All we care ’bout is talking. Talking only me and you

Marion introduced this song to me. He said he likes to whistle to this song while he’s doing house chores and that it made him think of us. Today, I watched the music video for it and I thought it was quite cute and the beginning is quite accurate of our relationship. Especially the whistling part because Marion has mad whistling skills.

It’s no surprise that every couple goes through various cycles of peaks and pits in their relationship – especially for long term relationships. Having been with the same man for 7 years, our relationship suffered just as many pits. It has always been hard for me to communicate my feelings without downplaying the emotion or getting worked up about it. I internalise too much and when I can’t make sense of things, I get so frustrated and I shut people out. So allow me to just write this very honest and raw post about my relationship.

When we first met, it was at a church event. I was a facilitator and he was a participant. I wasn’t in-charge of his group but I went around asking each group if they needed help. When I got to his, he was the one who replied me. He had this smug face when he said “it’s okay”. I wasn’t attracted to him at all. After all, I just got out of a very confusing relationship. But for some reason, he was hard to forget. I didn’t know his name but I could clearly remember his face.

Then a month after, it was his batch’s confirmation camp. And I ended up being his group’s facil. When I saw him and when he finally introduced himself, I remembered him so distinctively. He was that guy! But boy did I dislike his guts – he was a rude piece of shit and very insensitive to people’s feelings – mine in particular. He was also very enthusiastic in all the activities and incredibly talented. So there I was still getting over my sad story of an ex-boyfriend and he was courting another girl. All this would only be revealed to each other a month after.

He ended up joining our youth group and I was very happy he did because we could use someone like him. Our friendship developed over the glorious days of MSN chats. Our conversation flowed so naturally and we had a lot of chemistry in the friendship. We were definitely vibing and I knew he was my crowd. Then slowly, our chats became so frequent that we had to have them on texts and eventually, calls. And like every love story, you can guess how that led to 7 years of this.

At first, like all relationships in their honeymoon period – it was so blissful. We were so in love and it felt like we could have eloped any moment now (just kidding! Or am I?) We were both two pretty young teenagers in love and we always wanted to be near each other. The amount of cheesy messages we’d send to each other or the inside jokes that we had. We weren’t ashame to broadcast our love even though we knew it was annoying others.

But then life happened. We grew older, and so did our relationship. We faced many hurdles and obstacles – some within our control, others not so. If he didn’t do something right, I was quick to snap. I wanted perfection and maybe a part of me made him my project. He was afraid to be honest with me and that pushed him away. We were a mess and the mess just got messier and messier until reality hit us and we eventually broke each other’s heart by hurting each other. It was at that moment that we could have made the decision to let go because we were two fuckups. But we couldn’t and so we didn’t. It took many days of communicating and strong support from our loved ones to get to that point of healing. And when we got to that point, our relationship was stronger than ever.

But life just kept throwing more obstacles in our way. We had to jump over jealousy, duck under frustrations, climb over changing phases in our life, run through a fog of anger and impatience, swim past passiveness, and all of that with a mighty wind of people wanting us to fail as a constant resistance. It was hard. We would have many talks about breaking up and we would cry – maybe more of myself. We would go for couple counselling. We kept thinking that the only way to save each other was to cut each other off because we both believed we were toxic to each other but a part of us kept wanting to stay and fight for each other. Right after these conversations, we would jump immediately to memories we’ve had together and our inside jokes and we would laugh. We’d then hold hands despite the sadness in the air. Every moment that happened, it was our souls literally reaching out to each other telling us to stay. So we’d say “not today. For today, love is enough”.

Who I was at 17 isn’t who I am now at 24. I’m no longer the girl who strived for perfection in her partner. I’m still impatient but I have learned to explain my emotions rather than to express them. Infact, sometimes I slip but I have learned to apologise and each time, he looks at me with eyes full of love and tells me “I forgive you”. I am so undeserving of his tenderness but it is his tenderness that makes me want to be better for him.

Who he was at 16 isn’t who he is now at 23. He’s no longer the guy who sat down in one corner passively as I fought for us and steered this relationship to safety. There are moments that he is still passive but he has learned to step up and asking me this one simple question every time I am feeling anxiety/anger/sadness – “what can I do for you?” More often than not, there’s almost nothing that can be done at that point of time so I’ll tell him to just hold me. He would then take me into his arms as I bury my face in his chest and he would give me the tightest, most comforting hug. For awhile, life would seem better and if I could have this everyday, life would be sweeter.

This year, I have been feeling so jealous of other couples I see on social media. Jealous because I see what their partners do for them and I wish Marion would do the same. Sometimes I wish he had more money to go on dates with me too and by that I don’t mean him picking up the bill but rather, having enough for himself. It’s not that I want some fancy, posh lifestyle, but it would be nice to have these dates once in awhile. And all that negativity just made our relationship bad.

Aside from observing other couples on social media, I would often find myself getting upset when I saw things on social media because I was excluded. People in general also annoyed me and I was aware it was ridiculous to get worked up over things people post because it’s their feed and they can choose to do as they pleased. A part of me was also seeking some sort of validation from social media. I wanted people to notice what I was up to even if they chose not to hit the like button – just as long as they knew. This silent and ridiculous competition was getting to me and affecting my relationship because I was absorbing all these negativity like a sponge and my relationship was suffering because of it. So I quit my main Instagram account. I realised it was just plain dumb getting my feathers in a bunch over something so impersonal and this was something within my control. My relationship also mattered more to me than some stupid validation I was seeking from social media.

I have never felt better. Deleting my main account was like chopping of my hair. All that weight gone. I was finally focusing on the real issues I was having with myself. In doing so, I was also healing my relationship with Marion. All along, it was just a switch and the solution was that simple. I needed to detox and to get back to the root of who I am. With all these distractions cut off, I was also able to really re-connect with Marion and had very deep, intimate conversations. But that’s for the things that are within our control. There are still the other external forces which aren’t within our control.

I know there are a few out there who would love to see our relationship fail for God knows why. Perhaps it’s their jealousy, or just pure dislike for me or for my partner. I don’t usually like to take a wild guess and say it’s jealousy because it makes it seem as if I believe I have it all together and that I’m up there when really, that isn’t the case. But jealousy makes people do ugly things and jealousy shows. The point is we have tried to be kind despite their actions and comments towards us and kindness didn’t seem to work. We have exhausted all ideas and options and frankly, we’re both tired trying to win their acceptance. Not only did kindness fail, honesty also failed in this area when they failed to reciprocate honest conversations. We have decided to stop trying and to turn our focus to each other and to enjoy each other’s company. I am done crying over this. I am done trying to change what I cannot control. Here’s what I can control – being a better partner for Marion. It’s just a pity that they cannot see that or refuse to see that. But I have to remind myself that I am not answerable to them. Their judgement of any act/deed/intention I ever had doesn’t count because they refused to be part of our journey.

My relationship with Marion consists only of us – two people very much in love. It would be great if the world fell in love with us too and then we could share the celebration of our love with the world as well. But sadly, that isn’t the case. So I am releasing myself from the heaviness that weighed me down. It turns out, I don’t need people’s likes on our cute photos to believe our relationship is amazing. It also turns out that I have enjoyed every single moment with Marion so much more without the need to publicise them.

To my sweetheart, if you’re reading this – the lyrics to the song Young Folks at this point in our relationship are really for us.

It doesn’t matter what you did
Who you were hanging with
We could stick around and see this night through

It really doesn’t matter what we both once were or what we both did. I am still sticking around as long as you want me around.

And we don’t care about the young folk
Talkin’ ’bout the young style
And we don’t care about the old folks
Talkin’ ’bout the old style too
And we don’t care about their own faults
Talkin’ ’bout our own style
All we care ’bout is talking
Talking only me and you

I really do not care what other couples are up to these days or what the old folks say about our relationship. I do not care about criticisms we get from people who mean nothing to us. All I care about is you and me and all I want to do is just be in this space with you, completely unfazed by the haters.

Usually when things has gone this far
People tend to disappear
No one will surprise me unless you do

I can tell there’s something goin’ on
Hours seems to disappear
Everyone is leaving; I’m still with you

Always and Forever.

To our loved ones (the ones who matter, they know who they are) and if you happen to stumble upon my blog – thank you for your love and support. Thank you for the advice and encouragement and most importantly, thank you for not judging us when we fucked up. Thank you for celebrating with us in our joys and for not giving up on us. We hope that one day when we do make it to marriage, you guys will still be around to celebrate our love with us.

To our haters and if you happen to see this from all the stalking – I am sorry that you choose to exclude yourself from our journey. I would like to actually apologise that we are so unlovable but it’s something dumb to even say in the first place so I won’t apologise for that. I am sorry that all the negative emotions you have chosen to show us has made you sacrifice your peace. We wish that you would free yourselves and be at peace again but unfortunately, we cannot control that. If us breaking up is the only way you can gain some peace in your lives or some victory points – I hope you manage to find some other way to find that peace. Breaking up is definitely within our control but we’re not willing to sacrifice a once in a lifetime kind of love for someone’s peace. We are truly done trying for you and if one day you decide you would like to join us in the celebration of our love, the invitation is always open to you. The ball is truly in your court now.

It’s not 31st Dec yet but may today and for the rest of 2017 and many more years to come hold many more amazing memories for us.

To my love, you are a lot of good and amazing things in this world.

To myself, may you be okay with cutting people off in your life and may you finally grow to the person you envision yourself to be.

To us, may love always be enough.



The Girl in the Corner

“The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. It’s become quite clear to me as I’ve been sick. If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, “Love each other or perish.'” – Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Once, there was girl. She was three; timid and shy.

She loved playing by herself in the little corners of the house. She especially loved talking to her stuffed toys and taking care of them as if they were real animals. When her parents made her talk to the adults, she would cower away and beg her sister for help with pleading eyes. They laughed at her silliness while she cried out of fear.

Then she turned seven.

“No more of this nonsense”, said her father. He handed her the phone and asked her to wish her cousin happy birthday. Her cousin was an adult. She cried like she was about to face death. So he changed his method, he asked her to join the choir. She started making friends.

Then she turned eleven.

She was in a lot of school organisations and getting used to the fact that she had to talk to adults. She met some very kind adults in school, others, not so. There was a slight boost in confidence as she ran the tracks and won a lot of honour and pride for her house, was chosen to act in many lead roles on stage by her teachers, performed on stage as a xylophonist, and was selected to take on many leadership roles as monitor and prefect. She even told her first joke to her best friend – one that wasn’t from a joke book.

Then she was fifteen.

She had many friends that were actual living things. She was active in school spirit, doing well in her academics, taking on leadership positions and most of all, having the time of her life. She was funny and her peers laughed at her craziness. She would even joke with her teachers and was bitchy to some of them for they deserved it. Her after-school activities comprised mainly of crazy ideas with her group of friends and executing them. She never wanted this feeling to end and she thought these friendships would never end. They gave her the confidence to be silly without caring about the judgement of anyone. From that timid three year-old-girl, she was now a hyper fifteen year old teen.

Then she was nineteen.

Her high school days long gone. The friends she had thought would be there forever – no longer remained in contact. Her confidence plummeted. From taking on leadership roles and performances on stage, she turned every single one of them down. She’d try to be silly around some of her peers – they didn’t find her funny. Funny was not what she known for; academically smart was what people labeled her. But she wasn’t as academically smart as they thought, she just buried herself in her studies because that was all she knew.

Then she was twenty-four.

Now, a working adult. She’d go to work, do her job. If people joked with her, she’d joke back. Unlike her three year old self, she was able to joke when she felt comfortable; like her three year old self, she liked being alone. Her colleagues would hang out on Friday nights and weekends. They would even joke with each other during office hours. She yearned to find a friend in the workplace that she could share that level of friendship with. There were moments she wanted to be silly or crazy – moments she found funny. She held back. “Does she think she’s funny?” “Let’s just laugh at her silliness for pity’s sake” She would think these thoughts to herself.

“Would you like to have dinner with us?” they’d ask.

“No thank you, I have dinner at home.” she’d reply.

She would see photos of them hanging out at parties and she’d feel happy for them but deep down, she felt a sadness that she didn’t belong here, or anywhere else. So she remained the quiet girl she was born to be, except she had the potential to be inviting and sociable; she was just afraid to try again for anybody.

“The problem, Mitch, is that we don’t believe we are as much alike as we are. Whites and blacks, Catholics and Protestants, men and women. If we saw each other as more alike, we might be very eager to join in one big human family in this world, and to care about that family the way we care about our own.

“But believe me, when you are dying, you see it as true. We all have the same beginning – birth – and we all have the same end – death. So how different can we be?

“Invest in human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.” – Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.

The boy & the girl

She sat opposite him, searching for something in his eyes. She didn’t want to bring the topic up again but her heart ached. The conversation they had the night before was a conversation they’ve been having in the past few months. This time, she knew in her heart that they both were on the same page and that something had to be done.

He continued to look at her and she continued to look at him. Both eager to say something but found it impossible to do.

“Last night, when we said all that, I was so sure it was the right thing to do. This morning, I got up and had doubts. I don want to be without you,” she said. “I know there is no other way. I know I am toxic and I have been for awhile. If I stay I will damage you and I don’t want that. I know we will still continue to be friends, that doesn’t scare me. It’s the thought of not calling you Love anymore. It’s the thought of not sending morning messages to each other, or being affectionate when affections are needed.”

I know. I don’t want to lose that either,” he replied.

She pauses and takes a sip of her drink. She does that when she’s about to cry. She manages to control her tears.

I don’t want to let go but I know we need to take a step back and figure things out again. I don’t know what happened to me and how I got this way. I don’t like who I’m becoming and I don’t know how to help myself. Why can’t I be simple? Why must I be so complicated?”

He reaches for her hand, lovingly. He was always so gentle and patient with her.

I know it’s a journey you need to take on your own. I know that you’ve been upset with life lately and I’m always going to be here,” he said, reassuringly.

Everyone tells me to jump that cliff with all the difficult decisions I had to make in the past, and I have jumped that cliff but I am afraid,” she tells him.

And I am telling you that it’s okay and I am here,” he replies immediately.

She takes a sip of her coffee and her ears are attentive to the music in the background –

Last Christmas I gave you me heart /

The very next day, you gave it away…

Still holding her hand, he says to her, ‘I love you‘. This time, her heart is heavy. She wants to tell him she loves him too but she fears her emotions have gotten the better of her and if she were to talk, she might just cry.

He knows this. She continued looking into the distance for a minute or two, but it felt like an eternity.

This year, to save me from tears, /

I’ll give it someone special…

She begins to cry.

Argh, the stupid song,” she tells him, half laughing, half crying, as she wipes the tears away.

He laughs along with her, his heart heavy as well.

“Love, like rain, can nourish  from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive.” – The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

The tale of the boy and the girl is about a couple who found each other rather early in their lives. The rush of emotions and the idea of forever is what usually defines young love. This is what happened to them.

7 years later in the adult phases of their lives, the boy and the girl are beginning to realise that what had worked for them back then is no longer working for them now. Frustrated and still so very much in love, they question why love simply can’t be enough. With both experiencing different challenges in life and needing different things, they struggle to rough it out.

Like the quote from The Five People You Meet In Heaven, the tale of the boy and the girl is an ongoing story as they continue to face the same challenges; looking deep into their roots for strength to keep them going on worst days. Although it is unclear the direction of the relationship between the boy and the girl, it is clear that they are refusing to let go. The writer would like to mention that the boy and the girl are refusing to let go mostly out of fear but also because they are still very much in love and are determined to overcome these obstacles together like they’ve done before rather than to rough it out on their own.

The boy and the girl could potentially be a story that says love is simply enough if love is real.