“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
Helen Fielding, “Bridget Jones’ Diary”
I don’t think I ever forget those lines the first time I read it back in high school. I didn’t think about the meaning behind the sentence that much back then, I just wrote it down in my quote book because I love the way the writer wrote it. It sounded beautiful although the lines were pretty ironic. But I always remember that quote, as if I knew that later in life it will become way too real.
I know generally life is nowhere near perfection, but I never really know how it feels to have a “normal” phase of life. Like, EVERYTHING-is-okay-and-bearable-for-at-least-a-good-period-of-time-before-it-started-to-fall-apart. There was always a dent. I never really know how “I’m okay” actually feels. Usually when I said “I’m okay,” implicitly half of the sentence meant that I was either in denial or already too accepting that a-not-okay condition becomes my version of normalcy. It was never a holistic answer so to say, more like, how I’m coping with it kinda answer.
Not to be ungrateful or anything, I know I have so many things I should be grateful about, it’s just that sometimes I really really wanna know how normal and okay actually feel like. How it feels when parents’ relationship is okay, family life is okay, school is okay, money is okay, friends are okay, everything is okay. I know some have it even tougher than me, that’s why I don’t question this that often. I’m grateful, but I never really talked about my anxieties that I kept for years, so maybe this is time.
I really wanna know for once how it feels NOT to be the one who has to think about everything, decide on major things because nobody would do it, and become the person your family member runs to because the one we should run to ran away. I seriously think my overthinker-overly-touchy-feely gene got way worse as I grew up. LOL. I know I shouldn’t overthink (and therefore feel/care too much), but the older I get, the bigger my responsibility is, the more complicated my life challenges are, the more I can’t help not to overthink. Seriously, it’s no fun. It almost feels like a disease. I just hope that I’m not subconsciously depressed because I really can’t tell. Hence I do what I know best: write about it.
My life experiences forced me to grow up a bit faster than some of my peers (sometimes I feel like I’m a 35 y.o soul trapped in late 20s body, LOL) and ironically, at the same time, made me a late bloomer. Not complaining though. Just saying. I’m glad I can still enjoy/experience stuff at a considerably acceptable age (okay, I didn’t bloom that late then, just fashionably late. LOL.).
My life turned upside down when I was 16 years old and it had been that way ever since. It’s hard when problems come from the core of your root: home. But that’s just how life is, eh? It doesn’t always allow you to choose. Of course some things got better as I got older. Some other things become more bearable because you’re trained by years of experience. Then I turned 21, got my first job and jumped into the real world, and my eyes were opened once again. If you’re working and hanging out with many people older than you and you love to observe, you’ll see that there’s actually no such thing as black and white in this world. Turns out, there’s this grey area, the in-betweens where you can no longer tell which one is right or wrong and you can’t really judge until you’re in their shoes (or choose to completely ignore it). I was raised as a live-by-the-rule Catholic girl and I held on to it until I was in high school. I started to question stuff when I was in college, and started to get my real life examples at work. It changed my view almost completely as to how people live their lives when they get older, when reality not only hits you, but jabs you over and over. I started to learn how other people see and treat their career, marriage, family, friendship, relationship, money, virtue, well… everything. I learned that the word “ideal” is almost a utopia. It’s not impossible to achieve, just non-existent for some people sometimes. I’m one of those people.
By the age of 22, aside from the same old problems I had, I fell in love again. When you’ve had so much going on in your life, isn’t it nice to feel connected romantically with someone? Knowing you have a place you can fall to although it might be temporary. Little did I know that my bad luck with men since high school apparently still continues as I get older. I had two years of a very destructive relationship that I hope I’ll never go through ever again. The kind of relationship that makes you feel like you are unworthy, not attractive, inadequate, and all the formula to make you feel bad about yourself but you allow it because apparently, by feeling bad, it makes the one you love feels better about himself. It was such a fucked up foolish phase. I know deep down I’m not the person he kept telling me I was, but if you’re brainwashed every single day for two years that you are no good unless you stick with that guy, you started to believe it’s true: that maybe you’re not that worthy, and it just grew on you. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I’m actually traumatized, but maybe it’s time to admit that I am. Just so there’s another scar dries up and I can live my life better.
I just hope that because of this I don’t send away the people who actually care about me, because sometimes I still think I don’t deserve their love and kindness. After I broke up with that guy at 24, some aspects in my life got better. I got the chance to explore other things in my life. Career was progressing, I started to travel here and there, got more and more and mooore friends, and accomplished some personal dreams. How was my luck in love life? Still close to zero. Hahaha. Nothing went right, even when I felt like this was probably my time to finally meet a great guy I could connect with, it always fell apart. Five years of five other heartbreaks and disappointments. Even when I think I’ve played it cool or tried to give the guy a chance (until I actually fell for him), still, nothing went right. I was so tired of feeling heartbroken over and over again, given false hope when I tried to open up again. I was so tired that I secretly prayed if I have to be alone for a long time, then so be it. I would rather feel nothing and be on my own until I find my soulmate, than feeling temporarily happy only to be crashed and burned again.
But unfortunately, there are some things you can’t control no matter how hard you try. And that includes this.
I’m so used to building up my self-defense as quickly as possible to prevent my heart from hurting again. When your life is basically a series of heartbreak that requires you to be tough at all times since you were young, you lose the ability to cry. It’s not so much that you are numb, you’re just kind of trained. Then it becomes systematic. But on the other hand, being an uber sensitive overthinker really doesn’t help me at all in achieving this.
Hear how fucked up I sound?
I don’t know why I’m writing all this. But sometimes I really, really, really don’t know where to go. I lost the ability to cry at my own problems (It is really hard for me to physically cry for things related to myself) and that’s when anxiety kicks in.
Life still goes on, some made me happy, some made me unhappy, and some completely turned my life around without me asking. Now I realized some things though:
I’m allowed not to be strong all the time.
I’m allowed to breathe for a bit and be weak, although the situation demands otherwise.
I have to be able to cry again because I just have to. I need to try harder to vent out, until it’s really “out”.
Maybe I just have to admit that I’m a collection of my issues and that it really damaged my heart, my faith, and my mind over and over again.
I have to admit that sometimes life fails me no matter how bad I try to win it over. And it’s actually okay to be defeated, I don’t owe any trophy to anyone.
I have to acknowledge my issues to not feel depressed and anxious again.
I have to acknowledge my issues and talk it out to my closest friends because I’m afraid it’s eating me up inside.
I have to acknowledge my issues to understand that I deserve healing and all the good things in life.
And if until today I still ask myself “Where do I go?” whenever I feel that the burden is just too much, I hope every tear I finally be able to cry out is one step further to my “home.”
There are so many layers and spectrum of my problems that would be too embarrassing and private to share, even I felt weird writing what I wrote above because usually I just suck it all in. But if being weak can make me feel stronger for a change, maybe this time I’ll open up, even to strangers out there who are reading this.
I know some of you must have it way rougher in life, I just hope you can always find a place to run to when it gets too overwhelming.
I hope all this pain will all be worth it someday.
I hope someday comes sooner because I’m just too tired already.