I just spent $49 on stationeries and I have absolutely no regrets. I’m a sucker for stationeries and diaries. I hope this colouring devotional will help me to cope with my stress and anxiety.

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Growing up is the hardest thing I had to do

My father posted these on his Facebook today. I don’t know why it got me feeling so emotional. I can’t tell if it’s PMS or something else or a little bit of both.

I’ve been feeling so much of anxiety lately. I come into office and my heart races but I keep this straight face on. I need to write a to-do list everyday to keep my mind focused on getting the job done rather than on the anxiety I feel but the anxiety is always lurking in my thoughts. It may seem like this emotion has no relation to this photo but it does. Especially since my first job, I feel like I’ve been growing up a lot because responsibilities is the theme of being an adult. That is not to say that you are only responsible when you get your first job but you realise how much more responsibilities there are on your plate once you start work. I guess cause I’ve been so sheltered my whole life. I always had my family around to help me through the tough times but recently, I’ve been trying to rough it out on my own cause I can’t keep crying to my family each time something goes bad. But work is hard and this industry demands so much from my very soft, emotional heart. I have been working late hours every time there’s a shoot and I go through periods of being moody and snappy – especially towards my family. I knew something was clearly wrong somewhere but I thought it was just work. It didn’t occur to me how much I truly miss time with my father.

He’s always been my rock and my hero. I call him superdad for a reason. The nickname stuck to him since I was a kid. Everytime I struggled, whether it was school or relationships, I turned to him. It was the car rides we shared or the runs we used to have when I was a kid. As I grew older, Marion became that go-to person for me. Naturally, since he’s my partner. And I just kept forcing myself to be strong and independent. But I truly miss the strength of my father’s love. I miss our moments. I miss my time with him.

I wish I could go back to being that young girl dancing with my father. I want to just pause at the moment for awhile and take it all in. Growing up is the hardest thing I ever had to do. As much as I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting too big for this nest and it’s time to fly, I’m also still very much in need of my father’s guidance and protection.

When I was younger, I wrote essays about my father cause I hold him in such high regard. I have a lot of respect for him. Sure, he’s not perfect. Sometimes I get annoyed with him too and sometimes I don’t agree with his ways but he’s still that man I respect so much. I wanted so much to be like him. It may seem like I have it altogether but I really don’t. I just try to keep a straight face, a look inherited from my father. He never used to be all tough, the job changed him – he was forced to be tough. And right now, I feel like I’m also forced to be tough but all I really want to do is run to my father for strength but I can’t because I need to grow up.

My list of simple pleasures

#1 One of my favourite meals is when Tita cooks Prawn Curry with Brinjal and Salted Egg Tofu to go with my rice. I love simple, homely meals, especially when there’s leftover to bring to work and have it for lunch the next day. It’s the taste of home from far away.

#2 When you’re next in line for the train back home but it’s packed and you can’t get in but then the next train arrives and it’s completely empty, filled with seats. Sometimes what may seem like it’s “just your luck” really becomes a lucky moment.

#3 Having gross conversations with Marion and not judging each other for our weirdness.

#4 Having discussions with Marion after watching a really good film or show, or after reading a good book.

#5 Being introduced to things that Marion likes and finding out that I like them too which is always a pleasant surprise. E.g D&D, Comics, introduction to Anime etc.

#6 Sitting on the couch and just catching up on days we haven’t spoken over the phone.

#7 Watching a really good film or show with Marion. Most recently, it was the movie, ‘Comet’ that was introduced to him by his coursemate. We watched it and got emotional together because we cannot imagine a world where he is not mine and I am not his.

#8 While having lunch with Marion and his mum, and listening to stories of how Marion used to be so naughty as a kid, he turned to me and said “next time when we have kids”. Even though we don’t know what the future holds for us, it’s nice knowing he is serious about us.

#9 Baking (anything) and watching people enjoy your bakes.

#10 Finding out more details about Marion that were not shared before despite being together for many years, and vice versa.

#11 When Daddy makes Prawn Sambal for the family. It’s the best thing to put on bread.

#12 When Marion calls me ‘cupcake’, whenever I call him ‘tiger’. I love that! ☺️

#13 Receiving $100 worth of Supermarket vouchers i.e Cold Storage, Fairprice etc. I love grocery shopping and I love Supermarkets!

#14 Watching cake Frosting tutorials. They’re so mesmerising.

#15 Hearing the song “Eternal Flame”. It’s this song Tita and I always sing jokingly together. It’s our inside joke and we call it our song. Back story: Tita is like a second mother to me. I’m very close to her.

#16 When Max demands for my attention cause he’s King Manja. He throws himself on the ground and throws his head back while making both cow and pig noises.

#17 Watching Max roll on the grass.

#18 Knowing Max is happy.

#19 Realising that 1/3 of my life has been with Marion in it. Who would have thought that at the age of 16/17, I would be meeting the love of my life. #since2009 #8yearsstrong

#20 Hot showers. The kind where it is almost burning your skin. Am I weird?

#21 Holidays with my family.

#22 Cuddle sessions with my cuddling buddy, Marion.

#23 Receiving books from people – especially ones with a lot of thought put into it.

#24 People remembering the little details about me, or my traits/quirks.

#25 Whenever Marion gets me a comic or whenever he lets me read his comics.

#26 Long conversations with Marion.

#27 Warm tea on a cold, rainy day

#28 Ramdom compliments from a stranger. One time I was walking by with my earphones on and a guy walks up to me to tell me he likes the colour of my hair. It was so random but I was having a pretty lousy week and that compliment made me feel a little better about my lousy week.

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.” – Anne Lamott

Ironically, you can know a lot more about me from the words I don’t write, the pictures I take, the quotes I like, the things I laugh at, the shows and movies I watch, the books I read, the people I talk to, the things I fight for, the things I cry about.

My words are useless. They are just attempts of expressing myself but I was not born to be a writer nor was I born to be a renowned artist. I was born pretty mediocre but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I was born for a purpose, even the smallest and redundant of objects have their purpose. I believe that enough about myself.

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.