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Love when you’re ready

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Are you a fan of one of my favourite shows this season? Well, you should be. If not, you better start watching Californication soon, because it fucking blows your mind. Quite literally at times, with the amount of swear words, drugs, sex, roll and rock and decadence and debauchery the producers can provide in an 30-minute episode.

I love this particular season finale Season 6, episode 12 of Californication: “I’ll Lay My Monster Down”. It was a mixed bag of emotions—some warm, sweet and lovely, some heartbreaking and forlorn because of unrequited feelings and unresolved issues.

Atticus Fetch: The woman that you love is out there and you know you can’t have her. How do you even get up in the morning?

Hank Moody: Well, the booze is always helpful, and so is the art. Everything that I write is either for her or about her. So I’m with her, even when I’m not.

Breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

This scene reminded me of the times the numerous blogposts I wrote and have unknowingly dedicated to this particular someone I fell in love with the past three years.

Maybe we are not meant to be together in this lifetime, but it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped thinking about her or wondering what might have been. I’ve just managed to block her out of my mind for the time being, but I know that the second I allow the dams to burst, everything will come rushing out. So I keep all my thoughts hidden under a sea of calm, hoping that my memory will soon be erased (wishful thinking, I know, but you’d be amazed how time can dilute your memory). Maybe after a while, I wouldn’t even remember that this person once existed in my life.

I guess this is why I feel like I’m in a daze sometimes—lost and adrift in the middle of the sea—trying to find an anchor (or an idyllic island paradise) in my life. Do I really want to love someone again? Am I ready to let someone into my life again? These are questions I have no answers to.

Maybe that’s why I thought the quote above is apt for today.

Love when you’re ready; not when you’re lonely.

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The value of a moment

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“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Dr Seuss

It’s true, you know. Until moments and events become the past, you will never realise how much they had affected or influenced you.

More frequently than ever, especially in the past two weeks, I’ve been mentally kicking myself for letting the love of my life go. She was amazing, gorgeous, intelligent, humorous, with good fashion sense, a perfect body and an ability to whip up amazing meals. She was truly one of a kind and yet I let her go, because I couldn’t see how much she meant to me then.

Ever since then (and I really believe this is a curse she laid upon me after breaking her heart that one last time), I have never been able to trust or love anyone wholeheartedly. While others have loved, lost and found new loves, I’ve been stuck in quicksand but someone had set my drowning in slow-mo. I feel like I’m doomed to repeat my mistakes in relationships. Over and over again. This is one unpleasant Groundhog Day I wish I can wake up from and kick it out of my memory.

Still, there’s this sinking feeling in my heart that I can’t get rid of. I think I’m getting better though. I can’t really say how or why, but my mind is less cluttered. I might not seem to be doing anything important in my life right now… But at least I can feel myself healing emotionally.

It’s consciously telling myself that I will move on, instead of giving myself a hard time about the mistakes I made or things I should have done. It’s learning that I have to forgive myself and let go. There is no point in putting myself in “mental prison” for the past.

Yes, there are days when it’s harder than usual to let go or not dwell over the past… But I keep moving forward, no matter how long or slow it takes me to make that one tiny step. Progress is subjective; commitment to letting go is visceral. Wow, never thought I was such a deep thinker, eh?

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Thank you, Sir Alex Ferguson

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Sir Alex Ferguson applauds the fans. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

There have been plenty of tributes to the great man on the Internet since last Wednesday and many of them have said what I felt in my heart about the best football manager in the world.

Seriously, there’s nothing more I can say, except that I cried really badly last night from the moment Fergie walked out of the tunnel towards the guard of honour his players had formed for him to the moment he began his final speech at Old Trafford. In fact, I welled up every time I read another tribute to Fergie. It’s that bad.

It was 1am and I was a blubbering mess, with tears welling up and sniffles in my nose. It felt equivalent to a heart broken by a failed relationship. I had been grieving a loss since last year, so yes, I am very familiar with the concept of a heartbreak.

I am Manchester United through and through. I have been a fan ever since I watched Eric Cantona with his popped collar volleyed the ball past the throngs of players to score the only goal against Liverpool in the 1996 FA Cup final. United won 1:0 and my football soul was pledged to the team ever since. The mesmerising moment can be found in the video below.

So yes, I have never known a world without Sir Alex as the manager of Manchester United. Because of SAF, I have known and lived the pride and joys (and pains) of being a red.

Standing on the pitch, Ferguson told the crowd: “I have absolutely no script in my mind. I’m just going to ramble on and hope I get to the core of what this football club has meant to me. Thank you to Manchester United, not just the directors, coaching staff, medical staff, the players, the fans, all of you – you have been the most fantastic experience of my life, so thank you. I’ve been very fortunate. I have been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country, let alone Manchester United.”

Thank you, SAF, for 27 years of glory, late comebacks, last-minute winners, the wins and even the defeats. You too have given me some of the best experiences and memories of Manchester United. Because of you, the impossible dream was made possible.

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Sometimes you have to grieve on your own time

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“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” —Henry Ford

With the help of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it’s been so much easier to feel your heart breaking whenever you see a status or a picture posted by the one you love, because you know that whatever she did had nothing to do with you and was probably referring to someone new.

Sometimes we have to work things out on our own time. It’s much too easy to assume that our mind can easily move on and block those unhealthy thoughts from crowding our head at a snap of fingers, when in actual fact our emotions can’t keep up. This is a battle that logic doesn’t always win.

Whenever I’m tempted to text her again or to get a time machine to fix things (which is happening very frequently the past three weeks), I know there is this sense of regret that I can’t get over. Maybe I’m being selfish and presumptuous by thinking that we are meant for each other, when she might not even feel the same way.

Sometimes I do stupid things to myself. Sometimes I make stupid choices. Sometimes I miss out on chances that could make sure we can be together. Sometimes I keep thinking that my life would be so much better with you in it.

I have become highly distracted from work and my studies, because of this clutter in my head and I’m struggling to clear my thoughts and heal. Maybe I just want to reach out to you and get your attention and a response from you, just so I could feel better. Maybe it’s just to placate my ego. Maybe I just need some time away before I do something to worsen the misery I already feel.

The thing is closure can and should be done without having the other party’s acknowledgement. It’s about grieving in my own time.

I mean, what was I expecting to happen when I text her, hoping that she’d reply? That she would drop everything in her life and come back to me? That she would finally realise that we are meant to be together? That she would magically wake up and see me for who I am? It’s all a fantasy, isn’t it? Why am I even going back?

If you’ve moved on, I ought to respect your privacy. So yes, I need to grieve in my own time and let go.

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Be in love with your life

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“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” —Jack Kerouac

I choose me. Every waking minute of every day. Any mental energy I have, I will spend it on myself thinking about me and how I should improve.

It’s about telling myself “I’m upset, I’m angry, but you know what? I’m going to deal with it, because I want to stop feeling miserable and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I change how I feel now.”

It’s challenging to stop my mind from wandering to unhealthy thoughts that do not benefit me, but every time I find myself wavering, I would stop myself in mid-thought and say: “I choose me.”

My life will move on. Even if I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. Even if I have done the stupidest thing in the world by texting someone to ask about something that I shouldn’t care about. Even if I keep hoping that I would get a reply. Even if what I did was uncool, desperate and downright silly!

The good thing about feeling so down is that I don’t have to worry about anyone else, but me.

I was trying so hard to be chosen again that I lost sight of myself. Well, I have stopped that. And I’m going to sleep.

Sleep is good. Sleep is rejuvenating, especially when I spent the past few sleepless nights getting my mind all messed up, because I couldn’t let go.

From one of my favourite blogs to read, here’s one of the 10 things on a checklist we should do when we hit rock bottom:

Sleep 8-10 hours. Sleeping is rejuvenating. You won’t care if you go broke while you sleep. You also can’t obsess on loneliness while you sleep. In general, sleeping is pretty good. If you are having trouble sleeping, take some natural remedy or take some anti-anxiety medicine. Whatever it takes – you need to sleep.

I’ve been exercising regularly (which makes me really happy and exhausted by the end of the night) and I’m going to attend meditation classes soon. I’ve been writing more regularly now to get my feelings out in the open. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol since September. I eat lighter dinners now and I read a lot of random stuff that make me laugh and cry (sometimes all at the same time). And you know what? I’m going to repeat the 10 things Altucher recommends tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after that tomorrow and beyond.

Excuses are for people trying to be chosen by others. When you choose yourself, there are no more excuses.

It doesn’t matter what happens to me next, because I have chosen myself.

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The way you think about a person

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Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are. — John Green

There are a lot of people out there who believe there’s an exact type of person who will have all traits to make them happy. These people want everything in their partner to be almost perfect — be it qualities, attributes, character, looks, career, gender, wealth, acceptance by the family, marriage eligibility, intelligence and so on.

But more often than not, these people who seek “perfection” in their partners are the toxic ones in a relationship. If they are unsatisfied with any aspect of you, they would withdraw into their world, be emotionally unavailable, temperamental, demanding and selfish that you will feel so alone and you start doubting if you were ever in a proper relationship with that person.

More often than not, these toxic people would fit whoever they happen to meet in their life at that particular moment in time to this ideal life-partner template they have in their mind. They may not care if that new person does not share similar values or common interests with them, because they are sucked in by the thrills and infatuations of a new relationship. Even if the person does not speak well, write well or dress well (basically falling below their usual standards), it would not matter to them. They become blinded and they adjust their standards, because they desperately want to be with someone new and to be in a relationship again; they want to be on par with their friends who are in committed relationships.

So the minute someone new comes along, they forget the priorities they once thought were important. Then after a while, when reality sets in and time unfolds the person’s true identity layer by layer, they realise it’s the same vicious cycle they are trapped in again. And they wonder why they are always in unhappy relationships.

Be careful of what you look for or even wish for. What you think is perfect now may not hold true weeks and months from now, because you keep forgetting what you really want, what you genuinely value and are looking for in the first place.

P/S: I know this has been a sombre post, so kudos to you if you finished reading the entire piece! This is why I should never write about my feelings when half-sleepy and half-determined to blog tonight, no matter what time it is (4:42am here btw). I still feel a dull aching pain in my heart. Please tell me I’ll be alright?

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Sometimes we don’t say what we feel

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Not because we don’t want to… But because we don’t know how to.

I asked my friend why it still hurts so bad even after so long and why I still can’t move on, no matter how hard I try. There is a throbbing pain in my chest that I can’t get rid off. It feels like someone stabbed me right in the heart and forgot to take the rusty dagger out.

She sighed and said: “What do you do when you cut your finger?

I would suck the wound, run to wash the cut with cold running water, sterilise it with medicated cream and maybe put a plaster over my finger, I told her.

She said: “What else?”

If it’s a bad cut, sometimes I would keep touching it and maybe let water accidentally seep into the wound or keep opening the plaster to check if the wound is healing, thus worsening the pain in the process.

She said: “So it will take a while for the cut to heal, right? The more you touch it, the longer it takes?”

“Yes……?” I hesitantly answered.

She said: “Isn’t it the same as what you are feeling now? You keep thinking about the past; it’s like touching your cut finger all the time. How do you expect to move on? Of course, you will take longer to be better and to heal.”

There was silence over the phone, as I pondered over it.

My friend was right… Like she always is. (She always has the weirdest but most apt analogies too, but that’s a story for another day.)

It’s been more than a year since we stopped seeing other and I can’t even remember the last time I saw you. Every time I wanted to text you, I stopped myself because I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do. Then one question led to another and my indecisiveness made the choice to leave you alone.

So why am I still letting you affect me? Why do I still feel so much pain inside? Why am I so insistent that you are my one true love and that we’d be perfect for each other?

My friends keep telling me to move on and I keep telling them I am trying. But clearly, I am not succeeding. I still get panicky at times when I open my social media accounts, because I fear reading your updates and feeling down after that and letting my mind run wild.

See, how silly and rather pathetic I am. So much for the faith my friends have in me. Haha.

My friend said: “If she’s meant to be yours, if you two are really meant to be together, it doesn’t matter what happens now or what she does. You don’t have to force it or do anything special and she would come back to you. It could be months later or five years down the road and both of you would still find your way back to each other. You have to trust yourself.”

But what if the chance has passed and I didn’t grab it or I didn’t do the best I could? After all, you did return to me once after I thought it was over between us. But things were unstable and maybe the time wasn’t right or I didn’t do enough to hold on to you or nothing I did was good enough for you. I don’t know.

She said: “What you fear most will somehow come true. It’s the law of attraction. The more you think about what you don’t want to happen, the more it will. So why fear it? If I were you, I would just log on and keep looking at everything until I don’t feel anything anymore.”

My friends tell me even though I may not be able to understand it right now, one day I will realise why experiencing this pain would be a blessing in disguise in the end. And there are many things I should be thankful for.

I should be thankful that you kept telling me that you did not want to be with me and you showed your true self by constantly blowing hot and cold towards me, even though you knew I was crazily in love with you. You taught me who you really are and you do not deserve me.

I should be thankful that you haven’t contacted me since I stopped replying. Even if we continued talking, you were unlikely to magically meet my expectations or become a better person.

I am thankful that you ended our relationship so many times when I couldn’t, even though you did it in a horrible ‘escapist’ way. It was a wake-up call for me not to fall in love with someone like you in the future. I can stop lying to myself that you’re a better person because I think you are.

I am thankful that you let your former boyfriend talked you into not accepting me and that you were not completely honest with me all the time, as you kept me waiting around while you make up your mind about what you want in life. After all that begging to get you to reconsider our relationship every time we broke up, I realise now that you couldn’t meet my needs then and that we were incompatible.

I am thankful that you kept telling me “I don’t want a relationship now” or “You’re too good for me” and other similar excuses, because I realise you were right, I am too good for you. And I’m smarter now at recognising the signs of someone with issues. Next time someone tells me the same things as you did, I can run away faster.

I am going to be thankful if you ignore my latest text to you. I won’t want to be sucked back into the vicious painful cycle all over again, because you will never be the perfect person I once thought you were.

I am also going to be thankful if you have moved on. Yeah, it will hurt and it already hurts just thinking about it, but it’s an blaring alarm to warn me to speed up in moving on with my own life.

Finally, I am thankful that you didn’t value me when you had the chance to, because I appreciate my own value better now and I know that no one will ever love you as much as I did or treat you as nice in the way I did.

It really hurts, but in the end I want to be with someone who values me and the relationship enough to want to be in it and not give up every time we hit a road bump.

Well, it’s been enlightening to remind myself what I should be thankful for, because it was just so easy to lose my head and focus on what I think I would lose if I let go of you and the pain I’ve been carrying. In actual fact, I have a lot more to gain if I delete you now.

Ok, I feel soooo much better after saying how I really feel and forcing myself to think about what I should be thankful for in my life.

P/S: If anyone of you reading this are going through a tough time and nursing a broken heart like me… I wish you well and Godspeed in your healing process. Remember you are not alone and there are people who understand what you are going through.