I’m old

Tiredness these days:

  • Lasts longer
  • Creeps faster
  • Is a weariness that drips into my bones
  • And sleeping in on a weekend isn’t enough for a cure

That’s how I know I’m in my 30’s.

How we broke up

I never actually wrote about how any of my romantic relationships ended, mostly due to the near-decade of trying to get over the friendships that did. Friendship-over’s were more traumatic, and romantic endings were less so (for me they never were).

This is three years overdue. I feel like it’s a conversation I’ve never had with anyone. Not with you, not with my old friends. Snippets shared with a few people when they asked. I was engaged, and then I was not, and then I was moving on from an old relationship into the new.

Still, that was seven — eight — years (almost all my 20’s) being in a relationship with the same person. I’m either stupid enough for staying with someone that long, or lucky enough I didn’t get married and avoided a divorce.

I think I’m the asshole for breaking up with you abruptly, saying I want a “break” when I was so sure I was already moving on even before I finally tried to end it. I’m probably the asshole for doing it without an explanation, apart from the misery I knew we were both feeling. My expectations of you were too high; I was always angry, or annoyed. I thought I didn’t have to explain exactly why. Besides, you never asked.

We broke up because I didn’t love you enough to stay with you. I didn’t even love you enough to look forward to talking to you during those last few months of our relationship. I didn’t love you enough that you had to walk on eggshells around me, and curate the things you share because you were worried I’ll explode in complaints and anger.

We broke up because I didn’t love you enough to wait for you. I was always dissatisfied. Because everyone around me felt more successful than you. Because you had dreams, but you haven’t reached them yet and I was too impatient for the day that you would. Because I outgrew you. Because I wanted to settle down overseas, and you couldn’t. Because my plans made sense in my head, and yours didn’t.

We broke up because I wasn’t happy when you proposed. Because I wanted to end it even before the trip to Europe but I thought, with everything already booked I might as well do it after. Instead, I went back engaged. I wasn’t excited to share how I said ‘yes’, and was envious of my friends who were happily sharing about their own proposals. I never even said I didn’t like the ring because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings — but now I can be honest to myself. I’ve only had one proposal so far, and it was the worst.

We broke up because I was bullied and exorcised for going out with you. Because I suffered alone and had to beg and cry for you to take my side. Because you never protected me from your friends who traumatised me and hurt me, and so I had to rely on myself to be resilient, survive, and heal.

We broke up because there was no reason for me to rely on you. I wanted you to spoil me, but you never spent as much as I spent on you. I was doing so well on my own throughout my career, throughout the times I moved to different countries, throughout the personal goals I smashed through — I was doing so well alone, there was absolutely no reason to miss you.

We broke up because someone said: love is a decision. For 2,922 days I decided to stay with you, until one day I decided I no longer wanted to.

I’m happier now, and I’m sure you are, too.

POSTNOTE: This is me, over a decade since we began. Three years since we ended. I’ve been writing for so long, I wrote about how we started. This was how we happened. Three years ago was the end.

Finding Nami the Yorkie

Nami is a COVID baby.

I am now part of the statistic of Victorians who got a dog during the pandemic, although it just so happened that we first waited for:

  • My partner to have a full-time job
  • My partner to purchase a good (secondhand) car, and make sure we’ve covered any initial maintenance costs
  • us to move and settle in a new (better) apartment
  • me to reach some significant milestones at work

before I was convinced it was a good time to get a dog (finally).

Thanks to COVID, it’s actually very hard to find a small apartment dog for adoption because everyone is adopting, and I kid you not it is easier to find an apartment to rent than to adopt a dog. I joined many adoption Facebook groups so I can stalk them real-time, but the requirements to adopt typically include:

  • must have a yard
  • must have an active lifestyle
  • must have another dog
  • must have experience raising the breed

…and we would’ve already failed the yard requirement. Or past experience with a specific breed. Or past experience training. Or having another pet. The boxes we don’t tick were endless.

My ideal dog is a toy dog. It has to be small enough for me to bring my dog EVERYWHERE. To the office, to shops, to cafes, to the toilet — I mean EVERYWHERE. And if it’s easier for me to find a job than to adopt a rescue, then fck it I’ll just buy a puppy. “Adopt not shop” is a bullshit advice in a post-COVID AU world.

Continue readingFinding Nami the Yorkie

What’s a mum

I feel like a real mum, juggling work and a new puppy and waking up early for Dylan’s packed breakfast and lunch to Nami’s morning kibbles to potty training and packing Nami’s puppy kit to bring to the office to booking an appointment with the vet and taking Nami around in a carrier to coming home and cleaning and making dinner and doing laundry, to bringing Nami to the backyard to make sure he goes potty and waiting for Dylan to come home from the office so he can look after Nami while I do some work that I didn’t get done during the afternoon because I was looking after Little Nami.

What a busy week it’s been but every moment has been worth it.

Onto the next milestone

When my boyfriend and I moved in together during the early days of dating, it felt like a pretty normal and expected progression of our relationship. Maybe a little too early but since we were both renting, it meant more savings financially, so it was a no-brainer.

When my boyfriend sold his motorbike to get a car so he can bring me to places easily, I felt like, hey we’re really taking this relationship seriously. I didn’t technically buy the car, but it felt like my car too.

When we decided we’re getting a dog to raise together, it felt like we’ve stepped up our serious-couple game. If we’re playing puppy-mum and puppy-dad, it feels like we’re starting to build our family. We must really be in for the long-term.

And you know what? I’m fcking excited. And that’s probably an understatement.

First win for 2021

I’ve been feeling quite down the past few weeks because I’m dancing two steps forward and one step back with eczema. It would seem like my skin is healing…and then it isn’t. I’ve grown very desperate, and so far I’ve tried:

  • Raw honey / manuka honey on my skin
  • Tea tree oil
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Hayfever tablets
  • Not wearing pants (I’m always at the cusp of healing when I’m working from home, then everything is aggravated after a day of wearing pants)

Are they working? I’m not sure.

What I haven’t tried:

  • Less work. In fact, I always find myself getting new responsibilities on a regular basis, I’m on a solid self-denial that I am constantly feeling imposter syndrome.
  • Less stress. I was crying almost every evening the week before Christmas. Some nights I can’t sleep. I felt a similar tipping point sometime in January, which thankfully didn’t last long.

With the way things are going, I am not winning my battle with eczema. I’m stuck on a stalemate, and that’s not the happy news I wanted to write about.

Things have a bright side, as cliche as that sounds. Because if I don’t believe in bright sides, I don’t think I’ll convince myself I have the grit to endure. Ever since I’ve tried to emulate Secretary Kim, it’s been ever so slightly easier and more habitual to take on every thing Life tries to fling at me. (And with an idol like Secretary Kim, I aspire to handle every thing with finesse.)

No, my first win for 2021 is not my battle against eczema. It is my 4-day work week!

I’ve always been secretly envious of my colleagues (past and present) who work only 4 days. It’s been a while but ever since I received docked pay due to COVID-19, I’ve always wanted to negotiate for a 4-day work week. Now that I’ve reached a milestone at work, I finally achieved it!!! (My colleague says once you experience it, there is no going back.)

I don’t know yet how this will change how I live, but I know for sure it’s a big, good thing.

A New Normal

I don’t think there’s any going back to what the world was before COVID. 2020 has forced people to move, forced some to stay, forced people to make decisions and hurled others into unexpected problems or setbacks. It forced people to adapt and change, or risk being left behind.

More than a week into 2021, I’m trying to get into my new ‘normal’:

  1. Cooking at home and learning new recipes
  2. Going on road trips and exploring new places
  3. Doing ‘some’ outdoor activities
  4. Buying physical books (!!!)
  5. Forcing myself to write down the conversations I keep in my head

I’ve spent most of 2020 trying to survive and cope. But I need to start growing again.

Footnotes:

  1. It was a long journey for me before I felt comfortable cooking, but lockdown and work stress turned cooking into a destressor and something to look forward to. I could barely cook when I started dating my current boyfriend, but look where we are now ;)
  2. We are overcompensating from a hard Victoria lockdown.
  3. Trips with a primary ‘eating’ itinerary was less than ideal for the weight, hence we are slowly trying hiking.
  4. I can finally imagine myself settling down here, so I greenlit myself to start building a collection of physical books again.
  5. My friend did a tarot reading for me recently, and I was advised to get a hobby.

After the rain, earth hardens

There’s a number of things that I feel I should write down. The last two weeks felt like tall waves crashing onto the shore — natural, even expected, forceful and a little strong. I’ve left my first job in Melbourne to start another journey of self-worth. I’ve ended a relationship of 8 years. I’m relearning what it means to trust and rely on someone.

The earth continues to rotate, space continues to expand, and life goes on. This time I don’t have to carry the disappointments and unmet needs that built up over eight years. I’ve let go of the expectations and missed opportunities of the last eight months. I’ve been exploring what it means to not be alone in the last eight days.

Maybe some of the things weren’t what I expected. It took a long time for me to accept breaking up was the best decision for myself. Work goodbyes felt lonesome, but some people I didn’t imagine were supportive and I received words that touched me and made me believe I’ve done my best. I never would’ve guessed I’d hear, “I’ll take care of you”, from someone when I’ve been well enough on my own. Those moments felt poignant, but also sincere and heartfelt. Maybe I should trust myself a little more. I’ve already gone a long way, after all.

A weekend of firsts

I haven’t looked forward to something in such a long time. The ball of anxiety festering at the pit of my stomach had been unfurling the past few days. If someone at work were to ask what I did during the weekend, I can finally say something besides laundry and grocery shopping.

I’m easing in, slow and steady.