Mid-life crisis.

People always talk about unconditional love, where you do something without expecting anything in return. So, am I bad person if I have high expectations?

I turn 35 in a couple of days, and I can’t help but feel disappointed. To me, it’s a mini milestone because I officially turn middle-aged i.e OLD. Who knows how many years I have left to live, but I now feel like I have no more excuses but to be a mature, all-knowing adult.

So can you imagine my disappointment when my nearest and dearest have no plans to celebrate me turning 35? To avoid sounding like a narcissist, perhaps I should give you some background facts and examples.

Family. My family conventionally celebrates by having a meal. My mum asked me a couple of weeks ago where I’d like to go. After some deliberation, I told her no need because she’s the one who always foots the bill, and there’s six of us, so the bill always comes up easily to two to three hundred dollars depending on where we go. Plus she’s no longer working, so she doesn’t get a fixed income anymore. I really meant it when I said no need after considering the circumstances, but it was the speed of her reply that got me feeling a tad hurt. Immediately, and I mean immediately without even a second’s pause, she replied “Ok then”. Wow. Was she praying that I’d say no in the first place? That really got me.

Friends. We have a small group of us, where we’d always celebrate each other’s birthdays with a lunch high tea session, or dinner. And we’d always plan weeks and months in advance. We asians have this thing where it’s preferable to celebrate birthdays before or on the actual day, but not after. It’s probably stemmed from one of those old wives tales, and these days we don’t really believe in it anymore, but still we try to avoid celebrating after. Plus, when your birthday has long passed, the celebratory mood isn’t quite there too. I’m the last person to celebrate in the year, so I waited and waited and no one said a thing. It was only because I think I made a passing remark (like wow how subtle can I be?), that my sister started planning. And because we missed this weekend due to short notice, we’re only doing it next weekend after my birthday is long over. I can’t help feeling a tad sour and bitter because for everyone else’s birthdays, more heart seems to have gone into planning, whereas mine is more like a on-the-way-by-the-way thing.

Then there’s X. Our birthdays fall in October then November. We usually just have a meal. For him, I wanted to buy him a meal, and I really don’t expect him to reciprocate because he’s actually not big on celebrations in general. Even for his birthday, we had to keep it low-key without any pomp or pageantry. But this time, he raised my expectations by telling me that we’d go out for a meal, so I was secretly looking forward and anticipating when he would ask me out. Then he dropped a bomb on me a couple of days ago. He suspects he has some health issues and put himself on an extremely rigid food regime. He no longer eats out for all three meals, and his diet is also very restricted. Of course I didn’t kick up a fuss because health comes first. But I would have gladly accepted a simple home-cooked meal with him. Even if we had to dig up sweet potatoes and have them steamed for dinner, I’d gladly do so because his company is what matters most to me. Sometimes I’m not sure if he’s being dense on purpose. I mean, does he still not know what I want after all these years? I don’t even care if I don’t get to eat. Just give me a glass of water and I’d still be happy if I can see him.

So like I said, overall I am mighty disappointed. All these expectations I had just set me up feeling like a failure. I’m not sure why I’m still behaving slightly irrational like a kid, but I really can’t help but feel that I’ve been sidelined. Plus it didn’t help that while I was out having drinks yesterday, there was another girl celebrating her 35th as well. She had massive balloons, her friends and her poured out from this rocking party van, and they looked like they were going to conquer the world in their shiny party clothes and heels. While I spent the weekend before my birthday sitting at home in my pjs moping. Oh god. I really sound like some big, fat, sore loser. One lesson that I should always remind myself of is that, the higher I hope, the harder I might fall. Should have this tattooed onto my forehead or something.

xoxoxoxo.

Who wants to cast the first stone at me?

Are you ready for a bedtime story? This post might be a little long because it seems like we’re trying to make up for lost time.

I previously mentioned that we didn’t talk for five months because of that massive fight that we had. And how my friends all seemed to start taking his side because he tried to talk to me three times but I snubbed him. I still think he could have tried a little harder but oh well…

Those five months were a living hell. My moods were extremely affected, and I was so down in the dumps. Physically, I felt this dull ache in my heart that wouldn’t go away no matter how I tried. Everyday, I battled with myself whether I should text him because I really wanted to. Yet another side of me held me back because you know, I’m such a prideful person.

So I didn’t like who I was becoming and wanted a distraction. I thought about taking some art course but that would mean there was a high chance that I’d run into him (and a part of me really wanted that). So I texted him. Asking if he was teaching this course called mixed media. He said no, and asked why I wanted to take that course and advised against it. And then we started chatting. First about the courses, and then slowly, about everything else.

I struggled internally for a week to decide if I’d sign up for one of his classes. A part of me wanted to avoid him, but a bigger part (I shamefully admit), yearned to see him again. In the end, I did sign up for his class- Soft Pastel. We decided that we’d pretend to be strangers (to not complicate matters). So strangers we were. The first week passed by rather uneventfully, so I thought that would be it for the next seven weeks. But ah, someone has grand plans for us it seems. I also joked that we’re like secret lovers because in class we pretend to be strangers, but we secretly meet in the carpark after everyone else has vacated.

Now, we were back to normal. It’s as if the five months of silence didn’t happen. In fact, it seemed like we were better than normal. From week two, we started going for supper after class, and each week, we stayed later and later. Midnight. 1am. 2am. 3am. And then on week six, I was at his house beyond 7am. At this point, a couple of friends who were in the know were squealing with excitement because they thought, finally! However, I’d have to disappoint everybody. We did not do jackshit but talk through the night.

I’m actually quite amazed as well. Time just flew by and we chatted for hours. About anything and everything. I don’t think I’ve done this with anybody else. This is also why I always call him my soul mate, but it’s probably one-sided. My friends think otherwise. They think he also doesn’t want me to leave because he keeps offering me more tea even though at one point he was yawning non-stop and I said I should go.

Last week, he even suggested that we head straight to his home to eat and have a movie night in. It didn’t materialise because his cat was unwell and he didn’t want him to feel stressed by the presence of strangers (which I technically not am because his cat and I have seen each other for seven years). But I was secretly glad because I had a full week of joint calls with my manager. A part of me worried how I’d be able to work properly if I didn’t sleep again.

And we’ve been texting every single day (except today because we had another disagreement again) too. This is more than our usual because sometimes we have lapses of days in between.

Tomorrow’s our last class, and I’m not sure what will transpire after that. I’m quite sure our meet ups will be greatly reduced and back to square one, but one can hope.

xoxoxoxo.

Oh no you didn’t.

Hello. I’ve been missing for awhile now I know. Nothing bad happened. It’s just that… I’m not sure how I was going to tell you all. About the about turn my life suddenly took.

Perhaps some of you would like to gather some little stones and pebbles (nothing too big please, you do not want to kill me. Or maybe you do haha) to throw at me but…

X and I are talking again. Back to normal. Even better than usual I think. I have to admit that I caved. The five months of radio silence was eating away at me so bad that I was so worried I would lose myself completely. Excuses! I can hear some of you saying. A part of me kept telling myself that too, but I was also starting to worry some of my friends who noticed I wasn’t quite myself.

I started telling some friends about how the five months of silence came about, and some of them actually said I was at fault because he tried to reach out three times and I ignored it. So they said, he probably thought I was still mad and decided to leave me alone until I stopped being angry. I still think his efforts were weak and he should have tried a little harder. But then we could be arguing about this for three days and nights and we would probably go nowhere.

I have to be up for work in less than five hours, so I’ll just leave you with this for now. The full story, I promise in my next post. Good night.

xoxoxoxo.

Rolling downhill.

Age is slowly but surely catching up on me. I can feel it. And I can most definitely see it.

I used to have almost perfect skin that was the envy of all and sundry. Nowadays, I have pigmentation spots, and weirdly, break outs that I didn’t even have when I was going through puberty. And most recently, I realised that my makeup will cake at the creases of my eyes after a day out. I’ve got fucking crows feet.

Then I’ve got my knees. You know how I’ve busted my right knee and am in perpetual pain now. I wear a knee guard during classes, and I have to bring and put them on if I’m out for long because they will start to ache.

And my hands. They have always been plump (signs of a good life I’m told, but also because I’m fat lol), fair and supple. Going for boxing classes three times a week is taking a toll on them. Don’t believe it? Let me show you. I mean… Look at them yourself! This is only over a period of two years! 😭😭😭 I’m so afraid of having wrinkly hands that I’m moisturising them about three times a day. A male friend even laughed at me last week after touching my scaly hand and said he has smoother hands than mine.

Fuck my life. I’m ageing wayyyyyy quicker than usual. I was always afraid of ageing because my fear is that I won’t age gracefully. Guess who just predicted her own future.

xoxoxoxo.

Soup for the soul.

I have to be up in less than six hours for work, and I’ll probably be full of regrets tomorrow, but since I can’t sleep, let me tell you another nice story from my archives. I may have shared this story before, but my memory can be a bit fuzzy, so you can skip this if you’ve read this before haha. It’s a very very long post too lol.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis because my dad got it, and obviously with an immune system weaker than most, fate dealt me another hand. Of course the whole journey to being officially diagnosed wasn’t so simplistic, and that’s where the story comes.

It started with this persistent cough that wouldn’t go away. Like I mentioned before, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so I went to see a doctor immediately. After multiple rounds of cough syrups and inhalers, the cough wouldn’t go away so I went to see a specialist. My x-rays came back worrying. There was a spot in my right lung that didn’t seem normal, and it was quite big, so the doctor sent me to do a CT scan and run some blood tests as well. By this time, I was a fairly emotional wreck.

X of course, was by me all this while. He even took my x-rays and scans afterwards to his doctor friend for a second opinion. And he kept reassuring me that nothing would happen. He knew I was scared and alone (I didn’t tell any of these to my family because what’s the point of worrying everyone when there’s no concrete diagnosis), and he made me promise to call him as soon as my results were out. The day the doctor sent me for more tests, I didn’t call as promised because the doctor said it might be cancer. I was already crying while waiting for the tests to be done and I knew I would break down the moment I heard his voice. He knew what time I was having my appointment, so he kept calling and texting but I just could not reply or answer.

But he persisted, and eventually I told him (while bawling of course). I even had to go for a lung biopsy because the scans came back inconclusive as well. Can’t remember why he wasn’t physically there at all but I think he was bogged by work.

On the day of my biopsy, I couldn’t drive as I was going to be administered LA, so I had to move my car from my usual spot so my family wouldn’t find out. A friend very kindly came to pick me up and sent me to hospital, and told me to call her so that she could send me home later. I checked myself in and waited. As they pushed me into the surgery room, an orderly said my family could enter with me to hold my hand if I was scared. I told him I came alone, and his face looked so sad. The scariest thing about the biopsy was how thick and long the needle was, and how they described the way they were going to retrieve tissue samples. And how I may potentially start spewing out blood from my mouth because of the position I was in. If I wasn’t afraid before, I was now this close to peeing myself.

The whole thing went by uneventfully (thank god), and I had to lay in bed for four hours without getting up in case I fainted from the by-effects of the LA. I even went home by myself (didn’t want to trouble my friend further). Results came back and it was thankfully not cancerous, and I was put on TB drugs immediately. And I was not to touch a single drop of alcohol because of the adverse reactions it may have.

X was very concerned. He nagged at me non-stop for keeping late hours and kept telling me what I should be eating to nourish my body. I reminded him I couldn’t cook and just like that, he called me one afternoon and ordered me to go to his house after work. When I got there, I saw this massive pot of soup that he cooked. While he also made me dinner, that pot of soup was to be my stash for home. He told me to freeze the entire lot and to reheat them (he even separated them out into small portions) each time I wanted to drink them.

I wanted to jump on him and cry. No one has ever done something like this for me before. Not even my mother. (When I suggested she cut the salt from her cooking for the sake of her diabetic daughter, she said she has to accommodate the rest of the family, and if I had issues I should buy my own dinner.) And he even told me to inform him if my stock was running low. And refused to take a single cent from me. Those few months, I was over at his place a lot because he knew I was queen of snacking and rubbish eating, so he wanted to ensure my diet was not all thrash.

Tell me. How do you not fall in love with a soul as kind as his? I never expected anyone to do anything on this scale for me, so for him to do this for my sake, you really cannot blame me for feeling the way I do. Whenever I tell this story to my friends, even those who have a negative impression of him, all agree with why I feel the way I do haha.

xoxoxoxo.

Why I’m not cut out for sports.

So you know I’ve been going for my boxing classes quite religiously the past few months, and even though the scales still show nary a difference, I can see that I’m not as flabby and soft like I was.

And one day, after class, I just felt this weird sensation in my right knee. You know how we crack our knuckles and get some relief? And how if a knuckle can’t be cracked you feel kinda weird? Well that’s how my knee felt initially. And that’s the best way I can describe it. So I ignored it and over time, the achy feeling turned into pain. But still, I went for classes.

It came to a point where I can no longer do proper squats, and movements like jump squats, in and outs, burpees in high numbers actually cause me pain. So after procrastinating for almost two months, I decided to see an ortho. He sent me for an x-ray and…

The lines that I drew are not really precise, but you get the general idea of where my kneecap should be. Also, the right term should be patella tilt. And according to the doctor, there’s no shifting it back. What I can do now is to go for physio to loosen my hamstrings and strengthen my quads (because these apparently help), modify my exercises, and keep a knee guard on. If it doesn’t get better in four months (my next appointment), he suggests getting an MRI done just to make sure I don’t have cartilage injury. What the fuck. It’s not as if I’m some athlete representing my country in the Olympics. It’s kinda funny yet kinda sad. All I wanted was to lose some weight and look hot naked but now I have a semi-busted knee.

Even though it looks like it’s nothing serious at the moment, it has already started to impede my everyday life. It hurts when I sit and when I stand up after, climbing stairs is just something that I dread, and even walking for long hours make my knee ache. I sometimes walk with a limp because it gets soooo painful and I don’t wear my knee guard sometimes because my dresses/skirts are not long enough to cover it. I mean… it seriously cramps my style.

Some friends have asked me to stop going for classes but I can be stubborn that way. I’ve put in so much effort just to see a little result, so there’s no way I’m giving up just yet. It does help that I inform every instructor before class, and some of them are kind enough to modify exercises for me to reduce the impact on my knees.

But looking at how things are going, I might have to replace my kneecap before I’m 40. FML.

xoxoxoxo.

My rose-tinted glasses.

Hello. It’s just gone past 1am here and I can’t sleep. Very likely attributed to the fact that I napped for almost two hours earlier this afternoon. Being a baby would suit me just fine. Sleep, eat, nap, repeat.

And because I’m wide awake and have nothing else to do, I was just re-reading some of my older posts (because I’m slightly amused by the nonsense I come up with sometimes). Am a little taken aback to see the amount of moping over the past few months. Like, how is anyone not getting depressive reading my posts? Not sure about you, but I think I prefer my non-broody self much better.

These days, I keep coming across those self-love reminders kinda posts on IG. Maybe someone in the universe is trying to tell me something. And it’s not like I’ve never come across them before. But I probably pooh-poohed them previously because I was in such denial. Now that I’ve been forced to wake up, everything were alarm bells that I chose to ignore.

The internet is right. If he wanted me, we both would be together by now. Just feel sad that my expectations vs reality was like heaven and hell. I think I’m coming to terms with it all. And it’s really no fun being such a mopey, energy-draining person. Give me some more time. I hope to revert to being the random, slightly mad person who will regale you with tales of battling with a cockroach, and showing off my beautiful clothes.

When you look at someone through rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags. It’s time I took off mine.

xoxoxoxo.

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

We have just gone past 150 days now. Still not better. When will I ever be? As my emotional ass thinks about him maybe only about 50 times a day (“Oh I need to tell him this!”, “He’d love/hate this!”, “What would he say/do?”), I can’t help but feel even sadder.

How did we come to this? Ok this question is purely rhetorical because you all know how we did come to this. We were two complete strangers, who met, talked, decided we got along, continued talking for the next seven years and now, we’re like strangers again.

We talked about dreams. And our future. Our future lives had tons of ‘We’ and ‘Us’ in it. Being neighbours, having a hot drink on our door stoops in the cold nights. Possibly even being house mates, where he cooks and I eat. We even thought of what I would do if we owned a little cottage in France. He’d be painting of course, and tend his garden as well. He worried that I’d be bored to tears because I’m such a city girl and not the nature-dwelling sort. Well, I said I could help chop onions while he prepared dinner, or water his precious flowers. I’d think of something to do.

Looks like there won’t be a need to think anymore. Or rather, thinking is all I have left. As in the wishful kind.

I happened to re-watch 500 days of Summer on tv today. The first time I watched it, I cried, because it reminded me so much about us. Except that he’s Summer. I didn’t cry today, but still I felt that wrench that Tom felt. How he didn’t understand how someone who didn’t want to get serious, yet did all sort of couply things with, was just friends. And that someone actually got married to another person. I didn’t too. But as I watched the ending today, it did give me some hope that perhaps, I too, would find my Autumn in this life time. If I can only let go first.

I also happened to chance upon some video about Cinderella the other day. As a kid, I didn’t really get what she was singing about, but now I know.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true
No prizes for guessing who bawled again.
xoxoxoxo.

Sadder than sad.

Turned on the tv today, and they happened to be screening this Taiwanese movie 比悲伤更悲伤的故事. Loosely translated, it means ‘A sorrowful story more than being sorrowful’, but I think it’s official English title is More Than Blue.

Anyway it was released the end of last year and I have never watched it. People who have, tell me it’s a tear-jerker. Even X told me he cried in the cinema and that’s like quite the feat.

So prepared I was to shed a tear or two. I won’t spoil it for you in case you’re intrigued after reading this post, but I think I cried for two reasons. The first being, like everybody said, a really sad show. And the second, how closely I relate to it. Two people who love each other but never confessing their love. Ok at least it resonates on my part. I will never know if X also has any feelings for me but some of the things that he did and say are exactly what the male lead did/say.

And the official sound track. My god. It’s so heart-wrenching.

有一種悲傷
是你的名字停留在我的過往
陪伴我呼吸 決定我微笑模樣
無法遺忘
有一種悲傷
是笑著與你分開 思念卻背對背張望
剩下倔強 剩下合照一張

Again, loosely translated (because my Chinese is not the best):

There’s a kind of sorrow/ Where your name is stuck on my past/ Accompanying me as I breathe, determining how I smile/ Unable to forget

There’s a kind of sorrow/ That’s laughing while being apart from you/ Missing you and always looking around for you/ What’s left is stubbornness, leaving behind only a picture of us

Yup. As you can tell, I still cannot get over him. There are moments when I almost cave in, but I have to force myself to think of the heartbreaking words he said to me in order to stop myself. It’s now been almost five months. How long more am I going to need?

xoxoxoxo.

I made the first move.

I am terribly sorry, but you guys will have to put up with my sappy and melancholy mood for as long as it takes to get out of this funk. We have just passed 120 days of zero communication and I’m so close to breaking. Let’s talk about happier times.

26 April 2012, Thursday.

It was just a few days before my final class with X and I emailed him to check on a couple of details because the canvas colour that we were supposed to prime for class kept changing. And then.. I’m not sure what came over me but something in me must have gone fuck this shit, let’s just ask him out, so ask him out I did. This was what I shamelessly emailed him. And yes, to set the record straight (not that there was much doubt to begin with), I was the one to make the first move. You go girl.

And with bated breath, I quickly hit send and awaited his reply. Of course, you can imagine my elation when he replied positively. I took it as a good sign that he too, perhaps had a slight interest in me.

28 April 2012, Saturday.

You cannot imagine how excited I was. I couldn’t wait for class to end. In the six weeks I spent with him in class, our interaction was minimal. Much later I found out that I was in his very first class so he didn’t have experience and the class size was a bit too big. It was difficult getting his attention because everyone else sought for his help. But whatever little attention I got from him, was a little exciting. Because he’d either be holding and guiding my hand, or else he’d be bent over my shoulder, in extreme proximity. Thinking back, it’s kinda sad that that was probably the closest contact we’ve ever had. Sure, we have brushed fingers multiple times over the years, but never really got past that stage too. Ok back to that day.

So after class, I helped him to pack up and we walked to this coffeeshop about 15 minutes away to have lunch. This was some mean feat on my part. I’m ok with walking, but in our sweltering weather, it’d be a big NO. But of course I did without a word of complaint (slut!). I’d walk to the ends of the world with him if I could. We ordered a few dishes too many, ate till we were stuffed, he refused to let me pay my share of the meal, and we crossed the street to Raffles Hotel for a drink. He tells me that they serve the best Teh Tarik (literally pulled tea- the person “pulls” the tea with milk from two mugs away from each other, thus creating a frothy mixture that supposedly enhances the flavour of the tea) there.

Who am I to question him? He could be feeding me poison and I’d probably still agree that it’s the best tasting shit I’ve ever had. At this point, you can tell that I was very smitten because I actually had a hot drink. Everyone who knows me knows that I always have my coffee/tea iced because of said sweltering weather. So the forbidden combination of weather + perspiration + walking + eating in a non-air conditioned place + drinking a hot beverage was actually all done by me. In a short span of a few hours. Looking back, I’m slightly ashamed at how spineless I was.

AND WHAT WALL?!?! The “wall” I supposedly built must be made of rice paper or something. What the hell it crumbled so easily. Bloody weak woman.

Obviously I can’t remember what we talked about but I’m sure it was a getting-to-know-you session. And sadly and too quickly, we had to part because he had another appointment to go to. What I do remember vividly was smiling to myself like an idiot on the bus ride home because we were texting each other non-stop. I remember telling me about the uncontrollable kids at the workshop he was conducting and just general chatter. And there I was, naively thinking that this was the start of something special. I really did believe that we had a certain fission going on. Silly.

xoxoxoxo.