Shorts: Puppets

Suddenly I felt it. I think it’s the feeling of being in control of your life and your feelings that make you feel alive. 

For the longest time I felt I was merely going with the flow, and letting everything or everyone else to decide for me. Be it my emotions or feelings, be it my future. I let society tell me I’m not good enough. I let the jobs I didn’t get tell me I’m not capable of doing it. I let guys who don’t call me back tell me I’m not worthy enough for them. None of it is true. I let people control my feelings. 

At the end of the day though, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it that matters. We don’t live to be other people’s puppets. We have to stop searching for the key to happiness elsewhere, because it’s in our hands the whole time. 

There’s no shortcut

I close my eyes and flashbacks of everything that happened in the past six months appear. Things happened so quickly I could hardly keep up. 

How did I, from being so content by myself, suddenly transition into being lost without having someone to share a weekend with? Was I slowly becoming that girl I’d hate to be, possessive and clingy? 

Through independent living and travelling I have learnt to be confidence about myself – not to rely on other people’s judgements, but to really know how I truly am. I have also learnt to trust and have faith in things and people I find important. Knowing the importance of giving space was another thing I’ve learnt. Yet for some reason in the past six months I have almost behaved in every way I’d learnt not to behave in. I’m disappointed that I seem to be back in square one. 

I learnt that courage makes what seems impossible possible. But I see less courage from myself. I talk and act too cautiously. I’m careful with my words. I’m afraid that the truth would scare people away. Slowly I completely hid my true self with an image that is more socially acceptable. What you see is all an illusion. And I can barely recognise myself. 

There’s no shortcut to get to where we want to be. Trials and errors have always been the way to go about things. But most of us fight it and wish it could be easy. It’s never easy. 

The perfect recipe

Please excuse the cliché but for me it was always about the quality over the quantity. 

It’s not about the size of bouquet, but the freshness and type of flowers. It’s not about the price of a meal, but the fit between one’s choice and preference. It’s not about the amount of texts you get each day, but the content of the texts… I think you get the idea. 

 Anything more than a moderate amount can be an annoyance. A golden mean is as difficult to reach as it sounds. And it holds true for everything in general. 

It’s inevitable that in a romantic relationship we want to be connected with our significant other as often as possible. Yet the more time you spend together in a short period of time, the quicker it is to perceive boredom and, more importantly, the lack of mystery of each other. It’s an interesting one, mystery. You want to know everything about them but you really shouldn’t. Once the mystery is gone you have one less driving force. It’s like finally figuring out the meaning of life. What’s else is there to be explored? 

I strongly believe in the power that a deep connection brings. It goes beyond what’s been said or done. It’s an inner faith. It’s a sense. It has no scientific grounds. It’s because of its groundlessness that it seems non-existent. Yet it seems to be an unlimited source of fuel that keeps things running. 

A completely perfect recipe is non-existent. An ideal recipe to me incorporates many things. Mutual understanding, open-mindedness (open communication included), patience, trust, just to name a few. Yet the most important ingredient is unconditional love. It’s not something we can explain. It’s probably one of the hardest things to comprehend. It’s the start of everything.*

*I’ve already apologised for the use of cliché in the beginning of the entry

Like a dream

Every decision comes with a cost. When you’re making a decision you’re limiting your freedom to act upon the opposite.

I was fine when I was alone. Or so I thought.

There’s always something that frightens me when I go to an event where I don’t know anyone, or when I meet someone new. But I do it anyway, with or without fear. For some, fear is what keeps us going. There’s some kind of excitement that associates with it that I enjoy.

It was a time when I was content with my own being, my single life, and my inner self. It felt like I’d reached equilibrium. I found peace within myself. I wasn’t actively looking for anything but instead I was taking life as it came. I never meant for anything to happen. I let things progress naturally.

Adam was a dream. At least that was how I felt of him when I saw his profile. Except no one is really a dream. It was mostly my own judgement and imagination after only seeing 4 photos of him. It wasn’t long before we exchanged numbers. Maybe because I’m cynical, I usually don’t get too serious in the initial talks. I hold a “yeah, right. Let’s see” attitude. I was expecting it to be just another “no strings attached” arrangement.

We went on a remote island for our first date. We spent the whole time talking, enjoying the hike, and getting to know each other. I recall it being a beautiful day. Two more dates later he’d invited me back to his. Subsequently we spent every weekend together. Things just progressed naturally. We had a lot of fun. We weren’t officially in a relationship but it surely felt like one.

Until reality caught up with me. I decided it was too good to be true. And I blame my cynicism for it. It was too good to be true that such a perfect man would be interested in me, and that he wasn’t interested in other girls. It just didn’t make sense. From past experience, they were always with someone else. Except not everyone behaves in the same way. I saw things in one way, yet my experiences led me to see things in another way. There were a lot of doubts, uncertainties, second-guesses……eventually we called it off. I was heart broken. I hadn’t properly liked and got along with someone so much in a long time. And in the four months time we spent together I’d grown to be attached to him. Yet it seemed as though it just vanished in front of my eyes without me noticing.

The next morning I woke up feeling it was just a bad dream. I wish it was just a bad dream. But it wasn’t. I didn’t cope very well. I slept through day and night, trying to escape dealing with the emotions. I quickly convinced myself that it was the right decision, as I felt nothing could’ve been done to change the situation.

I was blessed to have a lot of support from my close friends. It almost felt like I had no reason to be upset seeing as I got so much love from them. One of them helped me break down the whole situation, and gave an example about his past experiences. He mentioned when one person in a couple is doubtful about the relationship, perhaps they’re scared, the other person must be brave and make a decision for both of them. Maybe a little push is all that they need to carry on.

The following day I decided that it wasn’t the end. At least not until I gave my very best to prove what we had was worth fighting for. I was in no state to be the “strong” one, but my will was strong. I believe that people should fight for what they want. So I messaged Adam. I’d previously told him not to contact me again, as it would be easier for the both of us to move on. However I wanted to explain where the doubts came about initially. I wanted no secrets. And I had nothing more to lose. To my surprise he also wanted to meet and talk. So we did. Never had I ever felt more adult than having serious relationship talks face to face with the person of interest. Usually I just ghost on them or get ghosted on. The difference now was probably the fact that we cared. We cared about each other, and what we had between us. It was a lot more than attraction. There were solid barriers between us that we had to break, too.

We ended up talking from sunset till dark. Though not a decision was made, the talk itself was very honest and positive. It was very clear from me that I wanted to give things a go again. He wanted to give some time to think about it before arriving at an informed decision. Very adult-like, I’d say. The following weeks we met up for movies and dinners, slowly going back to the routine we had. The problems are still problems when we don’t actively work through them. I need to let past experiences affect me less. We need to work on effective communication. We need to remember what brought us back second time around. No one knows what the future holds, but I’m hopeful about this one.


Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin 

They may not be Bonnie and Clyde (because that’s Serge with Brigitte Bardot), but they sure were a powerful couple. 

Last night I went to see Jane Birkin performing Gainsbourg Symphony. I knew very clearly that Jane Birkin is in her 70s, and that her voice wouldn’t be in the best state. Yet she was the closest thing I could find to Serge. He passed away the year I was born. I didn’t get to know his music until a few years ago. What a musical genius he was! I’m not fluent in French but I’m able to sing some of his songs quite fluently. 

Jane Birkin is one of the many ex-lovers of his. Probably the most well-known one due to the controversial song they made together “Je t’aime moi non plus” (NSFW; I recommend you to put on headphones when listening to it in public). But I’m not here to talk about that. 

During the performance of the song “une chose entre autres” (one thing among the others), Jane mentioned a few things related to Serge. She said if Serge was there, he’d have been moved to tears. And I was. 

“One thing amongst other things that you don’t know, you had the very best of me.”

After over 25 years of separation, the love is still so apparent. Perhaps it’s transformed itself into nostalgia, or perhaps it’s just to stir emotions of the audience. Yet from my perspective, the bond between the two was so strong that she created the whole Gainsbourg Symphony to remember him. She had another marriage after Serge, but it ended after his death. I suppose there’s always a relationship where you’re willing to give all you have but you don’t do that for all relationships. 

It was then clear to me that this is what I want to look for. I’m not talking about being someone’s musical muse. But I want to be in that relationship that is so remarkable that your partner will remember it forever. 

Light sleeper

I’ve always been a light sleeper. Sleeping over means very little to no sleep. Yet occasionally I’m able to sleep like a baby. I’m not sure why. Oftentimes my inability to fall asleep is due to overthinking. Here’s a list of things that go through my head at a sleepover. Luckily wondering whether he would murder me in my sleep is usually not one of them.

1. Did he actually want me to stay? Maybe he just didn’t want to be rude seeing as I live far away…
2. He has these women’s stuff at home, does he have a girlfriend? Wife?
3. Were we too loud? I mean his housemates definitely know what’s up anyway…
4. When should I leave? Would he want breakfast?
5. Hmm what do I want for breakfast?
6. Why did we only do it once? Did he not like it?
7. How many girls is he sleeping with?
8. Am I going to see him again?
9. Do I want to see him again?
10. FAK. He’s snoring. Sleep is for the weak anyway……

Long distance relationships

I feel that enough time has passed to give me the courage to write about this.

Recently a friend of mine met a guy who lives in a different country. Right from the beginning they were compatible. It’s one of those times where you feel “right” with each other. The only problem was that they had only two weeks together. Most people would not think anything good would come out of it. After all, how much could you find out about the other person and your attraction towards them in two weeks, so why bother? Another school of thought is that you still give it a go. Enjoy the present as destiny has brought you together – you may as well give it a go. And they did. Perhaps the time limit was exactly the reason for them to live life now not later. Nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Perhaps it’s real love. She told me she hadn’t felt so right in a long time.

When it was time for him to say Goodbye, it wasn’t at all a Goodbye between them. They kept it going, enjoy the silly butterfly feelings towards each other. Future doesn’t look bright as the two live continents away. However I do believe it’s the people who make choices and change plans according to their needs and desires.

It reminds me of my own past relationships. One that I poured my heart out and never for a second regretted it. I was in love. Everything I did, even if it looked silly, was worth it. Perhaps a lot of people look at the cost involved and how little time you get to spend together physically in a long distance relationship and decide it’s not worth it. However when you do decide it’s worth it, you know what you get is far deeper and more meaningful than duration of time spent together. It’s the deeper connection, and the more profound attraction that we are talking about. It’s something that is so hard to achieve when you trust that person who spends many months of the year being across the world isn’t going to cheat on you. You trust that whatever you have together is so strong that it can fight off any temptations and frustrations. It’s indeed something so beautiful and without being in one you probably wouldn’t be able to understand.

Of course it’s also something about it not being available to you 24/7 that makes you cherish it. If it was something that’s just presented to you without having to fight for it, you’d probably treat it like shit (don’t we all have that friend who notoriously cheats on their partner?)

Little did I know I was settling 

Little did I know I was settling. 

I claimed to be so in touch with myself yet I turned out to have neglected this one single fact until now: I was settling.

Few months ago I started going out with a guy. Few boxes were ticked, few important ones weren’t. I wasn’t terribly concerned as it started off as something casual. As days went by we have become exclusive yet still lacking the official label. Labels weren’t important for me usually but in this case the lack of label made me feel more insecure than usual. But when I question myself whether I wanted something serious with him? I can’t answer it without hesitation. 

It was the unchecked boxes. 

The things we didn’t agree on turned out to be important values for me. There are things you can easily overlook while being blindly indulged in a new relationship. But when they resurface they do hurt like a bitch because you knew them all along yet you chose to ignore those signs. 

Is it so wrong to be irrational sometimes though? 

Shorts: Brutal truth

A lot of them tried. In reality whatever I needed help fixing had to be fixed within. But they tried. They didn’t know what to do, they just watch me cry. Hug me, like it helps with anything. If it ever helped with anything, it was their own feelings, “at least I could be there for her,” “I was there when she needed help”. No, your “constructive” advice don’t help at all.

It’s my own insecurity that’s stopping me from moving forward 

For the longest time I relied on other people to decide the “value” of myself. That’s the first thing I did wrong. I let other people put a value on me, whether I’m pretty, intelligent, kind, skinny, fat…… I should know this from knowing myself. Yet I let other to decide for me. 

So now when the perfect guy comes along, I don’t trust him. I don’t trust him to be genuine. I’m not confident that he’d just like me for me, that me alone would be a good enough reason for him to not see other girls, that he’s not playing with my feelings. 

Nothing seems to be promising enough. He could initiate text messages all the time, be talkative and all and yet the slightest sign of him being interested in another girl breaks all my trust of his attraction towards me. It all boils down to me, myself, and my lack of confidence.

Because I don’t want to be in it only to get hurt again. 

October 2016