I spent the last morning of 2018 writing the lyrics of an original song I penned along that year, for one last time. In 2018, I took the challenge of writing a song about the true meaning of love. It took me more than a year (and one teal Moleskine notebook) to complete it. Love is very complex – yet also simple. It can be hard to explain the meaning of love through song. But here we are – it is 2019. And I know people may have bore you with their own deep philosophical reflections about last year, but here is the ultimate lesson I would love to keep from 2018.
Love is a Choice
Many times in 2018 I have thought that I stopped loving my friends because I felt upset about the decisions they took, or that I felt helpless and did not know what to do to get them out of their struggles. I would not feel like spending time with my friends. I would not feel instantly happy when hanging out with them. Love was not giddy but instead anger, tears and frustration towards people closest to me. But if love were only based on what I felt then it would not survive.
Love is hard work. It is a sacrifice. It may only be showing respect. Sometimes it is a confrontation. It is being there for someone even when you do not want to. But when you remember why you’re there, that love becomes something beautiful – even amidst the pain. And the people worth loving show you why they are worth holding onto. But at times it might mean making a conscious effort to remind yourself why they are worth holding onto. Small actions such as giving rides back home, and making time for friends are also acts of love.
Despite love being at times sacrificial, it does not mean forgetting yourself in the process. It is not always about the other. Love is a choice you can make for yourself. It is not all about having a salt bomb bath to rest your mind. It is cutting yourself from people who do you harm even when they mean the world to you. It is letting people go if they are taking a toll on your mental health. It is telling your friends you cannot be there for them to get some time for yourself. It is making an effort to stop comparing yourself to others. It is allowing yourself to feel pain. It is acknowledging that pain, no matter how petty it may seem to you. It is choosing to think that you are worthy of love and happiness. It is bearing off pain and responsibility of external problems, particularly those of people closest to you. It is remembering that you are important too. You deserve your own love too.
In 2019, may we always choose to love others and ourselves. And maybe sometimes the latter is not all about feeling confident and beautiful. It may be about not feeling ashamed or guilty for the problems and burdens of others. Happy reading xx
I am posting this more than two years after beginning this blog and on the morning of my first graduation. Some may think that being euphoric and proud for oneself is a given during graduation time, but it has been hard for me to do so. I rationally know my successes and why I should feel proud of myself, but I rarely allow myself to let those become a part of my soul. To make matters worse, the past two days have reopened deep wounds of painful childhood memories. Feeling broken is more of an accurate description.
So I’m going to write this post about me: a woman who has a strength that I can’t fully process. A woman who has a heart big enough to understand and empathise with people who hurt her. A woman who is willing to be there for people even when she was at her lowest. A woman who chooses honesty over being liked. A woman who’d rather cry than bottles things up. A woman who doesn’t let past family struggles define her. A woman who still carries those struggles because she is still figuring out which are hers. A woman who didn’t let those struggles take over her capacity to love. A woman who is talented, intelligent, brave, funny and resilient. A woman who confronts anxiety provoking situations even when she feels she is not able to. A woman who loves making children happy and hopes that she gives them what she didn’t have in her childhood. A woman who isn’t afraid to dance in public if she wants to. A woman who kept on living even when she felt hopeless and worthless. A woman who completed a Bachelor Degree in Psychology whilst carrying all of this in her soul.
A year ago I was oblivious and petrified of where I would end up. But I am working in a job I never imagined I’d find myself in – and I couldn’t be happier. And I’m taking driving lessons. And working with children is definitely one of my dreams. I am starting to figure things out. I am learning to take boundaries.
I know people have their own hardships which should be acknowledged. And this might appear as self-patronising. I don’t know everything of what is going to happen in the near future. Not all is sunshine. But this is how I acknowledge my own story, even if you reading this only know a little about. I deserve to be proud about getting this far in life, not only on my graduation day. I am worth it.
Amidst the floods, the past three years at University have introduced me and helped me keep those people who understand me, support my dreams and love me for who I am. I am surrounded by strong, genuine people, passionate about music, poetry, film and anything related to arts and science and God. You guys are my people and I love you.
And to you who has gotten through hardships and is graduating today – you are a badass. Or you who has gotten through hardships and still decided to get up this morning – you too are a badass. It takes strength to keep living, and you are proof of it.
To feeling proud of myself for getting this far in life with a lot of baggage. And to realising that this adulting through life is something I can handle with the right support and mindset.
Give me my toga x
I feel it’s right to say that my mind hasn’t been feeling well lately.
Summer has practically been a matter of my mind succumbing to irrational thoughts, constant obsessions, false judgements about my friends, comparison to my friends, overthinking, self -sabotaging and feeding my heart worthlessness. It reached its breaking point last week but I am somehow getting back up.
I am very fortunate to have people who are sticking by my side even after attempting to push away those closest to me . But I have realised that I have been missing out on opportunities, and it’s not because I wouldn’t want to take the chance. It’s just that I let my mind be engulfed by chaos which 90% of it is created by the mind itself AND therefore does not exist. And noticing this along the past week has made me feel overwhelmingly guilty, as I knew they were opportunities which I didn’t need to be afraid of taking. I have also become aware that the list of opportunities I can take is abundant, but I still have to pick which ones suit me best, and this doesn’t make my overthinking any better.
I’d like to believe in destiny: that everything happens for a reason and that our decisions reflect the path we are meant to be in. And even if those decisions are not the right one, they will lead me through a different route to where I’m meant to be. They will still somehow serve me well in the long run.
And to my present self who isn’t feeling in the right state of mind:
Don’t be hard on yourself for missing out on life because you didn’t take opportunities when you were obsessing over other things. Forgive yourself and use that energy to learn from your mistakes and learn to embrace the moment. Acknowledge your feelings. Please know you are still doing great things and they will get better and become clearer. I know you’re having trouble with trust but trust your gut and trust God. You are worth it to stick around! And your friends do love you!
Being the last day of mental health awareness week, I am sharing a spoken word poem I performed at my first ever open mic 4 years ago. I was referred to see a psychotherapist prior to starting 6th Form back in 2013 because my thinking patterns severely impacted every single wrong or right doing I committed in everyday life. Overthinking dominated my reasoning, my perceptions about myself, my friends and the world around me. It negatively impacted my thoughts and tricked me into not doing things even when I wanted to. This poem is a very personal one, but I know it could resonate with other people going through something similar. Thankfully I do not feel like what is written down below – most of the time – because overthinking is a challenge I face daily. But I have been blessed with people who have gave me the courage and determination to overcome this. I am – and probably will always be – a work in progress, but the love and support of old and current friends, my family and my psychotherapist surely made this process easier. If you’re going through anything similar and wish to seek help, I am not talk to someone trustworthy and/or seek help! Whether you’re diagnosed or not diagnosed with a mental health disorder, we all have moments were we feel way below rock bottom, and we would need someone to help us dig ourselves out of the rubble. And I know it’s a hard step to go seek help but it’s so worth it – because you are worth it! I have left some links below for Maltese readers if they wish to seek further help! Happy Reading xx
People might assume that stopping over-thinking is just as easy
as pulling the fragile roots of a small flower from healthy soil.
But these thoughts are large thick deep roots which crawl as they toil through your head
branching out of earth from a stale heavy grounded mind.
They tie you and lock you down
whipping you stabbing you till you feel nothing, without feeling your own blood
escape from your veins, your true colours are now spilled out of your soul,
ending up with nothing but the dirty scum of your own pain taking over your numb heart.
Your lungs are filling up with the pressure of anxiety as it suffocates you so much you can’t even breathe fresh air because you feel choked up in guilt and resentment
The words stuck in your throat try their best to surface your tongue but your tongue feels so much pain it has lost how to explain these words you would die to say.
Your hands are nothing but bony sticks which long to be held by someone special
but that someone special will never arrive you say
you’re worthless you say
you’re way behind everyone else you say
you’re an ugly selfish brat you say
you’re hopeless you say
you can never do this you say
you’re always wrong you say
why am I doing this I tell myself
why can’t I stop these parasites from eating my dead functioning brain I tell myself
act upon it I tell myself
stop being a drama queen
stop being a baby
stop all this nonsense
but I can’t
As my eyes continue to deaden out of tears
I look at my reflection. All I see is nothing but the fears
of a bruised boy looking girl staring back at me, without knowing what I want in my life
without knowing what to do in order to survive this permanent trap.
yes I know that by not helping myself no one will
yes I know that by being scared about everything won’t solve this
that giving a damn about every stupid thing will destroy me eventually
and yes I know that by over-thinking about how to stop this over-thinking won’t help either.
But tell me how can you have a fraction of hope when you believe that you’re good for nothing
when you find it very hard to accept all the positive remarks that people give you and keep the bad ones instead –
when even the greatest person in the world can come up to you and tell you that you’re the most amazing beautiful human being the entire universe has ever witnessed – and yet the reflection you see is a joke so hilarious it is now dead of laughter.
So next time you pass by, don’t be surprised if I reject you
it’s not because I want you to leave in the first place
but I’m actually protecting you from the horrible mess that is me. Marilyn.
And I know you will try your best to cut through these roots so you could have a taste of who I am.
But I won’t let you because I know that you all you will be tasting is poisoned bitterness
running through these roots which bruised my own hands, stung my stoned eyes and embarrassed my weak heart.
And I feel so bad that I’d rather spend eternity living in this damned world on my own
than see you spend a day here, because I don’t want to see you try so hard to pass through these roots so that eventually you’ll get bruised yourself. I care too much for you to see you get hurt for someone like me.
I am not worth the suffering of anyone in this world, let alone your own pain.
I will not be happy and no one will gain if you do so
because no one can save me.
Not even I am able to.
At least: that’s what I think.
16th April, 2014
Links of available services in Malta
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:
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