blurring the edges

Everyday the fatigue just clouds me so much, I just want to curl myself into a cocoon and shut out the world.

Yet there are also those very same moments where I would long for a word, a smile, a warm hug, or even just a person there to listen to me rant, extol, grouse, or ramble.

Ironies of life never cease, as we are self-contradictory beings, not knowing what it is that we want and truly seek. In this aimless and directionless journey that we walk, day after day, month and month, that grows into years and reflects in the gradual greying of the hair.

What am I doing? Why am I here? When will I wake up? Where am I headed? Who am I? How will all these end?

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nothing to say

Which explains why I’ve been silent and missing from this space for such a long time.

I’m tired. Honestly so. Physically, mentally, every single cell screams fatigue.

Family…?

A belated Mid-Autumn.

Yesterday was the fifteen day of the eighth month of the Lunar calendar, also known as Mid-Autumn festival, or 中秋节.

It was supposed to be a time of reunion, or that was the kind of impression I got, where families gather, usually in these days, to eat.

As it was a Monday, of course that wasn’t something that would happen in my case because it is a working day after all. So it was another typical day that I spent no different from any other work day. Especially a Monday.

Family.

We had dinner together just last weekend, because apparently, after so many years of us being family, my father suddenly shared a piece of information with us – that the 15th day of the eighth lunar month is also their wedding anniversary! Well, my mum said she doesn’t remember that. Haha. Talk about reversal of roles.

So we thought it would be nice to celebrate it for them but also to take the opportunity for a family dinner, since we did ask if they would like to have a private dinner with just the two of them but I think my parents are the family-sort of people who would rather have dinner with the rest of us.

Conversation flowed easily at dinner. We went to some really secluded and rustic place that serves Western-fusion food, tucked in a private residential estate in the north, but being located in such a hard-to-go place didn’t prevent people from knowing about it. It was actually quite crowded when we went, and it really brought me to out of this city. It didn’t feel like Singapore at all, but more like some beach/resort area eatery. It was also there that my legs became dinner for the mosquitoes – I noticed a few days later that I had about 8 bites on my shins.

Food was decent and service was alright, though not prompt, due to the crowd. Conversation was light and flowed easily throughout the night as we indulged in the savoury fare. It did bring about some fuzzy warm feeling around my heart, but… that was about it.

I thought back at that night, and wondered how these people with whom I sat with around the dinner table, are the ones who are supposed to be the closest and dearest to me in life so far and most likely for a good many more years ahead. But, for this same group of people, they are comfortably unaware or who chose to not be aware, of the crippling dark thoughts that permeated my mind these few years. That just in the recent years, there were episodes where I had contemplated life’s meaning, or the lack of it, and felt like submitting to the hopelessness and helplessness through the open window of my living room.

Maybe. What family means is simply the blood relation that we are bonded by. That same blood and DNA that are in us by virtue that we are born of mum and dad. Aside from that, there seems to be nothing much else. And that may just be what I need to convince myself to accept, to stop expecting anything else from them anymore.

We come to world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing. So in this life, do we hope or desire to acquire and possess anything? Because nothing will ever be ours to lay claim on.

It is ok to not be happy

Modern positive psychology would have tricked us into believing that our natural and default state is one of happiness, filled with rainbows and butterflies, and where we will all live happily ever after.

That has made us gone on an unceasing and relentless, and more devastatingly, doomed-to-fail, chase for happiness. So much so that in this pursuit of that state, we wear ourselves out, burn ourselves up and make us even more unhappy than ever.

I recalled passing a comment that almost got me an rousing round of applause, ok I jest, it was just to an audience of one, that “happiness is overrated”.

And indeed it is. What is happiness? And why are human beings conditioned to hunt it down, thinking it’s a constant perpetual natural state that we should be in?

Life, in its organic state, wouldn’t equate to a constant experience of pleasurable moments does it? Is happiness equivalent to pleasure? Or does it connote more?

Happiness I think, would be like bursts of fireworks, temporary and fleeting. Instead, I think maybe what we should be trying to achieve, would a state of being at peace with our lives, as they pan out day after day, being mindful and present in each moment, accepting that pain and unpleasantness are just as much a part of life as happiness and enjoyment could be.

That’s why life is a journey and a ride isn’t it? It is ok that that we don’t feel happy all the time, and there isn’t a need to keep trying to chase after the feeling of being happy because we would only be setting ourselves up for failure, going on a “wild, goose chase”.

Currently reading a book called “The Happiness Trap” which discusses the acceptance and commitment theory (ACT), or therapy; basically telling us to accept painful and uncomfortable feelings and thoughts into our lives, as well as the ‘how’.

I certainly hope it’ll shed some new light to me in how I can better deal with life as it is.

I’m craving for a break. But I’m clueless as to where I should or could head to.

finding peace. letting go.

Four simple words, yet it’s probably one of the hardest things to do.

Whether as a believer or not, we are always advised to “let go”. As a believer, the phrase that follows would be “let God”, and for the non-believer, simply it would be to “not sweat the small things”.

Yet there are also those who advocate exercising control over our lives because we are the masters of our lives, the one who charts our own destiny. But we can’t deny that in life, some things are just beyond our control, be it by some divine intervention or cosmic coincidence, and the best course of action would be to just go with the flow and not try so hard to wrestle an ironclad grip on things and thereby subjecting ourselves to the frustration, stress and helplessness when things don’t go our way.

That, is something I am trying very hard to ingrain in me, to not sweat the small things, slow down and accept that not every moment has to be spent rushing from point to point, place to place, that there are some things that are just beyond my realm of control that should not become the source of my frustration, that there will always be those inconsiderate and idiotic beings ‘that’ (sic) I have to coexist with in this world, and take my time to smell the roses, enjoy life for what it has to offer, as I gradually search out and live the purpose of my life as ordained and planned by God.

Because life is short. And moments short lived. Like the fireworks that are set off in the stark night sky, illuminating the once pitch darkness with their brilliance, if only for those split seconds, with aplomb and gasps of amazement from onlookers, only to leave a smoky trail shortly after, returning the night once more to its initial darkness.

There are times like these, when I can think rationally and calmly, that peace finds its place in my heart.

But yet there are also those times when all calmness departs from me like air escaping a puncture balloon, when hell breaks loose and I struggle to gain any semblance of control over how my thoughts run and which direction they head.

Saturday. Enjoy the weekend, before a new week starts again.

creeping doubts

Boleh. Means “Ok” in Malay, I think?

So am I boleh, or tak boleh?

There are always times when doubts start to creep up on us, like a thief, stealthily, attempting to scrap away the peace that we are painstakingly building up each and every day of our lives.

In a short span of a month or 30 days, so much seemed to have happened that time seems to have really flown by and the 720 hours unrecountable.

It is also with this slippage of time that doubts have started forming, following that almost positive-sounding last post I made. I begin to question if indeed I had erred again, stepped onto a path that will cause me to deviate even more than what I thought I’d planned on doing. If I had, then surely I hadn’t learned my lesson, and have plunged myself deeper into a ravine of no return.

But… as I got reminded, life is always full of unexpected twists and turns. Especially in this time and age, borrowing from the overused term depicting our times – disruption – change is prevalent and necessary. We never know where each step forward will bring us. And taking the biblical perspective, even if I might have missed my footing and embarked on a wrong path, God will always make things good and guide me back, cause doors to be opened for my sake; I only need to believe, and even with each step right or wrong, there will always be a lesson to learn and grow from.

I read today, that “every decision we take in life does make us either a little bit lighter, or heavier.” So is it upon us to make that decision that would cause us to feel lighter, and perhaps then, happier and with greater contentment in life?

do we need to have a purpose?

Something that I used to ponder, from way back, right up till now.

I don’t know if our lives are meant to be purposeful and if it they, what does that even mean.

Do we find purpose in each and every second of our lives, in the relationships that we nurture and keep, in the jobs that we hold, the activities that we engage in, the thoughts that we think, the values that we hold steadfast to, or… what else is there?

To be frank, I do not know if I have ever tried to look for a purpose or search for my heart’s desire in the jobs that I have had over the last… 10-over years. I always questioned if I enjoyed my work enough to want to stay whenever I felt the urge to send in the resignation letter – most of the times, the answer was “No”, which explained the urge in the first place. Maybe I hadn’t thought hard enough, because on hindsight, when we have perfect 6/6 vision, there were some jobs that I guessed I needn’t have left and maybe, just maybe, I might still be sort of contentedly be employed there.

But… after so many years, after so many thoughts and countless gazillions of brain cells fried from thinking so hard, I have come to a sort of conclusion, a sort of truce, and in the midst of it all, to challenge myself to convince me, that a purpose does not need to be in a job, even if I spend the majority of my time, the best years of my life perhaps, the best hours of the day, in it.

I need to tell myself and believe in what I am telling myself, that a job is well, just a job. I may not love it, and I may not find much purpose in it, but it is something that I trade my time for, in exchange for monetary rewards and some kind of other non-monetary rewards – that I can then use for other things, e.g. necessities and wants.

There’s always a caveat though. As much as I do not need to love it, I must not hate it. It must not drain the living daylights and sanity out of me that it affects my well-being beyond its hours and confines, so that I can still live a wholehearted, meaningful life outside of it.

That said, I am still searching for that elusive purpose. I know now, finally perhaps, or maybe I will fathom more as the years go by, that purpose doesn’t have to be there every living, breathing moment, in every thing and every action. There are things we engage in that hold absolutely zero meaning, just because.

I don’t know if all this makes sense, or if as usual I am just rambling. Maybe I am just too tired and my brain isn’t functioning too well. But hopefully, I can find peace now.