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?
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!
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.
Have you ever felt this cheesy happiness in spite of having no one?
It is definitely not an indicator that one will be meeting someone or dating someone new but, listening to love songs rouses that romantic in me. Even if the world has cast a somewhat cynical light on love and perhaps, one can even axiomatize scientific studies, I believe love exists. You can blame my Jesuit education but, I strongly believe love exists and it is wonderful, forgiving and without a doubt, difficult.
Love is a choice and it will always be a choice hence, why it is difficult. I choose to love my life even with its difficulties. I hated it for a short time because things did not go my way but, it happens. Before you know it, the thing that blew up in your face is over and you know what is nice? The fact that I am persevering and that I am still here to sing out loud to love songs, to give cuddles to my rabbits, to work on a goal, to dream that someday I will find someone who loves me as much as I love them, gives me a boost of endorphins.
It is a nice feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy in a long time.
I will still move to Europe. I will still get my master’s degree. I will still work on my plans and goals but right now, I will just belt out Michael Learns to Rock songs and prepare for tomorrow.
P.S. It goes without saying that I do hope when I do start dating again, I would be a lot wiser. A two-year break is a long time to know one’s self. Hopefully, I can refine my 2018 standards list even further as I believe it is of utmost importance to keep a list non-negotiables to avoid headaches and heartbreaks when wading through the dating pool.
It makes me excited because I have another thing to look forward to.