Tuesday, August 20, 2019

08/20/19

And so, it shows that I haven’t been active on the blogosphere for some time now. I can’t even remember when my last update was.

I’ve not disappointed without a reason, though. Life took precedence once again with me focusing on my current position. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I’ve managed to secure a job related to the field that I studied in. The amount of paperwork in my current position is enough to keep me busy to such a stage where I’m working through lunch. I know that it’s not the healthiest option as lunch hour is there for a reason. It’s to provide employees with an hour’s break to refuel or to catch a breath.

Yet I love it; I’d rather swim in continuous stress in the workplace and fry my brains than to harbor feelings of boredom. There’s another reason; being nose deep in the paperwork allows me to lose myself in the tasks on hand. It’s dangerous because my brain can never rest. It’s forever checking off the work-related mental checklist. The effects of this is perilous. As if to make it worse, I’m suppressing my thoughts and emotions whenever I’m in public. It’s only when I’m alone, away from prying eyes and judgmental ears that it shows in my eyes. I know that it’ll worsen if I don’t do anything to resolve it.

It’s not that I don’t want to take precautionary or mitigatory steps. It’s more along the lines of not wanting anyone to know what I’m facing with. Ever since I’ve been kicked to the kerb after that critical period, it’s given rise to the feeling of abandonment. No one deserves to know what’s happening in my life or to me while life moves forward without me.

If I’m left alone to lick my wounds, then I shall be left alone, away from those judgmental ears.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I'm a shadow

Folks, if you’ve wondered where I’ve been and why I’ve not regularly posted here, it’s because I had a basket load of matters to resolve offline. Throw in the casual position and most of my time would be dedicated to life away from the blog. I mean, who would’ve thought that in the blink of an eye, it’s close to a year since my return? I’ve been swimming against the emotional currents for such a long period that I’ve lost track of time.

Now that the casual position has ended, I'm introverting and spending more hours indoors. While this may be beneficial for my side hustle, I don't think it does the soul good to avoid the outdoors. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I twisted my ankle while trekking the hill. I’m not sure what caused it to occur although I’m sure I kicked into something - be it a pine cone, a stone or a cracked tarred road. It’s still slightly swollen as I write this post, though. And that was close to three weeks ago.

Yet I had a quick catch-up with a friend. Although he was worried that I might expose the ankle to further pressure (I arrived at our agreed meeting point by foot), I was adamant that my ankle recovered well enough for us to meet. I didn’t want him to travel all the way, only to discover that we can’t hang out because of my foot.

Somehow chatting with him allowed me to be myself, forgetting all of the worries on my mind. Even if it was for an hour. An hour may not sound fast to you, but for us, it did - without any recollection or warning about it. If there was a chance for us to stay back longer, we’d have taken the opportunity in a heartbeat.

Just a cup of cham (read: a mixture of tea and coffee) and a glass of iced coffee were what we needed as an accompaniment in our conversation. We even picked up from where we left off - disregarding the curious eyes and inquisitive ears surrounding us but exercising enough care to avoid getting in-depth about sensitive topics.

It still wasn’t enough to stop me from beating myself up over the backdated work. I’ll eventually have to complete them and tick it off the list when the deadline rolls up, but I can’t seem to find the passion/motivation in me to get started on it. I don’t know what’s happened along the lines . . . especially when I was never like that. *sighs*

Maybe I need to learn to take a breath and tackle it - one by one.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Memories of What Was Once


Memories are thick in the air,
Suffocating us.
Tears swam down our cheeks.
A promise that we made to each other.

A promise to live well and stay well.
We laid down our masks.
We bared our souls to each other,
Not hiding our pain.

In our pairs of lifeless eyes,
We saw a reflection of ourselves there.
You stared at the bottom of the cliff,
Thinking that your body will be lighter soon.

I gave it my all to pull you back
And save you from the edge.
I was on my knees,
Not wanting to lose you to the dark.

We helped each other to recover,
One second at a time,
One step at a time,
One day at a time.

With a little crack of a smile,
Remnants of a happier you rose to the surface.
A glimpse into the kind of person you were
Before your days turned darker than the clouds.

The warning signs glimmered like a night sky,
Yet I missed my chance of saving you.
The winds sigh around me in mourning.
Exhaustion crept deep into your bones.

You threw in the towel and gave into the darkness.
I’m now in the position I tried to save you from.
I’ve lost the light of life in my heart.
The similarities were the one that drew us close,

Yet it now forced us apart from each other.
As I edge closer towards the end,
My lips lifted with a smile,
Knowing that I would not abandon you in death.

Friday, June 28, 2019

What now?

Amidst the hectic state, I was finally dragged to trek the hills with the family - a habit that we engaged in on a weekly basis before circumstances changed me. Yet the hour-long exercise wasn’t enough to strangle the negative emotions in my heart to death. I don’t expect it to happen soon either. It snuck in and took up residence at the start of my degree, so it’d require time - but how long, only God knows - for it to leave.

It’s true that time will slip through the cracks of your fingers. It was just yesterday when I showed up for work with fear and anxiety about my work environment. In the blink of an eye, three months have passed, which signalled the end of my position. There was nothing much that I felt, but I wasn’t surprised either. It’s after all a casual/temporary position and I warned myself not to become accustomed to the workplace and colleagues for the fear of being attached. Although it’s not in the field of law, the scope was just as challenging since I’m not familiar with this particular industry. The only one I’m familiar is writing (housed under media), but at least it gave me some much-needed time away from law. The intense pressure that grew stronger in the duration of my undergraduate days kept me away for the time being.

There was no way of running away from the emotional exhaustion. I found myself hiding the pain and tears from friends and colleagues. Even when we’re texting on Messenger or chatting in person, I’d pretend that I’m as happy as I sound. I know that it’s bad for me to bury my thoughts and feelings without speaking of it, but that’s how I’ve coped all these while - so much so that I’ve forgotten how to speak up. To put it into writing, I’m drowning in the current - wanting to hold on to something but unable to reach out. I don’t know if it resembles a burnout or it’s merely an exhaustion, but aren’t those two similar in its own way? I’m hiding so much that even my closest friend has no inkling about it - because I don’t want any more questions about it. Since I chose not to spill the beans, I’d have to suffer from the effects because no one would be able to help me.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

06/06/2019

"All I see before me is that final 24 hours in Adelaide. The sadness swam in their eyes and their hearts shattered into pieces."


The moment I close my eyes to that particular song, all I see in my mind is that vision dancing in my mind. The vision where they forced themselves to hold back their tears for the fear of flooding the tears with the sticky solution. Come to think of it, it may be a subconscious cry for me to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. It may also be an indication that I’m using the alternate universe or a happier past to cope with all the earthly stressors.

The document that did a 180 on me arrived on my doorstep faster than I expected. Any form of elation was replaced with a wave of anger in my bloodstream. Anger that I played my cards in the wrong fashion, which backfired in my face and landed me with irreversible changes. Anger that everything in my plans derailed like a train driver who has lost control. My circle of friends will never have an understanding of how I’m feeling unless I speak of it - and you may ask why I’d rather torture myself emotionally than to let them know.

I’ve said it from time to time: it’s my battle to fight and I’ll deal with it alone. Yes, you’ll definitely remind me that what I’m suppressing and what I’m projecting to those around me will crash into each other and make a clear path murky. And yes, it’s exhausting down to the bones to feign that everything is okay when it is not, but it is what it is.

I found myself reliving a flashback of me travelling with the Carries, Papa Carrie’s business acquaintance, and the guy’s family to a resort interstate. While I don’t remember the exact details of that trip, we were there at night. I wore the pair of Japanese flip-flops as the adults gathered at the cafe near the swimming pool. The children - two boys of differing ages - and I were close by, doing our own thing. Maybe the large age gap created an element of awkwardness between us - or I’m distant whenever I’m introduced to someone new. I need time to warm up to the person. I’m not shy; just … cautious, for lack of a better word.

Could this be a sign that I’m living in the reminiscence of the ancient days? For all I know, I’ve descended to a stage where I could care less about the wonderful Pandora’s box of the future. All of the unexplainable pain and aches that left me for such a long time have returned to harass me on a frequent basis. The recent one came when I returned to my cubicle after completing a task. As the pain knocked on my ribcage, I had to hold it while I hid behind the table to let the pain go away on its own. Maybe what I read is true after all: pains and aches will manifest weirdly out of stress and anxiety. Don’t let the looks fool you; I’m in a world of stress and anxiety as its toppings.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

05/12/19

If I’m zoning out, that’s a sign that I’m introverting and plotting the resolution of personal matters in my brain. What’s worse is if it occurs at the workplace and in the presence of colleagues. I don’t want to be mistaken as someone distant, but I don’t want to be pushed to the edge where the annoyance will glimmer in my eyes as a warning. All I need at that time is some moments to myself to process the information overload. If I don’t do that, my brain will be weighed down like an anchor with unnecessary matters . . . and it’ll be splashed on my face. No wonder the Carries have zoomed in on the fact that one has to be adaptable and flexible. Things are fishy when I’m boiling like a radiator in a room that has a comfortable temperature, which meant that my mood is about to slide off. I slipped out for lunch alone at a nearby eatery without my colleagues knowing because I needed the time out to clear my brain and calm myself.

Yet they are cool enough to understand that I’m not as fluent as them in the common language spoken at the workplace. Even though I grew up in a multicultural and multilingual society and have been exposed to at least 4 languages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m fluent in all of it. My brain still doesn’t work fast enough to swim between languages, trust me.

But what I’ve recently observed is that I’m more selfish when it comes to weekends and holidays. I’d rather stay at home and recharge the introvert battery than to head outdoors in the midst of a crowded place. Hang on, I know what you’d say about this. Beggars can’t be choosers; working folks only have the weekends to run their errands and complete their shopping. If my battery isn’t fully recharged over the weekend, I’ve a tendency of working with a charcoal face. That’s why things are much better if and when I’m fully rested and ready to attack the working week head-on. Don’t blame me; I would love to be on my own for the remaining 25% as I don’t thrive in a crowded area. I thrive better in solitude. Throw me in a room with all of my work and the expected timeframe for completion and leave me alone until I poke my head out for assistance. Oh, and copious amount of coffee would be lovely as it’d keep me awake until I crash after hours. It’s a weird habit I have since before college.

“You have a caffeined bloodstream.”

My childhood friend would always quip that phrase each time we head off to our favorite coffeehouse to catch up. And I’ve learnt to take it in my stride as it’s true. Still, I can’t complain much. Life in law is more hectic than this and the first one to take a beating is my social life, as I’ve insinuated before.



Come to think of it, this reminds me of a touchy conversation between me and someone. It is a topic that only a handful of my nearest and dearest know. It’s the precursor to who I am today. In the quiet moments to myself, I questioned most of the decisions that I made in the last five years. The anger and sadness rose from nowhere into the air, suffocating me with all of the regrets. Yet the irony is there; the more I should arrange for an appointment with a counsellor/psychiatrist, the more I’m unwilling to do so. It’s rather safer for me to keep everyone at an arm’s distance instead. Although the specific someone desired for me to spill more beans as I’d feel much better after ranting, it’s arduous to do so . . . for personal reasons.

Maybe it’s true; the suppressed issues are deeply entwined with my identity that eliminating it would remove a significant part of me.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

05/02/19

There was a slight reprieve in the form of the Labor Day holiday, in which I was able to catch up with life and to do some shopping for new work clothes. You’d be surprised; the ones that I have in the closet aren’t exactly appropriate for my future permanent position. What made it inconvenient is the fact that I’ve never incorporated those colors into my everyday attire. For those styles, I wear it from time to time, depending on the occasion.

Yet the break wasn’t enough to refill the energy tank. One day’s rest is never enough, believe me. If you thought the life of a university student was tough, having a full-time career is another story in itself. The tank’s depleted to the point where I need a long break, but I’m only saving my annual leave for important matters instead. It didn’t help my situation when my body protested out of stress. The last time I was under the weather with symptoms like this, it was in the midst of my final year. Remnants of it first showed up during work, but the ignorant child in me thought it was related more to overthinking rather than a fever. It wasn’t until 48 hours later that the symptoms showed up at full blast: body chills, a rising temperature, a growing desire to sleep . . . you name it. I’m not surprised, to say the least. While my body tried its hardest to fight off the infection, I ran errands instead of locking myself indoors to rest.

Talk about testing my luck.

Although the fever was drastically reduced after spending a night in perspiration, it wasn’t enough. I returned to work with faint traces of it and even swung by the convenience store to buy paracetamol tablets - something which I’ve never done before. If I’ve attended classes while recovering from a fever before, repeating it for work shouldn’t be a problem. My friends would disagree with me on this, I’m sure. As what I’ve elaborated to a peer before our final exams, I’ll be that employee who will rock up to office even when ill unless I’m bedridden. I’m aware that it’s unhealthy as it’d affect the work-life balance and send me on a downward spiral, but that’s just me.

That brings me to the possibility of emotional exhaustion.

I should’ve realized that the tendency to come down with fever or cold might be a spillover from my intense academic days. But there’s more. I’ll tell you why; I’m now easily annoyed at my inability to concentrate on the tasks at hand. I’m making what my folks would term as silly mistakes. The pre-Adelaide me was never like this: she had the eye to spot mistakes and was more observant. While a reasonable person is able to move on from their errors within minutes, I can spend the entire day reflecting about it and where I could’ve done it right.

Maybe it’s a sign that I’m shrouded in brain fog. Or maybe not. Only time will tell which is which.

Monday, April 22, 2019

04/22/19

A lot has happened over these couple of months. Combined with what I endured since my final year up until now, I’m not surprised I always push myself close to breaking point. A part of me is aware that I’m using work to escape my emotions. A bad choice, yeah, I know. It’s the least I can do without bursting into flames at an unsuspecting and innocent soul. Another part of me has the sneaking suspicion that it’s the result of suppressing my emotions, leading to a personality change.

Those who are close to me (which are far and few between) cringe whenever they see me in this stage. Sure, they’ve encouraged me to come clean with whatever that’s bothering me. Yet there are certain things that’ll forever remain a secret from them. I’m weary of explaining myself to someone who hasn’t lived through the circumstances I was thrown into. I mean, it’s seriously unfair and it’d be a waste of my breath. At least with someone who understands, there’s not much need for words. Just a look in each other’s eyes is enough; the rest speaks for itself.



Also, I’m bushed to the point where I can sleep all weekend. It’s a common occurrence that most of my Saturdays are spent on catching up on lost sleep, lol. The beauty is that I’m unsure of its root cause - whether it’s from work, sleep deprivation, a tired soul . . . or a combination of it all.

One thing’s for sure; the sensitive antenna has absorbed all of the emotions around me once again. The good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it. What made it a bit tough was the sour mood that enveloped me as I made my way to the workplace. I wouldn’t say I bailed out on my colleagues, but I declined their invitation to join them for lunch. I needed to be alone for a while to recover from the emotional overload, but ended up spending the lunch hour with another colleague and our takeaways. Trust me, it’s not because I’ve lost my marbles. Even as a university student, I comprehended the unhealthy idea of eating at your cubicle, especially when papers are strewn all over your table and you’re working without a break.

Say what you like, but time slips faster through the cracks of your fingers when you’ve a million things to attend to and concurrently multitask. Succeeding tasks that roll one after another is perfect because it takes the edge off my mind. Being on the go all the time soothes the overthinking mind - yet it drains a large amount of energy from the body.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Divergent Path

Questions swirl in the air as I battle between anger and sadness at the deck of cards I have. A part of me feels it’s unfair that I’m in this situation with no light at the end of the tunnel. Yet the new moon brought me on a new adventure in life. I won’t go into the full details of the job scope due to the NDA. The daily routine is somewhat a form of practice, seeing that my intended field has more challenges and stress than I’ll like to admit. All career fields have its own challenges and it’s arduous to describe the level of stress. What I find stressful may be as easy as pie for you. What you find stressful may be something lovely for me instead. It all depends on the individual themselves.

Let’s just say that it’s a different field from what I majored in uni, but believe me on one thing. Educational boundaries are limitless - as long as there is a burning passion to learn about something. I can’t complain much as things seem to be okay right now. That’s something I’m petrified about. No matter how smooth the plans are, there’s always a tad bit of fear that something would go wrong somewhere and somehow.


Jasmine Green Milk Tea


Pork Dried Pan Mee

Speaking of which, I never fail to stumble upon new eateries with my colleagues’ daily recommendations. Lunch with them is sometimes a food exploration for a couple of reasons:


  • With them being around, I have to actually eat. I don't think I had regular lunch as a university student
  • By remembering where the eateries are, I'm able to decide on the spot when I'm in the area or within the vicinity
  • I'm sampling items that I won't purchase in a normal circumstance


That aside, the working week doesn't leave me with much time to pursue my hobbies either. I'm drained of any energy by the time the weekend rolls around. Even my plans for a project are delayed at the same time. But that has no time limit attached to it - yet. To settle it requires advance and tedious planning on my part - or late nights on some days. Is it something that I'm able to do?

Stay tuned to find out more.
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