27 January 2018

I’m back sooner than I intended. After all, my posts used to be monthly back in the middle of 2017.

I’ve been trying to be okay today.

I woke up at 9.30 am and P.Nut was in the room making a ruckus. I let him outside and went back to sleep, probably until noon when I got up and had lunch.

Since then I’ve finished re-reading “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz, and it gave me a whole wave of emotions I couldn’t process. I really, really wish there was a prequel, but there’s no information to suggest so. It’s been five or six years since it was published, so that’s probably not going to happen. I just wish I knew how things went for Ari and Dante after they finally got together. It’s such a perfect little story. Two boys who fall in love, their families already so close… And it’s also full of pain and struggle, but that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect.

(I should add in that P recommended a Norwegian teen drama webseries called “Skam” where there’s a gay couple. I’ll watch the hell out of it.)

I listened to some music (I love watching X-Factor auditions) and studied SB recipes a little. I think that’s what triggered my mild anxiety. I wish it had stayed mild. It didn’t. So I tried some meditation (there’s an app called Headspace that gives guided meditation sessions). It helped a little. Then I wanted to go running, but I couldn’t find my run tracker and it began to rain. Somehow that totally threw my mood out of whack and I almost had a… moodswing? I guess that’s what it was. Now I’m here sitting in bed just listening to the rain through the open window and writing.

I suppose it was quite silly and presumptuous of me to think that things would be all perfect after I finished conscription. Well, to be fair to myself, I knew it wouldn’t be perfect. I’ve come to accept that life will always throw something at you that makes things difficult and unpleasant and you will always have something to be anxious about. But I at least thought that my mind wouldn’t be so wound up and pressurised all the time. I thought I would learn how to breathe again.

It’s partly my fault, I guess. My mom pointed out that my mind and mental state have been used to just coiling up tighter and tighter all along – secondary school, junior college, conscription… And I need to learn how to let go of things and be calm. It’s a mental habit, I suppose, that I have to kick. My mind somehow has a way of just latching on to something to worry about. If I’ve overcome a small little hurdle or difficult, I immediately fly to the next thing on my mind and worry myself sick about it.

Right now it’s my birthday party that’s getting to me – wondering if it will be good and fun enough, if we’ll be able to get everything in order, blah blah blah. And also work. The learning curve is quite steep, like it was in my unit, but the environment is different. The people are, of course, warmer. But I’m so, so afraid that I’ll make a big blunder or really get on somebody’s nerves. That’s how I am. I’m a perfectionist with terribly low self-esteem, and I am acutely aware that that is a horrific combination of character traits to have. I’m always beating myself up for something.

It’s quite hard to admit that this is bugging me because I said I wanted to work part-time so I would be able to work on my mental health. In a sense I blame myself for getting into another predicament where I’m in a high-stress environment. It’s like… I brought it upon myself. So I vacillate between thinking that a) I need to toughen up and face the challenges life throws at me because the real world is a mercenary place, and b) I need to go easier on myself because I’m trying my best given the state of my mental health.

I’m always aspiring for something greater. I’m always so ambitious to the point that it’s probably unhealthy. I’m a perfectionist, I set high goals for myself, and I expect lots of myself. That’s how I’ve survived because that’s what my environment has required of me. Sometimes I think that perhaps it’s okay to just be mediocre. As long as I get by and can take care of people around me, that’s fine, right? That’s enough, isn’t it? But I can’t let go of the perfectionist streak in me. I always have this inadequacy in me – the need to be good enough, to be smart enough, fit enough, competent enough, helpful, funny, kind enough. I feel like every breath I take and every waking moment is a challenge to prove myself to somebody above me or around me.

It’s really, really tiring. I need to change my mindset. But that’s how it is.

I’ll go see the therapist soon – once I have the money.

I want to believe things will be alright. The rational part of me know they will. I’ve made it through so much that I was afraid of, so if I can be strong enough and keep on my toes, I’ll make it through this too.

I have to at least appreciate that right now, I still have time to whip out my laptop, write a blog post, and listen to the rain. I sat at SB yesterday and had an iced mocha and read A&D while waiting to meet Indera. The short moment of tranquil solitude was wonderful. I’m glad I have chances to do that sort of thing right now, because the last ten years or so have just been grind, grind, grind. Hectic, fast-paced days.

It’s stopped raining. I’m thinking of working on “Autumn Boy” for a bit, then I’ll go run.

I’m trying to believe in myself.

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