It has been months since the last time I wrote anything worthwhile. To be fair, most of the articles I have written are just me rambling. The trail of articles that I have written was reflective of the feelings that I had while I was dealing with the loss of a loved one. It was angry, bitter and seething.
I have been reflecting since December and even more so as my birthday and Valentine’s approached. It would be the second year that I spent my birthday and Valentine’s without you. It didn’t hurt as much as it did the first time around but that’s maybe because I have come to accept that you are and will no longer be a part of my life.
It’s not because I found someone else. I’m sorry to disappoint but I don’t go looking for rebounds to fill that gaping hole that you left just so that you can justify your looking for one. 😂
Rather, it’s because before I knew it, the world became just as beautiful as it was before you came. Colour crept in and chased the greys away. The world was and is still beautiful.
As cliché as it sounds, my glasses were fogged up and I couldn’t see clearly. Now, though, the colours are more vivid than before. I enjoy listening to music that I used to listen to again with as much gusto and without feeling bad.
I can pass by or visit places that an ex-friend, an ex-lover and I used to be our hang-out spot without having to reminisce or ruminate.
This dedication is not for you or for her but for my future self who I can only hope is as happy or is way happier than I am at the time of this writing.
To close this clumsily written letter,
I’d like to quote the Arctic Monkey’s Love is a Laserquest with a little addition at the beginning,
(Even still) Will I have found a better method Of pretending you were just some lover?
I’ve written before that sometimes I am haunted by apparitions of the past.
It has not been that bad recently – I would occasionally turn my head to someone with a slightly hunched figure in a white t-shirt and light-washed jeans passing by. I would still berate myself for commenting on well-used pair of Vans when he asked if he should get a new pair of shoes. God, I miss his voice.
Anyway, it hasn’t been bad, I swear. It was just those moments when I was on a walk and a similar figure with a head full of sandy blond hair would catch my attention every so often that I would have to tell myself that there was absolutely no fucking way will he be back in here, a place he left behind for home and for greener pastures.
With the place opening up to the world again and the restrictions that broke and placed strains on relationships being lifted little by little, I feel a surge of hope that needs to be suffocated to death. Yes, I’m talking about those scenes in television dramas where a helpless chap on his hospital bed gets suffocated by a pillow by the villain.
The feelings had an uptick when I was cleaning for the Lunar New Year. Photos and memorabilia of what used to be were unearthed. I wasn’t going to look but the letters fell when I was moving it to store it somewhere else. I sat down and read the first letter and last letter that was sent. Those letters were starkly different. To spare you the details, learning how to read between the lines is an important life skill to acquire early on.
The apparitions – I wish they just would leave me alone.
There were so many things that happened during the last two weeks of 2022 that there’s a need for me to write an ode to it to close the year.
There has been a series of unfortunate before 2022 ended. I will not say that I was half-expecting this kind of send-off from 2022 as it had been a rather shitty year but is
This remains a complete enigma to me up to this day. For reasons unknown, I ended up having an allergic reaction to something in my new flat. It was not as bad as my trachea closing on me but it did get to the point where my hives were bleeding from scratching too much or, wheezing. I don’t think it was that bad but my mother and a friend got mad at me because they said I could have died. (To be f, I wouldn’t have minded if it weren’t for the fact that I have rabbits to take care of).
Sometimes, you just have to live.
It was my first time undergoing an MRI scan last December. As part of my goal to walk more and go to the gym more consistently, I was thinking of enrolling on a gym program. However, the lady said that I should go see a general practitioner or physiotherapist when I mentioned my knee pain.
Going through all the general questions, they couldn’t figure out if it was something with my bone or a meniscus tear due to the hiking I do. It turns out that it’s because my patella is not situated where it should be. The doctor said that it’s a good thing I went in for a checkup otherwise, the likelihood of getting osteoarthritis is higher in the future as opposed to going in for physiotherapy to correct it.
My doctor said that if it doesn’t correct itself, I will have to undergo surgery to correct it which is just perfect.
And then to top it off, it finally happened. I caught COVID-19 a day just after Christmas.
Maybe it was because I went out for one of my closest friends’ birthday or it was a way to humble me because I have been proud of my track record of not getting the virus for the entire pandemic. It happened just as Hong Kong was finally opening up after almost three years of closing itself to the world.
All I can say is that it was not a pleasant experience. It has been almost a decade since I have experienced any significant aches in my body and I forgot how bad it is to be afflicted by fever and a never ceasing migraine. Then, you still have to go through the motions of your everyday life – cleaning, feeding the rabbits, having to keep up to date with your daily diary. It was an unpleasant experience.
Dreams, Dreams and, more Dreams
There is beauty in the New Year. I find it so beautiful because people, especially desperate ones, are given a semblance of a fresh start and hope.
In spite of the bumpy end, I do hope that 2023 will be better and brighter for me and for everyone.
2023 is fast approaching and while it hasn’t officially arrived, I already have a few changes that I want to implement coming up. The long stretch of immobility was a blessing in that it was a period of reflection although, it was a miserable one. I have written multiple articles on healing and the reflection on the loss that happened. However, I think it is time to shift gears and move to the present and start setting my gaze on the future. The past has its place in that you learn and gain some perspective but one cannot stay in it forever. There is no point in learning when you cannot apply it to your present and future endeavours.
That being said, I have been reflecting on my lists and lists of goals that I have written down since I was 16. I am sad to say that hot damn, most of the goals were half-finished and the effort made was half-assed at best. I noticed something while perusing through the lists: it was too long. If you were anything like me, I matched yearly goals with my age or sometimes, I became too ambitious like listing out 100 goals for 2022 to get me out of my funk.
It took me 10 years to learn that it doesn’t work so I’m going to go and just list three items that I want to accomplish next year.
1. Working part-time on my writing
I have been running this blog for almost two years now if I remember correctly. It started out as a public journal and as a place to keep track of the thoughts and musings that came to mind. Now, I want to produce something of value by documenting my progress and sharing things that worked while I’m on the road to getting to a better place.
The first step is to show up for the smallest of things and get the ball rolling from there.
2. Deep Work
It seems that ADHD runs in the family and if I don’t do anything about it, I will be distracted even in my own death bed. As you can see below, I was researching about sheep and whether or not these animals are smart while I was in the midst of writing this article. It turns out that they are pretty intelligent which is fascinating. If you want to learn where my fascination about animals come from, please visit some of the following links from the top of my head:
Anyway, that’s beside the point. I want to be like the big man, Theodore Roosevelt. He is so cool. I want to be as disciplined as the man and any person that I look up to has some kind of time set aside for their pursuits. Also, this builds up on my first change which is working on my writing.
3. Consistency, one day at a time.
As I start whittling away at my goals and just strictly keeping to three things,
I already have three things that I want to accomplish within the first quarter of 2023. December is going to be the preview of what is to come by getting a headstart on these changes.
Lifting program – starting in January and I already paid for it. Currently working on a trial with a gym to get started.
Focusing on building a lifelong system, one habit at a time – it’s not going to be about sleep because my sleep schedule is inconsistent but, if I get the habit of being more active set in stone, everything else should fall into place.
I have always said tomorrow but if I keep on saying that, I will be dead before tomorrow comes. I know for myself that my biggest hurdle is the next action I need to take. Heck, it would take me 15 minutes or sometimes, even longer, to get started on something. Sometimes, it would take me half a day to get started on the first thing that I need to do for that day. I’m not proud of it but it is my reality so I have to do something about that before it’s too late.
I cannot use the “Oh I’m sad because of a breakup” excuse anymore because it’s been overused and overdue and, I’m extremely content with where I am with my life right now. I’m also talking to someone who’s down to show me how to shoot a gun because it’s an important skill to learn. The likelihood of a zombie apocalypse is inifitesimally low but someone holding you hostage or a grave where you have to defend yourself is not.
At the end of it all, I want to wisen up and toughen up and here is the first step that I’m taking.
One of the most common laments among single friends is how the dating pool is shite. The guys are not enough, and the girls are not authentic enough. It has become a hodgepodge of unattainable looks and impossible standards. I am not a player of the dating game but a mere observer so, from my point of view, it has just been pure and unadulterated chaos.
However, one thing somebody asked made me think, “Why are you still single?”
The Big Q: “Why are you still single?”
In the words of a good friend of mine, “it’s not for the lack of trying” or maybe it is. I have come to that point where I am perfectly happy working on things that I want to accomplish, my family and friends and life, in general. I want to build on that foundation first before getting together with someone. I believe that love will find me in the midst of working on myself and chasing dreams and goals.
However, if there was one thing I learned from my breakup, it is that it takes me a long time to process and move on. I also do a lot of stupid things within that healing period so unless, I want my future self to suffer, I’m not going to be dipping a toe in the pool in the foreseeable future. I will not close myself to the opportunity if it pops up but I will not be looking for it.
Lastly, in a transient city like Hong Kong, people come and go. One day they are here and tomorrow they are gone. If you get into a relationship with one of them, as soon as they return to where they come from, you best believe that the “out of sight, out of mind” mindset becomes commonplace. Promises that were made here fizzle out and it is as if the love was not there to begin with.
Some relationships survive, of course, but I do not want to risk it here in Hong Kong. I can say that from experience.
In summary, I don’t want to because I don’t do well after a breakup and that, it can take years before I could get back on my feet and time is money.
Where priorities and values lie
I understand that my values will not be for everybody and so theirs to mine. The issue I have is that some of these values are strongly rooted in or influenced by traumatic experiences. If I were to guesstimate, I would probably be disinterested in about 80% to 90% of the 28-35 year old male demographic. I have come to agree with the saying, “better single than in a poor relationship”. I am also quite traditional and I would like to be with a manly man who can be a romantic from time to time ( think: Riftan from Under the Oak Tree).
My priorities, at the moment, are to work on myself and my circle of influence. Work on my career, hobbies and travelling. Spending time with my family (travelling with my mother soon!) and my rabbits or catching up with my siblings. You know, it is a liberating feeling to finally shake off the last patches of sad emotions that I carried throughout the year.
I can finally and confidently say that I love and respect myself and how far I have come. Now, I just want to be like Vesper Lynd or Eva Green – intelligent and elegant. I want to work on my communication skills. I want to be great!
The end of 2021 and 2022 may have been less than ideal but I can confidently say that I am really grateful for this year and a half. I am still sorting my priorities as there is a much-needed realignment on what I would like to accomplish in the coming years.
It dawned on me last Saturday how happy I am and grateful for the things and the people I have in my life. It took quite some time to get to where I am now but boy, I can confidently say that I’m content and happy where I am now. Could life still be improved?Yes, of course. Am I still working to move forward towards my goals? Yes, definitely but instead of slugging through daily life, apathetic or hating every single second of it, I’m enjoying the journey. I learned that I can take a serious and heavy beating and cry about it for as long as I can until I fully let it out but, in the end, I will rise up, bloodied and soldier on, tougher and hopefully, wiser than before. I also learned that I am quite resourceful and quick on my feet to come up with and execute different solutions to my problems.
Journey before destination.
Thank God that God created me as someone who’s tough as nails and I thank my parents for nurturing that trait in me. It was during this time of weakness I was able to pinpoint some of my strengths. Knowing what these are, I hope to use them to help others in their times of crisis.
Strength before weakness.
As 2022 is about to come to a close, I would like to give it my thanks because without this year, I would have not been able to drill into my head that there is more to life than my current situation. The healing process, as cringy and cliche as it sounds, did wonders for my growth towards self-actualisation. My desperation, the hurt and the negative voices in my head made me cling to that dying hope and will to live inside me. Every day was a struggle and it was a mental battle to find the balance between toxic optimism and self-flagellating depression.
As new experiences, happy or sad, compounded, my attention was brought to the present instead of the past. When I reminisce about the past, I simply remind myself, “He will never come back. He left for something or someone he thinks is better than you. He will never come back and he has forgotten about you. Just walk away. Don’t come back to this place that you’ve worked so hard to move on from.” I do now know if you need to hear those words but if I were to give you words of advice from whatever it is you’re experiencing, always fight for your will and right to live.
Life is going to be a struggle but fight to see how your life unfolds. Live.
Life before death.
Hey guys, thank you for staying with me through this turbulent time in my life. I really appreciate it. I’m getting back to regularly writing, creating artwork and photography. Once I have a rough trajectory of what I want to accomplish this coming year, I’ll be writing an article about that so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy. Christmas is coming around the corner and I hope that, whether you’re celebrating it alone or with family or friends, you have a wonderful one.
Thank you again and I appreciate each and every one of you.
Revisiting my earlier posts, I admit that I was still holding on to some kind of hope that my ex would come back to me. I was fantasizing about how he will fly back to Hong Kong and then, we will meet again at one of the most memorable spots we have gone to throughout our relationship. It would be by some kind of twist of fate or a one-of-a-kind miracle that God grants to those He loves. After all, I believe that miracles still do happen. I think this miracle is just not for me.
As days turned to months and months turned to a year, my hope dwindled. I prayed and prayed but nothing happened. My prayers evolved into reminding myself that he will never come back and that he has forgotten about me – an anaesthetic to that longing that does not go away. In the midst of my proactive waiting, someone told me that when someone leaves you, it’s usually because they think they can do better and that they will be happier with someone else than with you. Is it the truth? I don’t know but I wouldn’t deny its plausibility.
It was like someone splashed cold water on me when I heard those words. It made sense and these words were what I needed to hear to decide where I stand in all of this. Thus, I am able to fully let go and release any hope regarding that what-if. Hopefully, I can give all of my sincerity to the things I do daily and to my goals as there’s no lying that it took the wind out of my sails.
By ending this ‘should I or should I not’ game that I have played with myself for over a year, I hope to fully be alive instead of living half-assedly. Someone told me recently that I was their sunshine and it makes me think of those days when my happiness was unbounded in spite of the problems that I faced. I want to get to that point again. I want to become that person again – a person who’s mature yet beholds everything with a child-like wonder. I think it would be nice to regain a piece of my old self back.
This was an indubitable coming-of-age experience and I feel like I have become every aspect of the word, ‘Adult’. This was a major character development on my part and seeing it for what it is is a strange experience. To recall what my ex said, maybe I’m better for it.
It has been so long since I slept so well and woke up well-rested.
The last time I woke up thanking God that I’m still alive was before my ex brought up the fact that maybe he wanted to break up and that was back in February 2021. From then on, the looming figure of uncertainty and its sharp talons stood by my bedside every evening. I thought I could escape it by moving flats but having a flatmate and living in North Point only exacerbated the situation.
I cannot find another word for my living situation but my year in North Point was chiefly miserable. I do not want to get into it but I hated every moment in that flat. I think it is because I am not meant to live with someone after living on my own after I moved out of my parents’ place. I have decided that I will not live with a flatmate if I can help it and/or if my flatmate is going to be my future husband.
Now that I’m back to living alone, I come home to a clean kitchen and a swept floor. When I was living with a flatmate, pots, pans, and dishes were left unwashed until a couple of days later. When I went in to feed the person’s pet, there were roaches on the person’s bed and just bags of food strewn about. Let’s just say it was disgusting. I’m no clean freak but coming back to my new flat with clean spaces makes me really happy.
Somebody told me that I’m their favourite part of the campaign. He and I both play D&D and if you can recall, I vowed to never date anyone who plays D&D ever again. I know, I know – never say never right? However, that was the sweetest thing I have ever heard in the last year or year and a half. The last time was when I received love letters and the poem he wrote which I still read from time to time. If I can sum it up succinctly, it’s uncomplicated to get to my heart especially since I also don’t ask for much.
Anyway, I know that we will never see each other in person since he has his whole life on the other side of the globe but our conversations make my week. I am wholeheartedly with Cala Maria on priorities (I’ve shared the link below 😉) hence, my no-dating rule and I really do think it’s a bad time to fall in love BUT, but, I wouldn’t mind keeping these conversations up because it makes me feel less alone. I would be lying if I say I don’t look forward to chatting and someone to share my day with. It’s really sweet.
Lastly, I was in for a shocker yesterday because a friend of mine tried appending his last name to mine. It came up after discussing J. Lo’s marriage to Ben Affleck. There was a lot of buildup that lead to it but I was definitely shocked that I had to change the topic.
Maybe I’ll get to the point where I will be completely over my ex and then maybe, I’ll start becoming more open to being in a relationship again. I mean it is true, there is a lot of fish in the sea. Maybe I’ll get unstuck from that mindset of just wanting my ex even now. I know that I will get unstuck slowly but surely. This pit reminds me of quicksand – the more I struggle, the harder it is for me to get out. I realise now that taking it slow is the way to go.
Knowing that someone else out there is willing to choose me, build a life together, and traverse it together comforts me a lot that my grip or want for my ex is waning more and more each day. It also makes me want to go back to better myself for me, for the people around me, and for my future friends and family. As cheesy as it sounds, I want my future husband to be proud of me as his wife. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication but I do think that I’m happier and better for it.
As I was going through one of the earlier playlists that I like, Uppers, I realise that 2022 has been a crawl and I’m not even talking about the macroenvironment. I find it absolutely outstanding that so many things happened over the course of a year like – moving flats (again.), going on a couple of dates, helping my mother get a job, helping my rabbit give birth, letting go of some of my rabbits, my sister graduating and getting a job, becoming friends again with E, falling out – just so many things that I failed to journal because of the roller coaster I was on.
Now I’m settling down into a new flat, working on my career, and working on reentering the social scene, and maybe pursuing my travel plans next year. I still dream of my life from two to three years ago every now and then because sometimes maybe I peaked then but I believe that there will be many more peaks and troughs in life. So I look back at my life from the end of 2018 to mid-2021 fondly.
In terms of my romantic life, well, love will find me again. I didn’t look for it then, and I won’t look for it now.