A Story

Everyone loves a good little story every once in a while. I wouldn’t say that mine is good, but at least it gives a bit of a glimpse past the fairy tales of the everyday stories that we read on social media. And hopefully it will also give some sort of a ray of hope to some who may be able to relate to what my life has been like.

I was born to two pretty damn fantastic parents who would do anything for their children. And whilst they have their own little quirks like every parental individual does, they have provided for me and my sister to the best of their abilities.

Now, what I’ve come to realise over the years (and I’m totally not claiming to be an old goat here), is that we are all conditioned in a way that our parents were conditioned, and it is really up to the individual to break the spell as it were, of what is known as normality in this world. Be it in our culture, or in our traditions, all around the world. No one is spared from this. Our teachers who spent most of our school days with us also have an influence, and they would obviously be influenced by the ones who’ve brought them up, and by the principles and morals and traditions that their elders and teachers have.

Being of Asian descent, there is nothing more important for a woman, in traditional terms, to have all the basic housewife traits ingrained into her at a young age. Think cooking, laundry, general errands, listening to her husband and abiding by his bidding, etc. You get the idea.  Things have definitely turned over the last decade or so, significantly too, but there are still so many women who are bound to these ideas of what is normal to them and their families.

Asians have a strong sense of pride for their culture and traditions. And as much as I’d like to classify myself as the Westernised Asian, these traditions and cultures bear some significance to me (well, the ones that make sense anyway). I grew up in a culture where anything out of the normal route of an Asian woman’s journey will be seen as something to gossip about, something to make a big deal about, even if it’s simple as going overseas to study.

To put this into context. I am an Asian woman, living abroad, in the Engineering / Construction industry where about 85% are generally men, Catholic, and a lesbian.

A lesbian who happens to have come out only 3 years ago because her principles and the traditions / beliefs she was brought up with had a massive influence on her being normal. Having to come to live two very different lives (one who was just swooning over girls on TV, and the other who was trying to avoid all sorts of conversations regarding dating men, marriage and babies) for about 30 years really does screw your head in a fashion that is not pleasant. And to develop feelings for straight women who may or may not be aware and are therefore emotionally manipulating you… definitely not the best spot to be. Being Catholic and having been taught that homosexuality is an abomination – how is that resolved?

It took a good 30 years to get all of that straightened out in my head, and whilst doing that, I refused to date because I didn’t want to do something that wasn’t true to myself. I did not want to subject a guy to someone who will never be forever love. I know, how noble. Not really. I was just a coward back in the day. I didn’t really have a mind of my own. And I allowed people around me to influence me in a way that saw me losing myself, and ending up as a person who was single, and never had a date in her life at 30.

And then it clicked that there are perhaps only two things in this world that really matters – to love, and to treat others like how you want to be treated. It really is that simple. Forget the complications that are brought about through the interpretation of what bible has to say because that in itself is man-made. Chinese whispers for thousands of years, imagine what that actually does? And how do we explain the concept of actually feeling for someone of the same gender to the Asian elders? It can be tough. My mother is my best friend, and the first person I wanted to come out to was her – who happens to also be the most difficult. But hey I did it. And that, was and is going to be the best decision I have made in my life. The liberty that came along with it, the ability to go out and actually potentially find someone was a feeling that was very welcome.

And then one had to deal with being a virgin while dating at 30. It’s a daunting thought. To come up with women who have been dating for most of their lives, be it with men or women or both, and having to explain myself every single time, is something very very tiring. More so, to deal with the shocked reactions of “omg really?!” or “but why?!” or “wow…..”. Any one of those would send me right back into wanting to book anger management sessions, or I would just cry at wondering what the fuck is really wrong with me. It took me a good year or so to get my head around the fact that my sexual experience should not be something that determines what sort of partner I am (yes, it was bothering me that much). Instead, I should be seen for the person I am, on the inside – how very cliche. I know, but it works, so I’ll take it.

And then having to find someone who matches my bases of moral standing, principles, ethics, intellectual and emotional connectivity in a pool that really isn’t that fantastic, is something that is a struggle in itself too. And being the age that I am, how do you actually find someone who would understand what your history is like, and then like (or eventually hopefully love) you for who you are? It is difficult, and that’s not pessimism talking. It’s realism.

At the end of the day, I am approaching 33, have not been able to hold a relationship (if we can even call them that) for anything more than 6 months, and am starting to lose the hope of actually find that soul mate that I really would like to have to share the rest of my life with.

But what I really wanted to put out there is that if you’re struggling in the same way I am, questioning why the fuck you haven’t actually found anyone even though you feel like you’ve got so much to give, then take heart in the fact that there are others around who are going through the same thing, and that you are not alone in the struggles you face, no matter where you are, how old you are, etc. I am still somewhat hopeful for us. Perhaps I will be more hopeful once I get past this tough time of emotional frustration, but don’t lose that hope no matter how small that glimmer is. If there’s glimmer, it can be made a fire.

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Love at __ Sight?

I haven’t met you. And yet, I had tears welling up more than once in the last 12 hours where I might have potentially screwed things over. And all I had said were said with good intentions in my heart.

How would I be able to let you know that I care, and that I truly would like to get to know you and E together?

And how is it that I’ve managed to feel such a strong connection with you without even met you yet? What is wrong with me? They say Love at First Sight, I might have developed a whole new concept of Love at __ Sight. And that __ happens to be zero.

There is so much to like and love about you as a person and who you are, from what I can tell. And the last thing I had wanted to do was to instil some sort of insecurity in you that would make you think I was less interested than I actually am. How pathetic is that?

You were the one woman whom I thought I could do so many things with, the one woman whom I thought “wow, finally”. And then it only took one sentence to ruin the wonderful story I had already created in my mind for us.

Either way, what I have created, is a feeling inside me that feels really quite awful, and I can only hope she would see the good intentions behind what I was saying, and give us a shot.

 

Survive

Do It Yourself

And, most of all, to survive.

If anything, when you feel like things are just crumbling before your face, and things seem to be too difficult to bear, remember that you only need to survive. Keep your head above the water. Float.

Swimming in life is tiring. And whilst you will find that there are people around who would hold you and support you as you swim through, you will go through periods where you are alone. You are the only one in the ocean, surviving. So breathe, keep your head above the water, because that’s what you need to do to get to the end goal of whatever you are fighting for in life. Be it a second chance, or the ability to do something different, or in my case, fighting for the chance to love and be loved by someone special, you float. You survive. You breathe.

And don’t forget to take in the sights while you’re just floating too. Ever so often, our eyes wander out there, and we can’t even see past our own nose.

Breathe. Wander outside. Survive.

Letting Go

At the essence of it all, letting go encompasses several factors:

  • Courage
  • Patience
  • Tears (lots of it in some instances)
  • Brain cells (for all the moments of over-thinking)
  • Mellow-dramatic music that reminds you of her/him.
  • Weight gain / loss (depends on your luck of the draw with dealing in such situations)
  • High level of desire to find a rebound
  • Tremendous amount of guilt over the former factor when it does start setting in.
  • Self-love / Self-hate (though I thoroughly recommend the former for both your sanity and your future partner’s).

And don’t allow yourself a deadline to letting go of a person whom you’ve loved, no matter how short a period of time it might have been. Don’t let yourself be defined by what you see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social media mediums that you are inclined to review every 5 minutes.

Letting go takes a lot more than just saying “I’m letting you go”. It is about finding that peace within that it was neither your fault, nor hers / his for saying goodbye at the time. It is knowing, and actually believing deep inside, that you and her / him will find the life that you were headed towards, and that your time together was to teach you certain lesson(s) in life that only she / he could.

Easier said than done. Indeed.

It is going beyond that feeling of bitterness. That feeling of “I don’t want to have these feelings for you, but yet I miss you so”. Go beyond, go above. Rise. Believe you can do it. Look outside. Get out of the zone of rebounding, and get into the zone of healing. Take the time. And actually take it. Don’t allow what you’ve been conditioned to think is normal in this world become the driving factor to where you’re headed in life.

Letting go is already a complex process. Approach it simply.

You

You have come into my life, and changed it in a way that only you can.

You have made me think twice about plenty of things that I thought I had down pat.

You have given me so much more that I realised… in view of what I can do with me life, and the courage to take that leap.

You have made me reconsider the whole idea of having kids in my life.

You have made me realise what it is to be like, to be comfortable in silence with someone special, and not feel awkward about it despite the length of time we have known each other.

I have been, and still am missing you every single day, and as I stay on here in Melbourne for work, memories of us flood my mind even more, as I walk along the streets. This time without your hand interlocked with mine. And whilst it doesn’t hurt as such, I miss you ever so dearly because the comfort I felt with you, was something I had never experienced before, and I still wonder, if I had let you go too easily that weekend.

Transients

Have you ever wondered how your friendship / relationship has suddenly just dissolved into something you don’t really recognise anymore?  And the matter of fact, when you think about it, is that there are plenty of factors that would have contributed to that diminishing state of the friendship / relationship. In other words, it was transient.

Not all friendships are what you would take with you for the rest of your life. It would be nice, yes, but inevitably, there will be changes that would occur in both yours and their lives that would ultimately determine the outcome of all of that.

And don’t blame anyone for it. Not them. not yourself, because at the end of the day, we, as humans evolve in such a way that is not really comprehensible to our own minds when we try to psycho-analyse all that might have happened in the time span.

It is not anyone’s fault. Don’t go around pointing fingers, even to yourself, because you would have evolved in a different way to your friend, thereby changing the very dynamic that led you to be close in the first place.

Take heart, however, in all that is good in your friendship and see the beauty in what has led you to where you are now with party X, and then see what happens after, because who knows, that dynamic might just change again.

These are transients in our lives… and they are really not meant to be taken negatively.

Getting Over

So maybe I took it harder than I should have with you being hurt by me. Maybe you weren’t as hurt as I thought and you have been able to get over what we had in a flash while I have just been wallowing. 

And now I question if it was ever real to you at all. The feelings, everything. Maybe you aren’t the person I thought you were.

Seeing how seemingly happy you are is making me want to move on quicker but I actually have no energy to. 

The only thing in me is that I am losing the feeling of “guilt” quite quickly with all that I am witnessing.

No Hurry

I am in no hurry to get over you. I don’t really know why. I know that I will have to at some stage, but at this very moment, I am embracing the moments where I really miss you. I am treasuring the warm and fuzzies you gave me when we had that phase of intensity. And I am reminiscing on how beautiful you looked when you were only 2-3 inches away from me. Those beautiful green eyes.

I really am in no hurry, and for now, everyone else I see pales in comparison to you. I know at some point, unless providence says otherwise, I will get over you, and I will be moving on, letting go, etc. But for now, I really am in no hurry because as much as I would like to deny it, the connection that you and I had, despite our differences, was the deepest I would have ever had with any other woman.

I think about you every single day, and I miss you. And whilst it is necessary that I get over you, I am in no hurry. And I feel like there’s something waiting for me on the other side of this – it is as though this sense of not being in a hurry will lead me to a place of comfort, healing, and ultimately a place where I will find someone whom I can love and be loved by without borders.

Sometimes, I wonder if it might be you. I suppose I will just let life reveal itself.

For now, I am in no hurry, and I miss you every single day.

Depth of Connection

If there is anything that I have learnt from this experience, it is the fact that one can never leave it till this late to actually meet in person. How others do it over distance and not meet for as long as they do, is something I will probably never learn to comprehend because of my own first hand experience.

The virtual connection that one has when you are dating, is a good indication of how it would be when you finally meet the person. But it is by no means, any form of accurate assessment of how it would really be when you do meet the person and start hanging out with them. Granted, there were a few other factors that influenced the outcome of this entire experience, but the true depth of the connection can never be discovered until you meet.

The perception of how the other party functions, is very much a figment of what the person allows you to see from their end – after all, there are only so many things you can do when you’re dating virtually / over distance. It becomes difficult to truly ascertain what their lifestyles are like, what their habits are, and how they would really react. When you are dating virtually, there is an opportunity for you to take back what you initially wanted to say, by religiously pressing on the “Backspace” or “Delete” keys – whichever rocks your boat. When you are dating over distance, you really don’t know how the person spends their free time. You don’t know what their definition of chilling really is. You don’t know what bothers them. In essence, you don’t know which boxes you’d tick or cross in their subconscious checklist.

And whilst you connect so very well on fundamental values and principles, and the outlook in life, is it really enough? For me, personally, it sure is. And obviously, there needs to be some form of common ground between both parties – otherwise there will never be anything that we would be doing together. However, the depth of the common ground, really is not important to me. I thought it would be the same for others, but this experience has really taught me otherwise. The absence of depth in the commonality between two can sometimes be the very thing that becomes the deciding factor – which to me, is still something I am trying to come to terms with, but I can understand where the basis would be. It is just something that I would not be too fazed about at all.

I take with me wonderful moments with this one woman whom I know I will always have a soft spot for. There was so much that could have worked in our favour, but just as much that couldn’t. The depth of connection that I had felt with her, was unfortunately a virtual depth that we both misunderstood.

I walk away, hoping that she will find the happiness that she truly deserves in life, and that she will achieve all the goals she desires.

And no, there has been no regrets waiting 5 months to meet her. I would not have changed anything in the world, and it was an absolute honour and pleasure to have met her in person.

Travel

Seeing that I am on my way to the other side of the country, with a whole heap of things running through my head, I figured it will be a good time to discuss this topic of travel.

I have always loved the idea of travelling. Getting on a plane, landing onto a completely unknown location, one that will spark the senses to heighten, and to be engaged with the new, and forget the old, as it were. When one travels, there is an inevitable desire to find out more. Or so that is my own perception of it. There is a desire to find out what other people do in other parts of the world when they are eating, when they are out and about, heck, even when they are at home or at work!

There is a beauty in absorbing another’s culture, and there is beauty in absorbing without judgement. Sure, we all have different opinions on matters, but ultimately, there is some form of appreciation for how others live their lives in their own little home nest.

And I suppose that is where coming from a country like Singapore does help in some ways. The country in itself is tiny. And I mean tiny. There is really nowhere to wander around when you’ve only got about 65km by 54km to cover. Yes. That is literally it. Give and take, there has been a lot of reclamation work that has happened in the last few years, so it has probably extended somewhat. The fact that it is such a tiny country, gives more reason for us to get out because of sheer boredom. And whilst it maybe the case that travel requires money, Singapore is somehow geographically located in such a prime spot that it makes it quite affordable to get anywhere (even if it just a weekend getaway in a Malaysian island).

So back to the reality of travelling. It opens one’s mind, and it tends to be a subjective activity within the brain. As your eyes and ears, nose and mouth, hands and feet absorb the difference senses from where you come from, the brain draws it in, and later down the track, you realise that your mind has been cranked open to accept more around you, because of these experiences.

It doesn’t matter where you travel – it could be just to the countryside to see how the farmers live their lives, if you have been the city girl / boy. It could be a walk in a National Park that you have never ventured into before, and you start discovering all these wonderful creatures you never knew about.

Travel. Expand your mind.