As I was reading quora updates, I was suddenly reminded by one of the Anime series that I really like - the Ouran High School Host Club.
In Ouran High School Host Club, there are 2 episodes that left a very deep impression to me every time I watched them. It's episode 20, "The Door the Twins Opened!" "Futago ga Aketa Tobira" (双子があけた扉) and episode 24, "And so Kyoya Met Him!" "Soshite Kyōya wa Deatta" (そして鏡夜は出会った).
Both episodes left a particularly different feelings whenever I watched them. I was thinking of having both episodes written in one entry. However, it might be too complicated for me to convey their charms in one entry.
And so I decided to dedicate this entry to Episode 24.
Episode 24 "And so Kyoya Met Him!" "Soshite Kyōya wa Deatta" (そして鏡夜は出会った), left a very deep impression to me about life.
Kyouya, who was stuck in his own world with the mindset that as the third son, he would never be the successor of the family. All he could do is meet all his father's expectations, support his brothers and never surpass them. However, in a way, he knew that he could do more. He dreams to be someone better, to be someone who could make his father feel very proud, to be better than his brothers.
But because of the circumstances (having 2 perfect elder brothers) he perceive his life as painting the already perfect painting.
"To see how much I can display my talent without going over the 'limits' of a third son... That is like having a canvas already set inside a formidable frame... and trying to create the best painting atop it."
If I were to compare it with the real life, perhaps the circumstances are different. But the fact that many of us always perceive our life as painting the already perfect painting is true.
We might not be the third heir to a business empire, but it's true that we sometimes see life as having a canvas already set inside a formidable frame.
As a result, we grew very frustrated. Because we wanted to go out of the canvas but scared that we would stain the perfect painting that perhaps set by our parents, siblings, family, even the society.
Once, I too was stuck in that frame for a long time. Since kindergarten, I had always followed my sister's path. Kindergarten, primary school, secondary school until university. Her path was all I could ever see back then.
I was always the second one. My sister was very smart. She was always in the top 3. Competing for the 1st place in the class, back in primary school.
I was always in the top 5 but I never got the first place except once - when I was in year 4. It was a total struggle for me. To my parents, I could no longer excite them. Me being in the 2nd or 3rd place could never compare to my sister's first place.
There was once, I got the fourth place and my sister, as always got 1st in her class. The fact that I got the 4th place was a disappointment to my mother.
It was as if 'why couldn't you be more like your sister?'. and though I no longer resent my mother, it still left a deep scar.
In secondary school, I drifted further. I could not keep up being with the 'intelligent' students. I think, for most part, deep in my heart, I agreed that I could never climb that high. I learned to be contented with what I had.
Without knowing... I gave up.
I had chosen to pick up the brush and continue to paint the canvas. Trying very hard not to spoil it.
Years passed, I enrolled in USIM with my sister's advice. In USIM, I realized that I was not born for this. Science is just not my thing.
Things happened... and now I'm in IPG. Painting my own canvas. and I am happy.
I was no longer a someone's shadow.
Back to Kyouya, it was after he met Tamaki that he realized that he was not trying hard enough.
'What? You're the one who isn't trying harder. If you want to surpass your brothers, then do so. The one that's not doing anything and giving up... is you.'
In the series, the character conveniently realized his mistake when the protagonist said it. But in real world, it would be much harder. Perhaps we would never even realized that.
I did not realize this either for years and now I'm glad I did. I encourage my third sister due to this conscience that she should start to paint her own canvas.
To those who feel like they had been painting the already perfect canvas and scared to step out of it, have courage, take the risk and explore! In the end, all the hard work and struggles will just be a fond memory in the future.
if you are the parents, keep on supporting your children. It might not be the first for you but to them, all the achievements were their first.
if you are an elder brother or sister, guide your other siblings. No matter how strong they are, your support always meant something to them.
if you are a friend, encourage your friend. Don't put them down. Be happy even when they are better than you. Because a great man is always willing to be little.
Even now, I know that I keep on painting my already perfect canvas due to the fear of spoiling that one painting for my other dreams.
But then again.. that's the beauty of life... If you did not take the risk, you would never know...
That perhaps one day you would be able to create a better painting than the one inside the already perfect canvas.