19 – Dealing with “You are not Beautiful” [True Story]

It’s not often – at least for me – that strangers appear as a message request in my Messenger inbox. It’s even rarer that someone would send me this: 

24946282_10215212320245170_1141782706_o

Above is an actual screenshot of what happened yesterday (excuse the poor editing skills): a person I didn’t know existed until this moment, absurdly deciding to “connect” with me just so they could try to offend me. It probably could be spam – and I hope it is – but if it’s so, I still can’t wrap my head around why instant trolls like this still exist. 

To say this didn’t affect me would unfortunately be a lie. Even though I rationally find it false and hence I outwardly brush it off with laughter, a low but persistent sting remains in my heart. And no, it isn’t enough for me to cry over, but it is a painful but important reminder that I still find it hard to reject such messages, even when there are more concrete things like friends which disprove this lie. 

I was actually considering accepting the request just to reply to him back with some comeback, but eventually decided not to. One friend told me to pray for him instead: and it kept me thinking about what I would have actually sent him. And here is what I would have sent him. 

Dear whoever you are

I know it’s probably useless sending this to you, but I wanted to tell you that I disagree with you. Even though I fall into that trap of believing so because of how I appear, I have tangible sources which disprove this: my successes, my mind, my heart, and my close friends who choose to think otherwise when I don’t feel at best. But the most tangible source is the fact that I’m created in God’s image, who reminds me that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139: 14). I hope you get to experience such wonderful things too! 

Here’s to us believing that we are more worthy than what dishonest sources might tell us. Happy reading xx 


 

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


 

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.

28c4411cddb61af9740f61a11d6c60d617103341_10212439966458058_5942328879197105439_nthe island22236493_10211045063866855_583650677_n21268641_10210793055526804_1018546915_n22092511_10213333201383095_1591627453_o (1)18217231_120332000429602851_2137111267_n17742438_120332000158954521_820476367_n21903691_10210953834506178_386762655_n20496196_10210564290727827_825547875_n

     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!


 

 

11 – I’m Getting (b)Older [a look back at being 19]

Before Reading On:
This post is a tiny bit longer than the usual – don’t say I didn’t warn you 😛 


     In less than a week, I’ll be celebrating my birthday *blows party poppers everywhere such fun much party wooooo* BUT this year, it won’t only mean that I’ll be getting a year older. It also means that I will bidding farewell to the “teen” years once and for all, and welcome with open arms the beginning of a third decade – I’M TURNING TWENTY!!!!! (Okay – maybe I don’t need to make such a big deal out of this ><)

    I’ve always felt the apparent inconsistency between how old I feel and the actual time I spent on earth since I escaped from my mother’s womb (i.e. my actual age in simpler English 😛 ).  And although I’m expecting to be the same scenario this year, I simultaneously also feel that this birthday will be different from the usual [ NOT because I’m going to miss writing teen after a single digit, and NEITHER because it shall be the first time I’ll be celebrating it away from home]. 

     Throughout the past few weeks, I reflected upon how I started my 19th year of living on this earth. I still remember how I felt (which pretty much was how I felt for the majority of my “teenager” life) – like an emotional wreck of irrational thoughts, helplessness and self-sabotage. Even though I had been getting help to control my anxiety, I started my 19th year feeling as though there was no way to get out from rock bottom. And less than 365 days later (and to my surprise), I don’t feel that way anymore! 

     Without denying the growth I made from one previous birthday to another, the past year was the most pivotal year for me. Even though the majority of it surrounded one particular yet impacting event, such beautiful and bitter experiences have changed me into someone I never thought I’d see myself become a year ago. Some events have brought out the uglier side to me, but that in itself challenged me and brought me out of my comfort zone to a whole other level: they made me grow a tougher skin; I was forced to realise my mistakes and my negative thinking styles even more; I got to recognise who the right people in my life are. Other experiences revolved around new opportunities, many firsts and the chance to express myself more – particularly through writing. And despite the amount of pain I felt getting through most of the year, being 19 has moulded me into a calmer and more self-controlled girl who is able to look at herself in a better light than she used to a few years back. She’s become more assertive and more honest with herself and with the people around her. And Instead of waking up with a mind heavy laden with irrational thoughts, she is now able to start afresh every morning – something which I never thought I would be able to accomplish. 

     I should give credit to myself for allowing myself to be open to experience all of this, but I shouldn’t forget to acknowledge those who were a part of it in some way or another:

to my family
     Mum, Dad, my sisters – even though our family isn’t the typical one, I thank each and every one of you for being there for me in spite of the chaos we might have going on in our lives. From giving me constant lifts from one place to another, to supporting me in what I do and for believing in me, to even putting up with my consistent mess: thank you for being a shoulder to cry on and for understanding me, and I apologise if I weren’t the same to you.

to my friends
     You are a diverse and a large bunch: from the course-mates I get to see every day, to those I meet once every blue moon but still try my best to keep in touch – whichever category you fall in, I am grateful for every single one of you. I call myself lucky to know many people whom I know I can count on no matter what. I may have shown my ugly and being a pain in the butt side more than my best side throughout the past year, but in spite of this you put up with my nagging, whining and problems, and I couldn’t be any more grateful for you. Thank you for being such amazing and important people in my life, and I hope I get to be as half an amazing friend as you were with me: you know who you are!

to those who have hurt me and/or don’t talk to me anymore
     You’re a small group (thankfully), but you were the most influential group of people throughout the year. I share great memories with some of you: a few of which I wouldn’t trade them with anything else. I also know that your actions may have no bad intention attached to them – which is why I still perceive you in good light. And even if you did such actions with bad intentions – I still thank you. You may have inflicted wounds in me, but through them you have inflicted in me a sense of growth: in strength, in knowledge about myself, and in the many lessons which followed the pain. I also acknowledge that your actions may have been a result of my wrong doings, and I apologise if that’s the case for it was never my intention to hurt your feelings.

to God
     Thank You for being my rock to fall on when everything seemed impossible. You’re the One who never gave up on me and that I can trust with my whole life. Your love and mercy is key in making me get through life, and I know I can’t get through this without You! 

to any one reading this
     I don’t know exactly how many people read my blog, but if you do fall under that category I thank you: even if it’s your first time today. Starting this page was only a means to get through what life was throwing at me, and now it has become a platform where I could use my writing to challenge opinions and relate to others who go through similar experiences. Such a blog would cease without you reading it in the first place, and I thank you for giving it a chance 🙂  

     I may not be the 20 year-old I envisioned myself to be when I was a child (i.e. being employed and licensed ><), but I have achieved so much more than I thought I would. For the first time in a long time, I can say I am happy with who I am and where I am, which doesn’t mean I’m constantly serene and joyous. Life still manages to make it hard for me to handle at times: I still make mistakes, I still tend to be hard on myself, and I still say stupid things and act stupidly. I’m still getting to know my likes and dislikes, my dreams and ambitions, and I still have many uncertainties about where my life is heading. Yet in the presence of all this chaos – I am coping, I am learning, I am living – and those are the best gifts I could ever receive 🙂

    There are some people who perceive turning twenty as getting older, and even though it’s true and sounds scary, I feel as though life is only beginning for me, and I look forward to see what it has in store for me! To more years of failing, learning and living through life – and a genuine happy birthday to me ^.^


 

9 – BeYOUtiful [a self-loving kind of post… finally]

     I know it’s been a long time since I last posted: and don’t worry, it’s not because I ran out of ideas on what to write next 😉 I’ve been on the edge to write about this especially in these past two weeks, but I just didn’t know the best way to tackle it – so I’m just going to type along and hope for the best. A perhaps more valid reason is because I maybe was postponing this more frequently than I should:  I find it easy to talk about experiences, situations and people and how they simultaneously influence me positively, however I get stuck when I’m faced with writing something positive about me.

     Although I have probably and implicitly known this since puberty hit me, I am not one who acknowledges my abilities whenever I succeed in doing something, whether be it grand or small. Although I give credit to the people and experiences (good or bad) which ultimately helped me succeed, I alternatively end up being way too hard on myself and critique every possible and hypothetical mistake I have done when something doesn’t go the way I ought it to, even if it weren’t my fault in the first place. I also may be a tad sensitive to the negative remarks others might say about what I say or do. And all of this puts me in a deep and dark sh*t hole of catastrophising, pessimism, negative self talk and a blown out of proportion self pity party which deters my friends from attending it in the first place. So, as narcissistic as this may be, I’m going to attempt and write a short list about the good qualities I find in myself, and the things that I should be proud of having as they make up the multi-mosaic and quirky, beautiful girl that is me. I don’t do this to myself much since I think it may come out as bluffing, but I think it’s time that I do this more often: there’s nothing bad in giving myself a pat on the back every now and then! On to the list 😀 

i. I am a soon to be 20 year old with big frizzy curly hair. People at times may perceive it as a bird’s nest or might assume that an explosion has occurred on my head: but then again not everyone is fortunate enough to grow either of the two as their hairstyle on a daily basis 😉 I perceive it as having a lion’s mane: fierce and strong. I also have crooked teeth, in spite of wearing braces for two years. A relative of mine wants me to arrange such two characteristics, but I don’t mind them at all: you can definitely get a glimpse of my personality by combining the two together.

ii. I am a very loud and energetic person. Even though this might imply that I am able to do stupid things or blurt out absurd thoughts most of the time, it enables me to talk to and get to know people who foster different lifestyles and various outlooks on life. Moreover, it allows me to try out new challenges every once in a while, to seek new opportunities, to confront people, to dance and sing anywhere I can even if I look like a fool doing so 😛 

iii. I am a reflective person. Yes, although it makes me over criticise every negative aspect I might have, it’s a good thing to keep because it generates awareness of my own actions and thoughts, particularly when my mind is in control. This gives me an insight of the things I need to improve on, and eventually shapes me into a good work in progress.

iv. I encapsulate a high functioning brain, which is good in spite of its high tendency of shooting off negative thoughts at a very rapid speed, indirectly making me appear oblivious and high. It makes me perceive things differently from others, to be intelligent and conscious when making important decisions. It has also provided me with a variety of talents that I am very grateful to call my own, and to have always been encouraged to use them properly.

v. I am a very honest person. I feel uncomfortable lying to myself and to others. Although at times it does backfire, it drives me to express my feelings with others, and I don’t mind admitting my mistakes and apologise to anyone whom I may have hurt. It grounds me to be true to myself and do what’s best for me in the presence of other people’s opinions or thoughts. It helps me stick to my roots, my values and morals. It drives me to be the best version of me.

vi. I am a beautiful girl, amidst my “weird” looks and the cracks I posses. I have flaws which I constantly need to work on day in and day out, but this is what creates Marilyn. And I know there will be people who don’t like me, who will choose to focus on criticising my personal negative aspects, or take the piss about the things I do, or judge my own actions. But I won’t let such remarks destroy me: I will incorporate them to improve my story in the making 🙂 

     This may have come out as a cheesy grana padano way to self-boast, but I do challenge you to try this out. At the end of the day, all we got is ourselves, and it’s up to us to allow ourselves embrace all the good and bad we have. There’s nothing wrong in loving ourselves and acknowledging our personal traits: not only it makes us feel better, but it enables us to treat others better. Yes, we all have a storm we’d rather hide from the world, but amidst the chaos we have the potential to soar into the best versions of ourselves.

   So go ahead and give yourself a chance to do so in spite of the troubles you faced, or the mistakes you committed in the past. It might be a constant struggle, but it’s definitely a rewarding process to go through! Embrace the BeYOUtiful being you are ^.^ 


 

 

8 – Moving On [Let’s Talk About It]

I’ve been struggling with this concept of moving on ever since a very brief relationship ended last July, and as time went by it felt like the most devastating thing to happen – and not solely because it was the end of what I thought was a potential relationship. It meant that  a short yet very influential and exciting chapter ended in my life and I had to start on a new blank page on my own. It meant letting go of everything that was once significant to me behind and leaving it behind. And the most horrible part was (and still is) losing contact from a genuinely good guy whom I thought I’d still call friend no matter what – and that sucked. And with no surprise, at times it still sucks!

I guess people define loss depending on their personal experiences, but this felt like a huge loss for me. Over the last 6 months, I spent my time figuring out how to forget all that this experience meant to me: how to remove every trace of memory I had with him from my mind, how to discard every emotion he made me feel, how to rewind and go back to how everything was before anything happened in the first place, how to regain his presence back in my life whilst trying to lose the significance he was to me. But it wasn’t until last week, when a kind friend told me something which made me realise that what I was trying to do all along wasn’t exactly what I should do: 

“Moving on isn’t forgetting how you felt – It is not thinking about it.”

Now, being a University student who’s currently in her 2nd year reading a Psychology degree (and is supposedly studying for her upcoming exams commencing TOMORROW) you’d expect that I could tell the difference between forgetting and not thinking. Well, believe it or not, I truly understood their separate meaning  upon hearing such words.

Moving on is no fun: there’s nothing pleasurable in letting go of something that once made you smile, neither is not talking to someone you were happy to create special memories with. But when this particular chapter ended, I thought I had to scrap out everything which had to do with him. I was petrified of forgetting the feelings I felt with him and the memories we created together, so instead I kept on retrieving something which happened once, and it only deepened my wounds and strained my brain. But just because I don’t think about something, it won’t necessarily mean that I will forget about it, especially if it was good in nature.

You will still remember the first date, when you ended up being 20 cents short after you insisted on buying lunch for the both of you, and the song which played in his car on your way back to university. Or on the second date, when you shared wine but ended up being  tipsy to the point that you doubted your age for a moment. You will still recall the nicknames you made up for each other, the stupid things which still make you smile upon remembering them. You could still remember the moment he said you’re beautiful; the time and place you told him how much you were grateful for him. It tastes sweet, because you know how confident and calm and happy all of this made you feel. But this will taste bitter when such a recollection is being retrieved over and over again, and that’s when you will start losing. 

You will lose when you over analyse every futile reason why he doesn’t talk to you anymore; when you dwell over the possible mistakes you’ve made when things were “okay”. You will lose when you force yourself to win back everything to the way it once was. You lose when you begin to expect that things will turn back to normal. You will lose when you continue thinking about anything related to the whole experience in the first place – NOTHING is in your control: that is how Life chooses to work: it constantly changes over time, and so do our needs and the people we meet everyday – and I will never understand this process. I can try an attempt to closely analyse every possible trace of such a situation, but I won’t fully grasp the what and why of such things. The only option I could choose is acceptance!

I can accept the good memories and feelings of such an experience and use them not only to feel better about who I am and love myself, but to feel grateful for getting the chance to experience such moments with someone who treated me well, even though paths have diverged. In addition to that, there’s nothing more that I can do than accept the circumstances the way they are. I acknowledge that significant things have been lost along the way, but I should also be aware of the new doors which are opening up to create new memories and meet new people. And although I have no control, nor idea of what’s about to come in the following year, at least my thoughts are one thing I can keep control of!

So I will store such a experience in a shoe box and put it on a shelf together with others that have made me a better human being. And if I stumble across this when I’m older, buried in dust with faded details –  it will make me smile, because I will still remember how precious this was to me!