18 – Time to Live Now

I am writing this after reading the sad news that my childhood ballet teacher has passed away.

I feel as though I’ve gotten used to this kind of situation over the past year: the non-intentional forgetfulness of those who positively influenced you once upon a time – until you find out that those same individuals are now gone forever. 

And questions emerge: Why did this occur? Why that individual? What to do now?

Although hearing the news of anyone’s passing isn’t pleasant, it is certainly eye opening for me: because it’s such news that makes me rethink how I live. Because here I am stressing about how I am going to catch up with the seemingly endless amount of university work; here I am worrying about my future and what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life [assuming that it exists and that I will get there someday]; giving an eyelash for people who couldn’t give a sh*t about me, and drowning myself in self pity and negativity and pressure to do the best I can – together with life’s inevitable ups and downs. But for now, I am still here on this earth – and it’s in this moment I consider myself lucky to be breathing, no matter what’s going on in my life. But what to do? 

I will try my best to work hard but still find time to laugh through the mental breakdowns with my friends because those are the moments I will cherish. I will randomly dance (and sing) to Single Ladies because it’s fun to do so. I will keep on making bad and stupid puns because they relieve stress. I will try to slow down and remind myself that life is beautiful despite everything which may appear to be wrong. I will remind myself that I deserve to be happy no matter how many times I commit a wrong doing. I will try to show appreciation to anyone I encounter, the people closest to me, even though at times it’s very hard to do so. But I will still try, because there’s nothing to lose in doing so. 

I might not have my life figured out, and I don’t know when my time to die will come. Yet I am here: I am breathing, am alive. I am grateful!

Will end this post quoting this – not sure the exact source, but it’s worth a read:

This life will go by fast.

Don’t fight with people, don’t criticise your body so much, don’t complain so much.

Don’t lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.

Never stop being a good parent. Don’t worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don’t kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don’t dedicate yourself to accumulating money.

Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don’t put away the fine glassware. Utilise the new dinnerware; don’t save your favourite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favourite sport shoes; repeat your favourite clothes.

So what? That’s not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect…look…

Everything perfect doesn’t exist. Human beings can’t accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.

So take this challenge that is life and do it now… love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God’s hands. 

Here’s to us in trying to live life to the best of our abilities. Happy Reading xx


 

17 – one year

a year ago, something in my mind made me want to express myself about something i was going through. implicitly knowing – and ignoring – its possible repercussions, i took the plunge and shared my first blog post: a short story i wrote during summer.

throughout the year, i kept on writing. most of the posts where about situations i was going through or things which influenced me in one way or another. i knew that, if i wrote about such situations, it might annoy people and dissolve friendships. i also knew that it would help others. i wrote about them nevertheless.

a year on, this blog got mocked at and joked about by a small minority as a consequence of my missteps in my writing, making me doubt how i appear to others. however (and definitely) a larger majority praised my writing. there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people being moved by something you’ve written, or coincidentally bumping into someone you know who ends up telling you how relevant one of your blog posts was to them.

a year on, and even though i am not in the best emotional circumstances, i finally moved on from the “lost love” i wrote about 365 days ago. i can now focus more on myself and my problems, and i hope i’ll be able to share this with you from now on. i have no clue what’s going to happen a year from now, but i hope to be preparing myself to wear a graduation toga (that is if i stop procrastinating).

thank you to everyone who has been part of this. i especially thank my family and friends who still supported me and stuck by my side through it all. you know who you are 🙂

to more years of trying to adult my way through life – bring it on!

happy reading ^.^
Mer. xx


16 – A lot has been going on [Let’s Be Honest]

 Again, I haven’t written in a while and I was going to apologise for it, but instead I’m just going to tell you that a lot has been going on lately. 

     No, it’s not the Final Year at University started and I have so much other things happening whilst trying to start writing my thesis excuse – which to be fair can be applicable to my life because I haven’t started writing my thesis *YAY*. Muddled with that is a sense of hopelessness I’ve been feeling for a very long while: it feels as though nothing great is happening in my life; that everything (including myself) is falling apart; that I’m not able to finish and successfully complete my studies; that the road is so bleak that I’m almost certain I’m going to be doing something I don’t like – and the list goes on. 

     I think the most frustrating part about all of this is not that I feel this way, even though it’s not a wonderful experience feeling like this. The most difficult part of it all underneath this dirt pile of emotions is the knowledge that life isn’t this way: I know that everything will fall in to place; I am going to recover from heartbreak and will love myself because I am worthy of such things. But it’s like I’m constantly wearing glasses with small and black lenses: seeing things through a negative and narrow perspective: and it’s taking a toll on my mental health, my passions and hobbies, and also my relationship with people and with God. 

     At this point of the blog, I usually write about what I can do in such situations, but instead I am going to share some photos I found myself, and others which friends sent me to help me feel better. And after compiling them, I should prioritise reading them more often and taking them seriously.

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     I don’t know what is going to happen in a year’s time, but I know that life isn’t all that bad: it’s just taking time to forgive myself, believe in myself and adjust to a better pair of glasses.

     Here’s to myself getting through these circumstances, and here’s to you getting through life: whoever you are, whatever you’re going through! I hope you can find the above pictures helpful.

     And it’s back to reality to start writing my thesis. Happy reading.

Mer. xx


 

 

 

 

 

 

15 – Letting Go [Let’s Talk About It]

     Apologies for not writing in a long while: Summer has indeed been a hectic one >< but as it’s reaching its final moments, I am grateful for the things I’ve got to experience 🙂 in the Salesian community as a volunteer; with my friends who stuck by my side through thick and thin, and through so much more. Despite this good chaos, Summer has given me more time to face my problems, challenge myself and learn throughout the process – and I’ve been learning a thing or three about letting go: more specifically, letting go of people who were once significant in my life.  

     Letting go does have a ring to it: sounds like the most freeing activity to do for yourself. Although  IT CAN be the case, it has possibly been the most emotionally taxing experience for me to go through. And yes, it has also involved numerous arguments with my brain not to think about those people, several battles with my heart to stop dwelling in negative and self-pity emotions and countless spontaneous bursts of crying. 

     It is no fun cutting ties from anyone you know for various reasons. It is less fun cutting ties permanently from someone you potentially saw yourself talking to for years to come. It’s tough (and emotionally excruciating) realising that people who have once meant so much to you are now people you used to know, and seeing them in public is a painful and personal reminder that they’re to be acknowledged as strangers at all times. Nope, it’s definitely no fun – but I’m realising that it’s best to focus on why you’re doing so, rather that focusing on whom you’re letting go.  

     The first lesson I’m learning is that it’s an opportunity to learn how to put myself first.  I have a very bad habit of placing everyone else before me, and specifically put people who couldn’t give an eyelash about me on pedestals because they have influenced my life positively for a short while. But wasting my mental and emotional energy to keep people who clearly seem better off without me has been tiring, and I am realising I could transfer that energy I use chasing after them to self-care, and hopefully one day, I could love myself properly. 

     Another lesson I’m still accepting is that those people who are better off without me have the right to feel that way. It’s useless being angry because they were the first to cut ties from me. I wish I’d known why they do it in the first place, but it could ultimately be for good reasons, and no one is to judge them or their decisions. Thankfully, they are indirectly allowing space for actually significant people to enter your life, and they no longer have the permission to play around with your feelings. Also, if caring about them didn’t bring them back in the first place, then surely anger will only distance them further and will only make you feel bitter. 

      The final [and perhaps the hardest but most important thing] I am learning whilst letting go is that I’ve ultimately done nothing wrong. Most of the time, I do apologise whenever I realise I might have hurt someone through my own words or actions, but I’ve noticed that sometimes even after doing so, friendships and relationships aren’t meant to happen in the first place. And it’s not because I posses an innate disposition to desist people away from me;  it’s not because I’ve done something wrong which forced them to cut ties from me; and it’s certainly not because I have something faulty with who I am. I still like to be known as the genuine, caring and loving girl, and I should no longer keep perceiving myself as the cause of such unfortunate endings.  

     Life throws situations at us which 90% percent of the time we cannot grasp what happened and why it did. I wish I had the answers to both questions, but wondering about them refrains us from living life with people who should matter to us. And to those whom I’m letting go of –  I thank you for your influence in my life, and I wish nothing but happiness for you. But it’s now time to shift attention towards those who put the effort to stay in my life; and towards myself and my own needs. It’s about time I start loving myself wholeheartedly!


 

 

14 – Belgium: Seizing the Moment and Life’s Second Chances.

     I’m writing this on an airplaine, with less than an hour away from landing in Belgium: or also known as possibly one of my most favourite countries to visit yet 😄 and it’s probably no surprise to any of my friends back home that I’m travelling here: my friends got fed up hearing me gloat over how good Speculoos is 😂

    This is not the first time I’m travelling here: my sister decided to join me, making it our first sister trip together. But the last time I was here, I wasn’t on holiday with any family member, nor on a summer break with my friends. It was my first solo trip, and I learnt the news less than 2 weeks prior a project I was solely travelling for started! 

     For 19 summer days, I was sent to Belgium for a European Voluntary Service project to serve as an animator in a Salesian playground with other Salesian animators. It was also an opportunity to make friends with other international Salesian animators and youth wjo also participated in this project and some whom I still keep in touch with to this day!

     Although I still mention how great the two weeks I spent there were (and they truly were great), it was perhaps the most challenging experience for me personally. Firstly, spending about two weeks with children, youth and adults who don’t speak in your native language was an unexpected hard nut to crack! Yes, I was able to speak English to almost everyone, but some we’re too afraid to talk in English out of ridicule, which forced me to sometimes interrupt Belgian conversations in English. Moreover, most children didn’t speak English, and some also came from the French region, so they were only able to speak French! This took me out of my comfort zone to think of different ways of communicating with them non-verbally to get over language barriers!

     A second reason it was challenging for me to experience because of what was going back home. It’s not that anything bad was going on, but I did miss it, and longed for it badly. But looking back, the worst mistake I committed whilst staying in Belgium was that I spent almost everyday thinking about what was going to happen when I return back home instead of living in the moment. Although the experience was a tough one and didn’t help me not miss home more, it was bad for focusing on it because when I did come back home: the thing I yearned most for was no longer there. And I couldn’t do anything to bring that back, not could I bring back the time I spent in Belgium again.

     I might be travelling here to celebrate one special moment with a Salesian brother I got to know on the playground last year, but I guess it’s a second chance for me to make new memories and not fall into the worry about people and life back home trap and just live in the present moment – and I promise I will not waste this moment time round 😊

   

13 – Empathy > Political Division [Let’s Talk About It]

This is not my usual kind of post, but I guess there’s a first time for everything…

Prior last weekend, I relatively kept quiet about my political views. Inevitably, there where a few times I expressed my opinions and stuck by them (like I still do now) – but I like to see myself as someone who listens to everyone and tries to understand their perspective, rather than instantly labelling them as nagħaġ għomja and injoranti (Blind Sheep and Ignorant People for the non-Maltese speakers).

Without a doubt, this has been one of the most controversial campaigns Malta has witnessed – after a snap election came out of the blue, the electorate had to choose who could lead the party between practically one of two parties in a span of 32 days (they are respectively called Majority and Minority for this post). The Majority won the General Election for the second consecutive time: and surprisingly, by another landslide of around 34,000 votes!

Siding with the Minority, the result shook me: particularly because differently to what I thought, the race was not a close call at all! It left me emotionally drained throughout the whole day – and together with the loud celebrations following the result announcement, it definitely did not help me revise for an exam the next day. I couldn’t understand how this happened: how the Majority couldn’t see the things the same way I and several others saw them. Are we stupid? Are we ignorant? Should we be humiliated for being in the Minority? Does this make our reasoning to being in this position any less valid?

I expressed my shock on Facebook and people who voted for the Majority didn’t hold back from commenting (as it is their right to do so). This included one of my good friends: who like me was a first time voter but unlike most people, he was not biased or affiliated with any party: he solely weighed out the pros and cons of the two sides and voted accordingly. After commenting and replying back to others perceiving the political situation differently, I spoke to him, telling him I hope we’re on good terms despite not agreeing, to which he replied:

Of course, why would you think otherwise?

Feeling slightly relieved, I went on expressing myself: telling him about how I felt disheartened at how some Majority supporters were humiliating the Minority after a second landslide win; how I took this loss badly, and how I didn’t want to lose our friendship. The next 30 minutes were spent talking politics in spite of the different lenses we might be wearing. We disagreed on some aspects, but we also agreed that both Majority and Minority are wrong in others. I did not disregard his views, and he didn’t humiliate mine. I allowed him to vent out as much as he gave me permission to express my concerns about the country’s future: and we both shared valid points. Towards the end of the conversation, he thanked me for allowing him to discuss such a thing with me, as he hadn’t had the chance to do so with any of his friends.

This lifted a weight off my shoulder, and made me feel a bit more hopeful about people. I rarely see individuals of different opinions discuss such issues as delicate as politics in a civilised manner: unfortunately colourful words like Chicken and Giddieba (liars) and Falluti (failures) are still used by people when someone disagrees completely with them. But the conversation didn’t include any of this vocabulary. We didn’t offend the opposing political leaders despite opposing values, and we didn’t even dare dismiss each other’s opinion or cut each other’s statement off. Instead, we both took a step back, and tried to understand each other’s point of view without making our responses feel any less invalid.

At the end of the day, we all end up living together: if not on the same island, on the same planet – and in this apparent hell we live in, we need each other more than ever! Everyone voted according to what they thought was best: and Democracy requires to respect the electorate result, whether it is something one likes or is disgusted by. It’s time for people to reach out for their friends who might see things from the other side, and acknowledge their feelings about this election, no matter what they are, even if you can’t fully understand why they’re feeling so. And I first step back and apologise to anyone who I might have hurt through expressing my opinion negatively, or through disregarding their own. It’s also time that both winning and losing politicians seek out to those who might not disagree with them: the only way I believe that a country can truly unite is through talking and understanding the people’s concerns and viewpoints, and feeling comfortable at first hand (I know it’s muuuch easier said than done, but I doubt it’s impossible).

Elections come and go, and even though one might consider the two consecutive losses suffered by the Minority as tragic, there’s nothing worse than losing a friendship after not adequately listening to their opinion well, and not putting oneself in their shoes. And to the friend I had the conversation with: thank you for restoring a bit of my faith in humanity – you are a friend to keep!


12 – To my Friends [a thank you note]

There are people in life who end up leaving you
And you don’t know when you’ll get to see them again
Sometimes, you don’t know if you’ll ever get to
But then there are others who check up on you,
even if you haven’t seen them in ages
and they are willing to sit down and listen
in spite of not understanding the way your mind works
and there are those willing get lost with you
in order to help you get back on track

Who are willing to step out of the periphery
so you don’t have to stand alone.

Remember, there are those who want to see you smile again.
And although you might be thankful for what the goners have left you,
the more you  should be thankful for those who remained
for they chose you above all the things you see wrong in yourself.

So, for those dear to me, near and far:
Know that there are people who broke me,
but your friendship is the glue keeping me together
no matter how many times I fall apart.
Thank you for choosing to stay.
Thank you for choosing me.