Even Water Can Burn- Part 2/4 – Vite Ramen

Even Water Can Burn- Part 2/4


Event Preface TL;DR: For Two Weeks, I(Tim, Founder/CEO) be creating and producing a lot of content, telling my story intertwined with Vite's story.

WARNING. This piece is a little more experimental and heavier.

Even Water Can Burn- Part 2/4

I am an immensely proud person.

I am not a prideful person.

I have humility too, often too much in the wrong places. Not many people would describe me as modest and humble, and yet, not many know much about what I’ve done, either.

Part of The Twins’ curse
is the inability to acknowledge yourself as a whole, and as an individual person. This carries forth the definition of self, the ability to be proud, and the effect it has on ego and self-actualization.

Oof, big words, right? Philosophical and all?

Sure, kinda. Philosophy majors are probably all getting ready to jump down my throat here, but hold on a sec here before I gotta fight all of you(and I will if y’all rush me, dw).

For me, and for the purposes of this, we’ll define the words as such:

Pride: The sense of achievement or pleasure from one’s achievement

Ego: The idea of one’s own importance

Self-actualization: The realization or fulfillment of one’s potentialities

Whew. That last one, especially, will likely need some further clarification in and of itself. We’ll get to that.

Being proud, however, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. “I’m proud of you,” are a few short words, and yet, something that many of us crave to hear from someone. “You should be proud of what you’ve done,” is something we tell others all the time when they’re dejected, often from not reaching the pinnacle of what they were shooting for.

That pride, that sense of achievement is the drive for us to commit to something that would otherwise chew us up and spit us out, or beat our spirits down to tatters. That pride is what compels us to chase the unknown, challenge the impossible, and strive for greatness when we could settle for mediocrity.

The pride in who we are, what we can do, and what we reach for is what defines the greatest from the good.

Ego, too, is not all so bad as it may seem. The correct balance of ego, the understanding of one’s importance in the world and importance in their own life is what allows us to define ourselves as us. To tell your own story, and trust your own story is the very core foundation of being that gives us courage in ourselves, and also importantly, set our boundaries against that which may otherwise seek to harm or manipulate us.

And self-actualization... ah, now there’s the rub-- What, indeed, is self-actualization?

If we define self-actualization as the realization or fulfillment of one’s potentialities, or, put simply, as being able to achieve your full potential(which, if you think about it, really is the simpler, less pretentious way of saying it...), then it is as simple as the combination of the other two definitions.

It is to have a strong sense of self, of understanding your importance and your core, and to have the pride, the strength, and the drive to push and achieve beyond the bare minimum and take the full, painful, arduous strides towards the maximum of what you can be.

I wish that I could say that was who I am, and what I am.

I am not.

Not yet.

My sense of self has been stolen by The Twins, and the wounds have not yet truly scabbed over, much less healed.

To have pride is to have a sense of self, to have the ego-- and I have scant little. Just whispers and wisps of a form, once red and burning, coalescing into a whole, once corporeal, and now?

I’m not sure.

I’m figuring it out.

Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put a Tim into anywhere on this earth, and he will become what he needs to.

Water can flow, or it can crash.

To learn, to adapt, to become everything, and anything, to be able to move with the chaos and pivot, again and again, flowing into the force just to absorb it and crash back down.

I’ve done this, again, and again, and again, and again, and again, for 30 years.

They say it’s a boon, you know. They say this ability to adapt, this ability to adjust is something that is envied, something to be cherished, something to be proud of.

But it is not me. I take on the shapes and entities and forms of the beings I meet, the people I speak to, the media I consume, more than any other. I have no shape that belongs to me-- This shape of mine had belonged to The Twins, and now, then, who am I? What have I to be proud of?

I don’t know.

Shapeless. Formless.

Achievements and things that I’ve done, things that I have completed, and yet... I? Have I completed them? Was it truly the me that had done those things?

They don’t feel like mine.

Certainly, they belong to someone else, right?

I am...

I am proud.

I remember a boy who was often told to stay quiet, a boy who loved to be, and loved to try, and loved to explore who he was, and would be told no, again, and again, and again.

I remember a boy who was punished repeatedly for being too much, a boy who cried and yelled and screamed, a boy who was told he was too emotional.

I remember a boy who shut himself down, who became stoic, unfeeling, and buried, a boy who was told, again, and again, “You look like the type who’d shoot up the school.”

This boy could not be. Not in this world. So he dispersed, and became like water, immaterial, formless, and he learned to steal the faces and masks and words of others.

Be like water. Like them.

Not like you.

The boy disappeared, like water, seeping into the ebbs and flows and cracks, buried without so much a cry. After all, he wasn’t allowed to anymore.

There was a face beneath the watery facades, once, but now there are only the reflections of those who stand above it.

There is an idea of a Tim, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real Tim. Not there.

When the sense of self is lost, then all you can do is reflect. All you can do is be another, and another, and another, and you begin to realize that about yourself, that you’re nothing but a parasite of words and phrases and emotions that aren’t even your own, and you become hungrier for more to sate the hunger that grows, and you rely on the praise, the definitions, the “proud of you”s and the “you’re amazing”s and the cheap, surface adulations because you know just as well as everyone else playing the facade that this is not you, this is not who you are and what you are and yet you want, and want, and want, and want and feed on those wants and needs and desires and service and give and hope that someone, anyone, will see the fictitious mockery, the phony, fraudulent pathetic copy of... who?

Not you, certainly.

Not me, certainly.

And you begin to realize that somehow, even being water, you are still burning, and burning, and burning yourself alive to keep these others warm for the sake of being the “nice” person, the “kind” person, the “understanding” person.

And you feel pieces of yourself fall. But it’s fine, isn’t it? It’s for them. It’s okay if it’s for them. After all, this isn’t you. Just an abstraction.

After all, water has no boundaries, and no form, and no shape, and no way to resist.

And yet, something still glimmers. You burn, and your eye catches the faintest hint of a glimmer, the faintest whisper of a nostalgic form that you were once familiar with. And you can’t see it, and you can’t feel it, and you saw it.

You want it.

More than anything than before, more than anything you’ve ever craved, and suddenly you feel a burning--



It doesn’t feel like the way your skin burns, the way the flesh you’ve designed to please others burns, it feels...


And you look and see that this want intensifies, and it shows more of that familiar form, that familiar thing once again, and it grows more, and more, and more and illuminates outwards in a way that the shallow praises never could, and--

The water begins to dry, and the thirsty, rough-hewn surfaces carved out by the water crashing again, and again, and again begins to break and crack and crumble beneath the pressures born again, and again, and it all begins to fall apart.

Exuberant, excited, you look to that shattered ground, remembering the boy, remembering what you’d buried before, remember and with a swelling anticipation peer over to see--


It’s been 30 years.

The boy is gone.

And I have, now, my wounds to dress, my bruises to nurse, and burns to treat that have come so often and so readily that, like any good chef, I barely notice them anymore, shrug, and return to doing what I always do.

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