I don’t know much about space, as do any of us. But from what I’ve gathered via special effects sci-fi movies, there is a point called a moonshot, in which you send a spacecraft to the moon. It is an ambitiously exploratory venture.
As of the last few years, my moonshots have decidedly been undertaken without any expectation of near-term fruition, nor perhaps, even full investigation of possible risks and benefits.
Now you’re probably thinking: Don’t ever let this girl grab hold of space craft. And you’re probably right, in a grander, more scientifically mechanical sense. But again, this was a fairly recent reprogramming of the person that I am today.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a very emotional person, raised by the type of people often coined as ‘tiger parents.’ My parents are feisty and unaffectionately loving. It’s sort of the best of both worlds: I was taught to be calculative and focused. But I myself also knew a lot about feelings and feeling feelings.
Or so I liked to think.
It is in fact only recently that I learnt I am scared of emotions.
Early on during this pandemic, I moved back home. Overcoming the economical and emotional side effects COVID-19 was an extra ambitiously exploratory venture for me. And around my family, I had never felt so full yet so empty.
So I started running again because it was something I had been known to be good at. As always, I channelled my low emotions into a strive for a new finish line. That’s all I wanted—to finish, bigger and better and best. I’d run even when I felt drained and couldn’t feel my lungs. But then I’d go home and stay in bed for days.
I was on a treadmill of feelings, and unknowingly trying to outrun it.
The uncertainty made all I had been programmed to know and do, a blackhole. I was heavy and hollow, all at once. I didn’t realize that when you run and run and hurt yourself, you can’t keep trying to outrun a sore muscle.
You see, when you’re brought up by tiger parents, you’re taught to never lose sight of your moonshot. You’re taught that in order to succeed, you can’t feelings stand in your way. You have to catch obstacle-like emotions, and overcome them. Perhaps, all I ever know about my emotions is what they were blocking and that I have to overcome them. I was so, sad, and I didn’t even know why.
I still wake up sad somedays and can’t decide whether I like being awake or asleep more. I am very far from the focused person I was, and that’s scary. But it’s also okay. I’ve been slowing down and asking myself where I am, rather than how do I get to where I want to be.
I sit in my pieces, and sit and sit and sit.
Because pretending that your emotional side doesn’t exist, or converting emotions into work, doesn’t make those emotions any less there. Just sit with them, talk to them, get to know them. Feel all of those feelings, and then one day they will feel different.
That’s why I’ve decided to adopt a new definition of a moonshot: an ambitiously exploratory venture undertaken without any expectation of near-term fruition. It is but trusting in something, towards something, astronomical; towards a place where I can bring all of me.
And I promise I’ll go far. But this is where I am right now. And I’ve been liking, just, floating in space.