking across stage to collect their awards.
What would it be like? I wondered.
To feel special. To feel talented. To feel worth celebrating.
I wanted to feel like that too.
Why did I really feel that way? Am I evil? Would it be because people would love me more if I was successful? Would my parents finally be proud? Would I finally be at peace with myself?
So I put myself to work. I thought academics was my strongest suit.
I finished high school not first. But second.
Let’s not talk about my university days — I wasn’t any contest.
Fast-forwarding to my working days, my then-partner worked at an ophthalmology clinic. She would always return home in zeal.
Their work is like art, she would say.
What could I do? I thought.
I didn’t feel good at anything. Such a painful feeling. I didn’t feel special. I didn’t feel worthy of love and admiration.
So, I began to write. And I’m glad I did. I love it. My thoughts, feelings and pain to share out to the world. In hopes of finding someone or somepeople just like me.
I like to write about my emotions. I like to talk about the inner workings of my mind. Not many people can, but I can.
I’m not the best writer. That’s what my English teacher told me. But what’s a English teacher really good at? Their primary objective is to keep a class disiplined. What I’m writing here isn’t English class, it’s self expression. By the way, because I’m South Asian doesn’t mean I’m terrible at English and only good at science and math.
It’s weird. I yearned to be the best, but I just said I’m not the best writer.
Before all of this, I thought to be good at something, you have to be born with it.
There is some element of truth, but I later discovered that it’s not about
I wise man told me, if you enjoy what you do, you will excel at it.
I enjoyed this. I finally felt like someone. I felt special.
Before I started writing, I was always an open person. But I always wasn’t. Men are supposed to be closed books with huge penises.
When did the journey of self expression truly begin?
There was this girl in my first year of university, A. You could say ‘A’ stood for angel. She was. Thank you, A. You made first year of university so bearable. Thank you for making me heard and feel special in a hostile place.
She would be the ear to my thoughts. She was a person I could talk to. A friend I finally felt comfortable with.
Years later, I learnt men don’t talk to women about their problems, only to other men. Sorry for breaking that rule.
As much as people would like to think, there was no romantic connection whatsoever. She eventually moved on with her life. They days friends are forever. Not in this case.
Others were also unfortunate to fill this role. Thank you to you too.
Over a decade later since meeting A, you, yes you the reader, now come into the picture.
You’ve come this far, and I thank you.
I’ve had many people feel special in my life and you are one of them.
Thank you for letting me share my authentic self to you.
That’s what I’m planning to do with my YouTube content as well.
Vunerability and authenticity is lacking in today’s world. My bet is people don’t want to see people who are naturally gifted. Or worse, fakely gifted. The instagram model, the steroid gym freak, or the mega billionaire. Like watching those people cross the school assembly stage like I did, we don’t want that. We want to see people just like us sharing their stories. That’s what I want and hopefully you will to.
How about you? Have you found what makes you tick?
Start sharing now.
Stay focused and talk soon.
Ngā mihi nui,
I share my strongest influences. Can you guess a common trend?
Hamza, Ali Abdaal & Captain Sinbad Changed My Life (as a South Asian male)
Hamza, Ali Abdaal & Captain Sinbad Changed My Life (as a South Asian male)
Did you enjoy this issue?
Shivan Sivakumaran

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Aotearoa, New Zealand