Eye-Opening Moments Podcast

How I Got This Way (and more)

May 07, 2024 Emily Kay Tan Episode 119
How I Got This Way (and more)
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
More Info
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
How I Got This Way (and more)
May 07, 2024 Episode 119
Emily Kay Tan

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about How I Got This Way and What Your Written Words Say


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

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Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about How I Got This Way and What Your Written Words Say


Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

Support the Show.



Comments or questions welcomed:
Twitter @emilykaytan OR https://inspiremereads.com.
Subscriptions appreciated: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1919670/support

Hello and welcome to episode #119 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about How I Got This Way and What Your Written Words Say. 

How I Got This Way
I think it is an age-old question: Why am I this way? How did I get this way? With some self-examination, reflection, and study or research, you can find answers by digging deep. You could say something happened, you made an interpretation, and it ended in a conclusion. Whatever you conclude, it will manifest itself in your behavior and attitude. As I discovered, it can explain the once unexplained and can be food for thought.

I am a punctual person and demand that others be the same. While I have no right to ask that of others, I do, and it took a happenstance for me to realize why it was so important to me and why I demanded it of others. 

Devin, an ex-boyfriend now, was habitually late. One time, while driving, he said he had to stop by an office to talk business with someone. He said it would be a short while, so I should stay in the car and wait. I brought a book to read as that was how I dealt with waiting for him frequently. Time seemed to pass by quicker. However, I waited for two hours and got very angry. 

At first, I was annoyed, but the longer I waited, the angrier I got. I kept waiting because I couldn’t believe he could make me wait that long and expect me to stay sitting there. I screamed profanities and pounded my fist on the seat; no one heard me because I was in the car alone.

I finally got out of the car and called a taxi to drive me home. As I paced back and forth around the parking lot, waiting for the cab, I anxiously waited and hoped it would arrive before Devin showed up. It would be my revenge on him for me to disappear. Suddenly, I realized why I was so angry. Suddenly, I realized why I hated it when people were late or made me wait because they were late. I stopped in my tracks, and tears welled up in my eyes.

Hidden deep in the recesses of the little girl in me was an abandonment issue. Mom sent me to live with my grandmother when I was five. I waited and waited, but she never came back to get me. Somehow, I concluded that I was being abandoned when I had to wait for someone. Unbeknownst to me, I got upset every time I had to wait for someone, and no one could understand how I could get so furious. Even I didn’t understand why until that day when I waited for Devin for two hours. Suddenly, the unexplained was explained to me by the little girl in me who cried, waiting for a mommy who never came to pick her up. 

After the eye-opening moment, my behavior changed. When someone is late, I will know it is not someone abandoning me, so I will not get upset. However, if I have to wait long, I will call to ask what happened or stop waiting and leave.

Why am I punctual? I don’t want to be late and make others wait. I don’t want anyone to feel abandoned like me because it is devastating. I want you to know that you can count on me to be there for you because I wish I had someone like that. I give what I wish I had. Now you and I know why I am punctual, dependable, and reliable.

I am independent; I count on myself. My friends say I am fiercely independent and ask how I could handle so many things on my own. I always said that it was a matter of survival. I was not proud of myself; I hated having to be independent and could not rely on anyone. I had an attitude. Where did it come from? 

After some personal development classes and soul-searching, I deduced that it started when Mom dropped me off at my grandmother’s house. Unbeknownst to me, that little girl said, “You don’t want me? I don’t want you either. I don’t need you, and I will show you.” That was the beginning of Little Miss Independent. Little Emily began finding and learning to do things independently and refused to ask for help even when she desperately needed it. 

Desperate to prove that she didn’t need anybody, she got creative in solving many problems on her own. She found a way to pay for her college education. She began her career in the big city with her first apartment. She divorced her husband and got a house of her own. She overcame one adversity after another and built her strength in adaptability and resilience. Adamantly refusing to ask for help, she even painstakingly dumped a queen-sized mattress by herself. That was how her attitude and behavior manifested from what the little girl inside her said. Realizing the powerful hold that little girl had on her, Emily also realized how she made her life harder than it had to be.

Today, I comfortably ask for help to do this or that. I am no longer so stubborn that I will drag a mattress to the dumpster myself. I now know that asking for help is not necessarily a sign of weakness or neediness. I don’t need to prove anything to anybody anymore. Maybe I thought I did, but I don’t. I also learned that we are all interdependent, whether we like it or not! Learning what drove me into fierce independence helped me to become a little less stubborn in asking for help. I am still independent but do fewer things alone, making my life a little easier.

I am a quiet person; you could say I am naturally an introvert. I enjoy introspection and self-analysis. Though I am quiet, I have many, many things to say. My inner voice never stops talking. I have lots to share, but you don’t hear it because my voice was silenced long ago. And then it became a habit to be quiet.

It began when I was nine at my grandmother’s kitchen table. My aunties and grandma were planning a family picnic. I had suggestions of what to bring, but they all landed on deaf ears, and they even told me to shut up. That was the moment I began to shut down. I concluded that my voice didn’t matter because no one cared to hear what I had to say. Why talk when no one is listening? 

That unspoken attitude bled into all my communications. If I sensed that you did not listen, I would stop talking. I am a teacher. Whenever I see my students not paying attention, I stop talking. Whenever I am in conversation with someone and find them multi-tasking or doing something else, I stop talking. I demand attention if I am talking. If I don’t get it, then I don’t speak. Who doesn’t like a good listener? Who likes to talk and be unheard? I want to be heard when I talk, don’t you?

I found when and why I became quiet. I learned that I am also an introvert and that there is nothing wrong with being one, even though society might like extroverts more. Though I am this way, I still have lots to say. My voice still wants to come out. Finally, I found a place for it! As a writer, I can express myself through printed words, and you can hear me by reading my books. You can also hear my voice in my Eye-Opening Moments Podcast. I may still appear quiet, but I have a voice as an author and podcaster!

Discovering why I am the way I am, in some ways, has helped alter some of my actions. If anything, they are food for thought to explain the unexplained. Further, it can make you wonder about your other characteristics that have yet to be explained and answer the question: Why are you the way you are?

 What Your Written Words Say
You can find the essence of a person in a text message, an email, a letter, or an essay. All these short forms of communication can reveal what we may like to conceal. They can uncover something about you that you never realized. It could be eye-opening and insightful. But do you want to know, or would you be scared or reluctant to know?

Checking essays written by my junior high students started as only correcting sentence structure or organization, grammar, spelling, or word choice. However, it later morphed into an incredible world for me in discovering the essence of the individual behind the words.

My student Victor wrote good essays in that there was little to correct. However, I often commented that if he wrote with more details by giving specific examples or descriptions, his writings would be more interesting to the reader. He revised with minimal examples or explanations, leaving the reader unengaged. Later, I sat before Victor and said, "Your writing is fine, but you write in too many generalities. I've talked to you about writing with more specifics, and I still don't see it. As a reader, I cannot feel your thoughts or emotions. This essay is not scientific or factual, so I want to know the character behind it." Feeling like I was not expressing myself clearly or finding the right words to describe what I wanted to tell Victor, I wondered if anything I said made any difference. An hour later, I got my answer.

Victor, who usually finished his writing pieces first, was now the last to finish. He handed in his essay. I read it, and it moved me. In my mumble jumble of words, Victor did hear me. His writing was straightforward, honest, descriptive, explanatory, and specific. Most importantly, it was heartfelt; it touched me.

I learned something about Victor that day. He had written in generalities before because he did not want to show his feelings and more profound thoughts. He tried to hide and protect himself from being seen. He had a voice to express but was reluctant to show it. No wonder he wrote in generalities. I smiled; I got his voice out of him, and the essence of Victor was a young man hiding his deep ideas and thoughts. Victor has more substance than most young men and has yet to reveal more of his beautiful character.

Every day, I get many work-related emails from people I do not know. We corresponded back and forth several times. I find that even short email interactions reveal much about a person. For example, when someone replies quickly with the needed information, it tells me something about them. When somebody takes their time to respond to important information, it leaves me with thoughts about them, too. Procrastinators and their opposite are easy to find in an email. I can also discover other characteristics of a person in email messages. Are you honest, or are you a calculated liar? Are you patient or impatient? Are you a positive or negative person? Are you arrogant or a narcissist? Are you grateful or a spoiled brat? All these I find in my work emails; it is intriguing to discover the personalities I deal with in the emails. Tones and attitudes are revealed in how someone writes, no matter how short the message is.

Beware, your readers can hear your tone of voice in your emails. I can feel a person's mood, emotions, or attitude in an email or letter. I can even feel my own! It's sometimes scary how powerful our written words are. They are words that come from our inner voice, the silent voice that is hidden unless we put it into writing. What does your writing reveal about you? What do other people's text messages or emails show about them? When you are in a hurry to write a text or email message, remember that your words will uncover something about you! When you take the time to write something lengthier, such as an essay or story, that also reveals something about you! Can you conceal what you don't want to reveal?

 Key Takeaways: Though I got to be this way, knowing how or why helps explain it all and then I can change it if I want. 

Though written words can be short or brief, they can still reveal what you might want to conceal. Choose your words wisely.

Next week, you will hear about two new real-life stories called Male Friends and I Lost it All . If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction
How I Got This Way
What Your Written Words Say
Key Takeaways