24 – It’s going to be worth it [a pep talk]

hey Mer,

it’s been a hard month so far – or well, saying it was a hard month is an understatement because it has been a hard scholastic year in general for you and your friends to go through. and the unfortunate thing is, now that you’re nearing the end of your degree, you are doing everything to procrastinate (well… why am i writing this in the first place? it’s not the point) … i am here to tell you that it’s going to be worth it!

yes, you read correctly, it is going to be worth it. and no matter how much you beat yourself up for not working hard throughout the year, guess what?! you do work hard – yes, you have a high tendency to leave everything up to the last minute, but you still give your best shot in that last minute in which you’d be highly freaking out. you’ve come a long way, and in 24 days you will be submitting your dissertation – and i know it would mean the world to you to get the best grade you can possibly can – and guess what?! you do deserve to get that good grade no matter what your brain tells you to do! Remember to do all things through Christ (Phillippians, 4:13), and believe in yourself because you are capable to do wonders. it’s not going to be plain sailing – you should know this by now – but it’s part of the journey, and this is nothing compared to what you’ve been through all your life. now go analyse that transcript you’ve been dreading all weekend to finalize!

hang in there – you got this 🙂
much love,

Marilyn xxxx


20 – 2017 [I made it]

I am writing this on a underground tube in London – or more likely, somewhere I definitely didn’t envision myself to be a year ago while standing next to a skate-park waiting for my friend to go to a house party for new year celebrations.

To say 2017 was the best year so far would be a lie. But I’m thankful for it nevertheless. I am thankful for the emotional pain it brought about as it challenged me to grow. I am thankful for getting through heartbreak and finally moving on to focusing on myself, even though I haven’t fully figured out how that works out. I am thankful for the opportunities that gave me the chance to express myself creatively, and for rediscovering old passions and exploring new ones. I am thankful for finally letting go of toxic people I found hard to lose a year ago, as it allowed me to let new and better people in. I am thankful for friends (old and new) and family who stuck by my side throughout and who still do. I am thankful for those who believed in me. I am thankful for the health myself and the people closest to me have. I am thankful for this blog for reaching 20 blog posts today when I thought it wouldn’t last, and for somehow touching and inspiring people despite the mishaps it faced. I am thankful for the places I’ve been to, the gigs and plays I’ve seen (and the first musical I witnessed just yesterday because it was magical) and the music I’ve got to listen. I am thankful to God for all of this, even though I have no idea what He has in store for what’s next to come.

I know 2018 is going to be a tough one and it will challenge me in ways I can’t begin to imagine. But I consider 18 to be my lucky number so who knows – maybe a tiny bit of luck will be on my side 🤞🤞

Here’s to health, to more growth, to more appreciation of life, to more faith, to less worrying and more action, to more art witnessing and creating, and to a lot of pain-aching making me want to swear kind of hard work which will hopefully reap into success by thousands. And obviously, to figuring out more ways of trying to adult my way through life 😉

Bring on 2018!


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: 

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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 


 

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!


6 – Let it Be [a pep talk – not a spin off on The Beatles’ song]

hey Mer,

this might seem odd and cheesy to write a post to yourself on your own blog, but i felt that you needed this: with university work piling up as your motivation to do such work is decreasing, together with yourself allowing a billion doubts racing through the neurons of your brain about probably every single aspect in your life – about what was and what might be – and then becoming obsessed as to whether such thoughts are rational or irrational, so you end up overthinking about such a conflict which might not be real after all – and the vicious cycle continues even after your brain declines in trying to understand what you really want after all and you give up trying to figure out what is going on.

it’s ironic, because ’tis the season to be jolly: yet you’re ending up worrying about futile things which you cannot do much about right now, which in turn are making you feel overwhelmed to the point that you end up stuck – which makes feel you grumpy and pessimistic about everything which appears to be wrong in your life! yes, i know it becomes tiring to get through such obstacles during the day because they make you feel overwhelmed, but then again who doesn’t have such obstacles? EVERYONE: from the people you’re closest to, to those who might have drifted apart from you, are struggling with something – and although that thing might be different to yours, it doesn’t make their struggling any less valid. you’re right, you might be alone going through such a situation, but you’re definitely not alone trying to get through life. 

all i ask you to do is to let it be: to try not to over-analyse or believe every single thought passing through your mind but instead focusing on doing what’s most important for YOU right now. do the things which you know you love and which may turn your negative vibes into positive ones. prioritise your work on your assignments and study hard instead of wasting time feeding your doubts (i know you’ll regret leaving everything to the last minute). be grateful for every opportunity you have coming your way. Be thankful for every person who has stuck by you in your lowest, when you nag and whine about life. don’t let any negative and petty thing overshadow the small BUT good things you have in your life. acknowledge the tiny successes you have, but don’t boast about them. acknowledge the mistakes you do, but don’t dwell on them so much to the point that you remain stuck and end up doing nothing about them. acknowledge every feeling you might feel when a situation crops up, but don’t let those emotions make you bitter. finally, pray as much as you can – God will get you through this, i know deep down that he’s got something great for you (remember Psalm 46:10)!

despite the life fails you do, you are a beautiful and a strong girl Mer – and i know you can get through this all 🙂 now stop procrastinating and go do your assignments! 

hang in there – you got this 🙂 
much love,

Marilyn xxxx