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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 51
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Forgive Myself
Candice Xie
Forgive Myself

I remember that dark, snowy day. The girl who dressed in red was like a flame in the world of white. I knew her because we used to have lunch together in school. The world was so silent that day that her screaming was distinct. I ran to her and saw the boy behind her drag her beautiful dark brown hair and slap her face. She turned her head to avoid being slapped. However, the boy hit her back with his knees. The boy saw me. Instead of running away, he smiled at me and said, “I know you. If you tell this to others, I will find you.” I was shocked at first; then, I tried to say something to calm him down. However, he still smiled like a predator before enjoying his catch. The girl begged me not to leave, her melancholy tears shining on her face. Her eyes were so bright and sad that I could not look at them directly. The wind was howling, slicing snow in drifts. The sky blended with the ice-white dust and turned dark. Eventually, the red figure, the boy’s smile, the snow, and the sky all blurred in my vision. The only thing I could hear was my steps. I ran and ran until I was exhausted. I was a coward.

The next day, I asked everyone I knew in school about the girl; however, she had disappeared. I did not know if it was my cowardice that made me run away or if I was a bad person who did not want to help. I blamed myself for not helping and could not forgive myself. Her pale face loomed into my vision every snow day until...

One day, I realized that the longer I thought about my wrong decision, the longer I felt depressed; the guilt could not help anything that had already happened. I believe that forgiveness releases me from my past mistakes.

Forgiving myself is not as easy as forgiving others. People look upon themselves so much that they are conscious about everything they do. The first step I took was to tell myself that everyone makes mistakes. I was not a bad person due to one mistake. I wanted to help the girl until the boy threatened me, and I learned to put my safety first. Second, I tried to have a conversation with my internal voice. I examined my mind. I was too scared at that moment, so I could not make the right decision. Next time, while I hope there would not be, I would calm down first and ask others for help. After the introspection, I felt much better and released the pressure I gave to myself.

A year ago, I saw a thief stealing in the crowded bus. When I tried to stop him, the thief gave me a gesture meaning kill. Although I was scared, I calmed down and asked the bus driver for help. The driver reminded the passengers to take care of their own things. The stealing eventually stopped. I was proud because I knew my reaction was the result of forgiving myself and learning from the past.

I believe that forgiving myself from past mistakes is a practice that enables me to learn and get rid of depression. Scarlett O'Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.” Likewise, I should look forward to the future instead of living in the past.