Exhausted.

I’ve made my bed, now I have to lie in it.

I keep trying to justify why choosing to put my loved ones over myself is not necessarily a bad thing and I don’t think it is, but I cannot help but feel envious of others who have more bandwidth in their day to do what they want to do – whether it is to improve their physique, their skill, learn new things, make new friends etc.

All my life, I’ve always been someone to consider the feelings of my loved ones so much so that when I acted on my selfish thoughts, I feel guilt instantly. Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year’s meant time with my loved ones. I’ve always made it a point to tell school mates that I will not be available on these dates. Either that or I’d purposely get my stuff done before or after these dates. I think I’ve been told that it’s rather annoying of me to keep doing that but I can’t help but to prioritise my loved ones over work.

I know not everyone makes those decisions and their decisions are not wrong but I am exhausted because I feel like someone has to be the one holding the fort. If no one is home to take care of things and do daily maintenance then there will be no home to come home to. Because I am the homemaker, I usually never have the time to chase after my own dreams or the things that excite me. I’m not saying that to ask for pity or compassion. I’m merely saying I’ve made my bed, now I have to lie in it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get sick of it from time to time.

Right now, all I wish I could do is get my solo trip ticked off my bucket list. I’ve been feeling too jaded about almost everything, I just need a long break from all my responsibilities.

Maybe this is training me for the day I become a supermum with the way I’m juggling work and other responsibilities. I just hope I don’t lose myself in the process that I forget to take care of myself as well.

Breathe.

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Dealing with my anxiety

The other day, Chels, Daniel, Marion and myself were walking back home from Sunplaza after getting Boost for dinner. There was nothing significant about it but there was laughter. I’m not talking about those laugh-until-your-belly-aches laughter. It was just a few laughs. And I couldn’t help but to pause and appreciate that moment for awhile. To laugh is one of the best feelings in the world, so to even laugh at all no matter how great or small the laughter is, is something I appreciated a lot there and then.

The world is so messed up. Sometimes when I think about the greater scheme of things, I start feeling very anxious. Meeting new people is hard. Introducing myself is uncomfortable and awkward. Being friendly with people is hard especially when they can’t stand you already. Being professional when I want to give it to someone demands my patience. Staying in a place that don’t align with my values completely is draining. And so, what this small, insignificant moment of laughter was to me, was anything but meaningless. It reminded me that there’s always a glimmer of hope. There is a time to breathe and relax. There is time to laugh and to smile. One day at a time, Cris.

Sometimes I feel too many emotions that it becomes so overwhelming that it almost feels like I’m drowning. All I really want to do in times like that is to distract myself with a good film, TV series or a book, or to just sleep. The problem is whenever I am at work and these emotions start drowning me, I feel all the anxiety creeping in and if I don’t fight that, I will literally have a meltdown.

I don’t know why I’m so emotional. I am better though comparing how I used to be. But I am still such an emotional person. I feel too much. I think too much. It’s not necessarily pessimistic, I just feel too much.

All I can do is just breathe. Allow myself to feel the emotions, the fear of not coping with them – take them all in inhale and calm myself down exhale. You know, if I really think about it, everything is really all in the head. Why do I let the stress control me? If it’s pertaining to my job, it’s really because I feel responsibile for things and I fear letting the team down. If it’s pertaining to life in general, I fear I will never be good enough for anything. I don’t like being disliked but yet I understand I am not everyone’s cup of tea. Of course, the feeling of being disliked whether it’s for a reason or without, is not something pleasant to feel.

I wish I was a more confident person. But I am human, and no matter how strong I can ever be, there will always be a weakness and this is mine – I care too much and sometimes, I don’t know how to let things go or to let things be. Perhaps some day, I will understand what to do with all these emotions. Is it wrong to believe that maybe feeling too much isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that it can be a strength? I want to believe I’m meant for more.

“Forgiveness and Compassion is not an option for (Catholics), it’s a commandment. Leave justice to God.”

This was the key takeaway for me from Father Simon Tan’s homily today. Today’s readings were all about forgiveness and love, and this is something I struggle with as a Catholic. I can be quite the bitter person due to the unforgiveness in my heart. Even after I have “forgiven” the person, I still have a lot of judgement towards them and I am quite a judgemental person by nature which I know is not right but it’s something I struggle very hard with.

I especially like the part where he mentioned to leave the justice to God. I should do my part to forgive the person who faulted me but let God be the judge of that person. And I do want to be free from bitterness. It’s not a pleasant emotion to carry around. In fact, they’re like anchors dragging me down to the bottom of the ocean when all I wanna do is swim up to the surface for air. Sometimes I feel people deserve all the shit in the world for the shit that they do but instead, I see them getting away with everything and that bothers me. But I need to learn to let that go and let God decide because if I keep harbouring on that, I can never be free from this heavy weight in my heart.

Make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy.

I don’t do selfies a lot these days, not like before where I was hooked on Instagram and #ootd posts, how many likes I got, growing followers etc. It became something that validated my worth and one day I found myself being a psycho about Instagram or social media in general. I quit my first account, rebooted another and quit that, and then rebooted it again. Now, the people I follow on the current reboot and the followers I have are limited to a very private audience. I prefer it that way because I no longer like having my whole life out on display for scrutiny. I reflect quite a fair bit in my posts on that rebooted account and I feel cheated to share that vulnerability or layer of myself with people who don’t deserve that. Why should people be given an inside to my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, my desires? They didn’t earn that friendship, they shouldn’t be getting it freely. Perhaps my mind is nothing special, perhaps I am nothing special – but I have enough respect for myself to hold myself in decent regard and I am tired of people showing me how I should be treated. I should be showing people how it should be done. And suddenly I felt freer than before.

What is wrong with feeling good about yourself? What is wrong about openly complimenting yourself when you put on a cute outfit or cut a cute hairstyle? What is wrong with telling yourself things you wish other people told you? Why do I have to work hard for people’s approval of me? Why is any confidence displayed being labelled as a bitch or thick-skinned. I dispute all of that because to me, it is important to have a healthy level of self-love. Of course not to point of narcissism, but to the point of believing in yourself and your worth.

I may not know my full worth or potential and I do get pretty down about life and what people say about me sometimes but I have moments like today where I question why do I allow people to abuse me with their words. They can say whatever they want to say and think whatever they want to think, all they have is an idea of me and ideas, are afterall, thoughts without facts.

So here’s a selfie of myself. I took it because I was happy with what I saw in the mirror today. It’s my usual work outfit, my usual basic make up and usual hair but today, I felt prettier than usual. I may have gained weight over the years. I may have had a few more acne breakouts as compared to my super clear skin before. I may have been an ugly green-eyed monster over the past few years. But you know what, I’m happier these days and I am definitely in a better place. I am on a road to recovery from a dark phase in my life and I think I have come so far.

I had one of the best dates with Marion yesterday. It was nothing special, nothing grand; we just sat at Starbucks and talked for hours without end. What was special to us about yesterday was that we tried to find the Starbucks we went to on our very first date on Valentines Day in 2009. Yesterday was more about reliving that moment of our first date.

In 2009, Marion and I were talking a lot on MSN. At that time, MSN was the thing. Our conversations seemed to flow quite naturally to my surprise because Marion was a little bit of an asshole back then. He had a smug face and this “know-it-all” impression. When I facilitated his group during the confirmation camp, he was pretty standoffish and found me annoying for my preppiness. 🙄 Post-confirmation camp, we started talking quite a bit on MSN cause I would usually catch up with those under my leadership to try and get them to be involved in our yourh group and such. But of course, at that time, I wouldn’t have known what Marion would be in my life. When we started talking a lot, I realised I enjoyed his company a lot. Our conversations were always so mentally stimulating and eventually I found myself always smiling like a fool at the screen and laughing out loud to myself. I found myself waiting eagerly for him to come online cause I was so hooked on the conversation and then I realised, I was crushing on this guy. The guy who was an annoying brat to me at confirmation camp, the guy who didn’t really want to socialise much and thought he was super cool, the guy who is younger than me who I said I would never date for superficial reasons. Soon our conversations moved to text messaging and then we started talking on the phone a lot.

So that backstory behind this Valentine’s Day date was that both of us were single and I joked about how it’s Single Awareness Day and Marion said “let’s celebrate Single Awareness Day together”. Who were we kidding? Hahahaha up till this day Chels makes fun of us. People knew we had a thing for each other cause we were hanging out a lot but I guess we weren’t quite ready to commit to that yet.

On Valentines days, I was 1 hour late for our “non-date” because I was stressing over what to wear and I wanted to look good. I think Marion must have been annoyed with me for being that late (oops). We went on our non-date without any plan to be honest. We just went to town and roamed around. While roaming around, we stopped by one of the Starbucks outlets in Somerset area and that was the place we were trying to find yesterday. I think the Starbucks has been demolished or turned into something else because we couldn’t find it. Well, a lot can happen in 8 years. But anyway, on our Single Awareness Day non-date, I was shy to eat in front of Marion because I am weird like that. I was conscious of how I would look I guess. So Marion ended up ordering two drinks and one double chocolate muffin for us to share. It would have been perfect if we went to the exact same Starbucks yesterday and ordered our double chocolate muffin to share. But anyway, after we had Starbucks on that very day, we went walking around Plaza Singapura where they were giving out free hugs and they asked us if we wanted free hugs, to which Marion replied “I already have” and then he gave me a hug which made everyone go “awwww”. This boy was high key flirting with me and I obviously enjoyed that.

After roaming around and doing practically nothing in town, we decided to head back to GV Yishun to catch a movie. While heading back via MRT train, Marion reached out his hand to signal for me to put my hand in his. See, what did I tell you, high key flirting with me – that boy. I gave him my hand and that was they first time we held hands. There weren’t any nice movies at that time but we just wanted to spend time with each other so we settled for a rather long and dry movie starring Renee Zellweger called ‘New in Town’. The movie was so boring and I don’t know how we even paid attention to it. I can’t remember if we admitted to how boring the movie was on that day but I know we laugh about it now. After the movie, we went to Yishun Hill to play by the swings. It was pretty late at that time so we just sat and talked. Even though Marion flirted with me a lot, he was also pretty awkward himself. He used to playfully tease me because he liked me which is so primary school mentality. It annoyed me and I would have told him off for it but had to maintain my lady like behaviour cause it my first actual date (I meant non-date). I have dated other guys before but I never went on actual dates with any of them so Marion was technically my first. I had no idea what to expect so I put on my best behaviour.

After the non-date, Marion sent me home and I think we silently knew we had a thing for each other but we weren’t ready to be in a relationship yet I guess. Immediately after he sent me home, I started scribbling in my diary cause I couldn’t contain the excitement and according to Marion, he skipped back to the bus stop and had the pump-your-fist in the air feeling.

Our first date wasn’t anything extraordinary or grand – hack, we didn’t even plan anything for it. We just knew we wanted to be in each other’s company and I guess that’s what made it special for us. It was the time spent together and the realisation that we were falling in love with each other.

Yesterday, we talked about so many things and one of them was about the events in our first date. There were a lot of face-palms because we were embarrassed for our past selves but there were also a lot of smiles and gazing into each other’s eyes. For me, I just cannot believe it’s been 8 years and how so much has changed. I cannot believe how far we’ve both come as individuals and as a team. We don’t love each other childishly like we used to and I thank God for that. Every struggle we’ve ever faced has led us to mature in this relationship and our roots are deep in the soil of friendship. The love will always be there because I have always chosen him – always him over any struggle we’ve faced. Besides, we work better as a team. Yesterday was nice, it was simple and serene. The waters may be calm now but tides will come and currents will be strong, and we will be ready because at the end of the day, we’re stronger together.

“Find the one and let them burn you, let them burn you like the sun, let your love and hate fuel the fire, and the more vulnerable you become, the hotter you will burn, until you are nothing but molten ash. And that fire cools, your love will be a hard, cool steel, and nothing will break you. For together you have been the sun.”

This is the epitome of our relationship.