Speaking from the heart takes time

Last week was the first time I had told the man who broke my heart how his actions had affected me in silent ways.

Everyday, I would get up fearing the world and the perfectly beautiful strangers around me. Everyone seemed to be loved by somebody, and I hated seeing it for fear that it would cast a shadow over my own unlovable self.

Until the past week, I had kept silent, letting my emotions fester in their own pit of agony, with the occasional outbursts of anger. At work, I made multiple mistakes, was distracted and always zoning out. I carried myself around with as little energy as I possibly could, retiring to bed early and waking up late.

Truthfully, I was ashamed of being sad over something that wasn’t real. I questioned why I was angry, even told myself that I shouldn’t feel this way. I never told my friends or family how deeply it cut. Only downplayed my sadness.

Whenever I spoke to him, it was always in a friendly manner, as if I had to appease him for some wrongdoing I had inflicted.

Sometimes, my anger would come out, for small, petty things, like when he cut our meeting short, or if he seemed bored or inattentive.

This gave him the impression that I was always a temperamental person and only confirmed his decision about me.

I was afraid that confronting him would only make things worse, that I would lose him forever. So I always apologised for my short outbursts.

In truth, I was deeply hurt. Just kept pretending. Not knowing where or who to turn to.

But last week, the fear of losing myself to anger and sadness became far greater than the fear of losing him.

So I spoke out.

It took me many tries, a few angry starts, but I got to the truth in the end.

I told him that I had suffered mentally in the past few months by pretending that I was ok. I told him that time doesn’t heal wounds, only covers them. I told him all the above I have just mentioned here.

And then an unexpected thing happened.

By giving a voice to the shame I had felt for being in love, my anger and sadness melted away. Like watered-down glue, they peeled away from me and stopped lingering in the open wounds of my heart.

I started emerging from the brain fog I had been feeling for the last few months. I started caring about my work, my dreams, my goals, my life.

I am still tinged with sadness, but it is not the anxious kind that needs to be tended to straight away. It is more a calming sadness. A sadness that knows it needs not do anything. A sadness that knows that in time, it will heal. But this kind of healthy sadness only comes after speaking truthfully.

I have realised that speaking from the heart is necessary and always takes time. It pays off if the person on the other end is willing to sit there and listen to you patiently, without rushing you in any way.

But he is not that kind of person.

Even though I would still like to talk things through, I am not holding my breath.

I am excited for the future, humbled, and most importantly still not cynical of love.

The secret book club

Since things haven’t been turning out as I had hoped they would, I’ve a little more spare time on my hands. So I decided to do something a little unusual today.

I placed an ad in the local newspaper asking for kids to join a book club.

Now I don’t know how well or disastrous this will turn out, or whether anyone will even respond to my ad, but I thought it would be good to at least do something to encourage kids to read.

I used to work in the library, and during my time there I read to kids, and did lots of fun activities with them. The most memorable moments were when the kids would come up to me and talk to me while their parents were exhausted and napping on the couch.

I remember with joy when a little four year old boy came up to me and we had a full on conversation about everything you could ever talk about on the planet. He had so much to say and I was really surprised by how well he could hold a conversation.

I even made a little friend while I was working there. To this day we talk on FB once or twice a year. Our conversations are quite brief, I don’t think she can stay on FB for long, but I actually think it’s quite funny that once or twice out of the blue, I’ll see a message pop up and it’s from her.

Anyway, wish me luck. I really hope this book club thing kicks off. I guess what I’m really looking forward to is seeing some of the kids make friends with each other and have huge smiles on their faces.

The afterlife

What led me there was a curiosity to know what was on the other side of pain.

I’d been seeking out some kind of solace, reading stories about the afterlife.

It sounded like a wonderful place to be.

Some people say that they feel unconditional love. Others say they see their loved ones waiting to take them home.

These stories really give you hope.

But then on the sadder side, they make you see how insignificant our worries are.

That all you feel is peace. There’s no intensity of happiness or sadness. You’re like energy in space.

I don’t want to be just a mass of energy. I want to be human. I want to live. So much of my humanness comes from having feelings and emotions.

People tell me to meditate. Like Buddha. But I am not a god.

Once when I was very young, I felt at peace. Nothing could make me sad. Not even when a friend moved away forever. Not even when a friend wanted to talk about something. My happiness just being alone in my own world stopped me from connecting with people to the fullest.

I didn’t like it. I realised that I didn’t want to feel nothing. I wanted to feel something! So I asked to have emotions, to care about people.

I appreciate the humanness of my thoughts. Knowing that I can feel a scale of emotions from sadness to anger to happiness. It’s like the scales on a piano. It sounds more beautiful because of the range.

A voice is more beautiful because of its range of octaves.

I admit I’ve been playing on a sombre scale for some time. And need to explore a happier scale. Perhaps a bit of Ode to Joy. Beethoven.

 

How is everyone feeling today?

Last night, I spoke to my friend about our friendship and he agreed that we can be friends again. It has been such a confusing period of time in my life, and I’m not sure if I can go back to trusting him completely like I used to.

I’ve always been a keen observer of my feelings especially when it comes to the aftermath of falling out with friends or with romantic interests.

I’ve always done the right thing. Kept myself at a distance from the source of hurt, even cutting off contact with people who have hurt me completely. But I’ve realised that in doing so, I feel bitter and cynical about relationships. It doesn’t make me feel happy. The pain is always there, just a memory away for the next person to come along and dredge up those thoughts. I’ve even started feeling scared of meeting new people in case they trigger these old hurts.

This is the first time I’ve decided not to cut off contact with someone who has betrayed my trust. It’s the first time I’ve decided to work through it. To make the pain fade away rather than cover it up and not talk about it. I even phoned my parents and talked to them about how I feel. I never willingly do that. I don’t even talk about these things to my group of friends! And now I’m writing about it on my blog!

I just don’t want to hide anymore. I really do hope that I can shine a light on my fears. They’ve really held me back from being fully productive, and living life to the full. They make me feel as though I don’t deserve whatever is good and happy. But I have too much I want to do. I can’t let this fear that’s coming from one aspect of my life affect the rest of what I do.

I don’t want to put all my happiness in a friendship, but I believe that friends form a big part of our happiness.

I’m really only just starting to know what happiness means to me. It’s different to what I once thought it was. Probably a result of me turning 27 in the next 2 days!

See you on the other side of fear!

A little ray of sunshine

There are times in our lives where we need something to jolt us out of our sadness. For the past few months I have been sadder than usual, and missing the company of a close friendship that has fallen apart.

It’s difficult for me to know what to do in these situations. I really wish that I could have that close friendship again, but at the same time I feel as though I’m the only one trying to mend it, and it doesn’t make me feel good about myself.

But today, in my usual sad mood, I recieved a little ray of sunshine. A friend of mine messaged our group of friends and told us that there was a travel deal going on.

Does anyone want to go to Japan? was the question I saw when I opened up my phone.

I’m still in the middle of work, but I have to let him know within 2 hours. So without checking with my boss, without checking the itinerary, I make a spontaneous decision and say Yes!

Who knew that I’d start the day feeling sad, only to end up booking a flight to Japan!

The spontaneous decision has jolted me out of a much needed wake up. I like it. I want more of this feeling. And although I know my sadness won’t fade away right now, I’m just glad to have a brief reprieve from the sadness I’ve been feeling in my heart.

I’m sitting here all alone at work, listening to the traffic rushing outside and making sure I finish typing this before I go home.

Sadness is not my forte. I want to get out there and start moving. I hope today will be the start of a happier me.

A letter to the universe

At some point in my life, I began collecting diaries. I believed that if I wrote down the things that I wanted to achieve, then I’d be putting my thoughts out to the universe and somehow they would come true. It was like writing a letter to the universe. That’s why I own 30 diaries and counting.

But when the universe was busy reading someone else’s letter, I grew complacent and made a few mistakes. It all began when I started daydreaming about becoming a writer. I’d spend evenings working on my writing skills and mornings working on work. I thought I had a good balance going, but then came the big complaint at work.

An email came through just as I was about to go home. A few words in and my heart sank. Disappointing, she had commented. For the next few days, everyone tried to find out how I had made those mistakes. Stupid, really, it was just a lack of common sense. But it had a domino effect. Every small mistake I made was now viewed as a big mistake. I didn’t even trust myself anymore.

That was when a friend invited me along to a science conference by Michio Kaku. I’d never heard of him before, but I thought I’d give it a go. I was glad to spend my thoughts away from my mistakes and enjoy being in the company of my good friend.

Michio Kaku looked like a Japanese Einstein. He had the iconic, shoulder-length white hair and he was no doubt, just as smart. He talked about all these big ideas: the universe, string theory, Elon Musk’s BFR and the future of mankind. A little stab of panic rose in my chest. Was everyone this smart?

When he opened the floor for questions, the intelligence in the room was overpowering. “What happens when muons bend and time slows down? What happens to the junk in space? Can we download our data into avatars, and what is a soul?” were just some of the big questions directed at the mighty scientist.

Somehow, someone in the audience struck up the courage to ask Dr. Kaku a ‘slightly unrelated science question’: “Dr. Kaku, how did you sustain your passion long enough to carve out a great career?”

This peaked my interest, because I thought it had some relevance to my life.

The mighty scientist seemed to love this question. He himself had asked it many times before, to the 300 scientists he’d interviewed on his radio station. He began by telling us about the ten year old story.

He said that all successful scientists began with the ten year old story. It was the age when they received their first telescope and saw the night sky for the first time. They remembered the feeling of joy at seeing something so vast right before their eyes. Remembering the joy, was what sustained their passion throughout their career.

At the end of the talk, my friend turned to me and said, “See, you don’t need to have common sense to be successful.”

I nodded. Three hundred scientists can back up his sentiments.

The thing is, I keep trying to be like someone else, but in the end I always fall back into myself. Like stars collapsing in the universe, that’s when we shine the brightest.